How long has it been since you’ve seen our Bentonville dentist? If it’s been longer than your “regular” six-months, you’re not alone. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused people with otherwise healthy teeth and gums to see an uptick in issues like gingivitis, tartar buildup, halitosis, and tooth decay. Not just because they aren’t seeing the dentist routinely, but also because everyone is masking all day long and may be prone to a bit of mouth breathing because of it. Aka “mask mouth.”
Stricter CDC Protocols
The dental industry has always been one of the leaders in infection control. Here at Bentonville Smiles, we follow recommendations and guidelines set forth by the CDC, specifically for dental practices. This includes steps such as extra screenings, reducing care methods that typically produce aerosols, and modifying our schedules to allow for social distancing.
Dental Practices and PPE
Early on during the COVID-19 pandemic, dentists didn’t have access to the basic PPE they were used to using on a day-to-day basis. The high filtration masks and protective gloves became extremely challenging to re-order, due to the demands of other medical facilities and the general public. Without basic PPE, dentists were forced to limit care to urgent cases due to the lack of supplies and the fact that they had to be reserved for urgent care facilities.
Fortunately, that’s no longer the case. The market has stabilized and dental suppliers who typically provide PPE to dentists were able to get those supplies back into their hands. Since there is no longer a greater demand than supply, dentists have been able to re-stock their PPE and thus provide routine and preventive care to their current patients.
While early on they also were attempting to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, dental offices were quickly moved into the essential service category as oral health is an integral part of overall health. Both the Department of Homeland Security and Federal Emergency Management Agency acknowledge dentistry as an essential service.
Delaying Dental Care Increases Risk of Complications
Basic preventative care appointments can significantly reduce your risk of developing chronic oral disease, untreated tooth decay, and stop emergencies before they ever happen. For instance, a smaller cavity can be intercepted and treated today, but in six months it could reach the point of a painful abscess (requiring a root canal and dental crown.) Not only does earlier, minimally-invasive treatment reduce the extent of treatment you need (saving you money,) it also keeps you out of preventable yet painful situations.
Yes. It’s Safe to Visit Our Bentonville Dental Office
The safety of our patients and staff are essential to helping the country combat the pandemic and flatten the curve. But that doesn’t mean that your oral health has to suffer for it. We have adjusted our safety measures and thoroughly screen each guest (and employee) throughout the day. Our comprehensive safety measures teamed up with sufficient PPE and the continuation of knowledge we have about the virus has allowed us to provide and continue to provide a safe environment for our patients and team.
You can learn more about our COVID-19 protocol by calling our office at any time to ask us what safety precautions we are taking to keep you, our staff and your loved ones safe when entering our office.
Whether you’re in pain or you’re past-due for a dental checkup, the key is to intervene earlier, while issues are easier to address. Call our office today to reserve your COVID-safe dental checkup!