Dentistry Around the Globe: Dealing with Coronavirus

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As the world begins to recover from one of the worst pandemics in history, we are trying to get used to some sort of new normal. Face coverings are now required in many cities, public places are being avoided, and some people maintain a six-foot safety bubble around them at all times. These conditions have affected the way that all industries do business but dental offices have been altered drastically. As dental offices re-open throughout the USA, Canada, India, and parts of Europe, various approaches are being taken to ensure the safety of both the patients and the employees.  

USA Dental Offices Tentatively Open Their Doors

Since the USA has one of the highest rates of COVID-19 cases and related deaths, dental offices throughout the country are taking every precaution possible to stop the spread of the virus. In a few states, dental offices are restricted to only providing emergency dental care. As for the rest of the country, patients are being screened via phone prior to their visit to assess health status, offices are staying at reduced capacity and installing air filters, masks are required except during procedures, and patient temperatures are being taken upon arrival. Also, social distancing is being strongly encouraged by the installation of plexiglass, placing chairs in the waiting room at least six feet apart, or asking patients to remain in their car until appointment time. Most importantly, offices have started using disposable dental supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE) to ensure that each patient is properly protected from unwelcome germs. Richmond Dental is committed to supplying dental offices with made in the USA disposable dental supplies ranging from cotton rolls and pellets to nonwoven sponges. Although these recent changes to the industry may be overwhelming, the 196,000 registered dentists in the USA aren’t left guessing when it comes to the recommended safety regulations. The American Dental Association provides detailed COVID-19 safety protocol specific to each state so that dental offices can be properly prepared. 

 

Non-Essential Dental Services Available in Canada Again

Dental offices in Canada are being reopened one by one according to the province they’re located in. Back on May 13th, the offices in New Brunswick started offering non-essential dental services again, then Alberta and British Columbia followed suit a few days later. As offices begin to open back up, safety precautions are being prioritized over profits. To ensure proper social distancing and sanitizing practices, offices are only seeing one patient at a time. Like the USA, Canadian offices are requiring masks to be worn at all times except during procedures and temperatures are being taken at the door. Dentists are wearing masks, gloves, eye protection, and in some cases, the ever coveted N95 protective masks. 

 

COVID-19 Hotspots Only Offer Emergency Dental Services

Due to India’s high population density, the infection has devastated entire communities to the point that certain areas are being labeled as ‘containment zones.’ These zones indicate where infection levels are the highest, and dental offices are closed except for emergency services. The Indian Dental Association urges dentists to wear N95 masks and to scrub their patient’s mouths with isopropyl alcohol to prevent the spread of infection. Additionally, periodic fumigations are now being recommended in dental offices. 

While normalcy may seem like a long way off, it’s important to remember that we’re all in this together. From restaurants and bars to clothing stores and doctor’s offices, many business owners and employees have seen their profits declining and their livelihoods being threatened. We’ve got to work together to solve this world-wide crisis and when it’s all over, we’ll be stronger because of the experience.