Coronavirus has impacted all sectors of business, with healthcare and dental care in particular, being heavily influenced by the pandemic outbreak.
To prevent the spread of the virus, dental practices have had to close and only provide emergency appointments or virtual consultations. Whilst appointments that involve procedures such as tooth whitening have been put on hold.
Here’s a lowdown of how coronavirus is impacting how we look after our teeth and why dental practices are closing to mitigate the risk of COVID-19.
Why have restrictions been put in place?
Whilst dentists are working on a patient, the treatment they provide can release aerosols into the air - these are little particles of saliva or blood. This is particularly common when dentists are using a drill or scaling and polishing your teeth.
Dentists take standard precautions to prevent the spread of disease or infection as many can become air-bourne through dental procedures. In doing this, they can help to keep the patient and dentist safe even if the patient doesn’t have an infection.
However, with the health risk qualities that Coronavirus has, there is added danger that the virus can be easily spread through the air. These can directly infect dentists and land on surfaces that either patient or dentist can touch.
The biggest fear is that many patients are asymptomatic, so there’s an added risk of contraction.
Who’s providing these regulations?
The majority of these decisions will be announced by the government, but they will be taking advice from medical experts in-house to determine the best option for dental practices. Considering the medical evidence and research conducted into COVID-19, it’s been agreed that the best way dentists and patients can keep safe is providing treatment that doesn’t generate aerosols. Therefore, until further notice all routine treatments have been suspended.
It’s likely, as time passes and the spread of the virus becomes less, these restrictions will change.
What does this mean for you?
What isn’t allowed
It’s been advised that non-essential treatments are now postponed until further notice for patients. This means regular check-ups, teeth whitening fillings will not be conducted for patients. Other treatments which have been postponed include:
- Broken or chipped teeth
- Treatment for sore gums
- Bad breath
- Loose teeth
- Denture concerns
- Crowns and bridges
- Scale and polish
What is allowed
Dental practices are still taking on emergency treatments, and in some cases these can include aerosols. The following treatments are limited to performing the following:
- Tooth or root extractions where the pain can cause damage to the tooth or the nerve route
- Where upper front teeth have been severely damaged
- Ulcers that line the mouth and gums
- Providing care for complex medical procedures where not treating can damage the teeth
- Where referrals have been made from a doctor that requires immediate medical assistance
What can I do to care for my oral health?
It’s unlikely that your orthodontist Warrington will be open for a while, so it’s important that you try to care for your oral health as much as possible. You can do this by taking the relevant steps to promote oral hygiene and ensure you have a healthy diet.