Safe dental visit during the pandemic
Here’s what we think you should know if you have an upcoming dental appointment while the recommendation of social distancing is still in place.
There is always a chance of being exposed to the virus anywhere you go. In this article, we will summarize the top 5 reasons for seeing our dentists and hygienists.
Five Top Reasons to See Your Dentist and Hygienist.
- We follow every infection control recommendation from the CDC, OSHA, ADA, and NDA.
- We have completed the “Clean Air Project” that assures clean air at our offices.
- Most dental diseases, such as cavities, gum disease, and low-grade infections, are painless. The pain develops when the disease reaches its final stage. At this stage, the cost of treatment increases dramatically and prognosis decreases.
- Our gums should never bleed. Gums that bleed are a sign that you need to have a professional cleaning. According to one of the Mayo Clinic studies, people with bleeding gums have a higher risk of developing cognitive problems over time.
- We have dentists that care about your entire overall well-being!
What do our offices do to ensure your safety?
We follow every recommendation:
✅ CDC Guidelines
✅ OSHA Guidelines
✅ ADA Guidelines
✅ Social distancing and patient care established
✅ NE Board of Dentistry Guidelines
✅ Clean Air Project is completed
✅ Infection control high standards followed
To ensure our patient’s and teams’ safety, we have implemented several protocols to keep everyone safe and healthy. Our goal has been, and will be, to create a wellness-oriented environment with high infection control standards. Check out our infection control high standards even before COVID-19.
In light of the current situation, our offices have instituted extra precautions and protocols:
✅ Heightened screening for potential COVID-19 patients
✅ HEPA Air purifiers, Negative ion generators, and UVC Sanitizers
✅ Increased intervals between appointments and patients to minimize cross-infection
✅ Hydrogen peroxide mouth rinse before dental procedures
✅ Rubber dam isolation with high-speed turbo oral aerosol vacuum suction hose
✅ Anti-retraction headpieces
✅ Effective and strict disinfection measures
If you are not comfortable at this time coming to the office for your appointment and prefer to wait, please consider Teledentistry.
Reason #2 to see your dentist and hygienist: We have completed the “Clean Air Project,” which ensures clean air at our offices.
Back in 2019, we completed “The Clean Air Project” as part of our wellness program to promote health within the workplace. Our air filtration system helps significantly reduce the number of harmful aerosols created during dental appointments. Our filtration system also removes mercury vapor. In addition to this office-wide system, we have individual air-vacuum units at each of our locations. These air-vacuum units help remove pathogens during aerosol producing procedures. We are proud to offer “Clear Air” at each of our locations. We did so even before COVID-19.
Reason #4 to see your dentist and hygienist: Most dental diseases, such as cavities, gum disease, and low-grade infection, are painless. The pain develops when the disease reaches its final stage. At this stage, the cost of treatment increases dramatically, and prognosis decreases.
Most cavities do not have any pain or symptoms unless the cavity reaches the middle part of a tooth where the nerve resides. When that happens, a root canal is indicated as treatment. Root canals are more expensive than fixing a cavity with a dental filling. Most of the cavities we diagnose can be fixed with dental fillings.
Learn more about cavities: What are cavities? When do I need a root canal?
Most cavities can be fixed with a dental filling. But, if the cavity grows, it will reach the nerve often requires more extensive work. Ultimately, this is a much more significant expense. Likewise, a cavity that has progressed beyond being fixed with a filling might need a root canal and a dental crown. However, if the cavity is extensive or a patient has immunocompromised health, a root canal procedure may not be a great choice. In this case, a dental implant is a better option.
For reference, the cost of a white, mercury-free dental filling without dental insurance is approximately $280 in Lincoln, NE.
The average cost of a root canal plus a dental crown in Lincoln, NE without dental insurance is about $2,400.
The cost to replace a tooth with a dental implant and a crown without dental insurance in Lincoln, NE, is about $4,500.
Reason #5 to see your dentist and hygienist: Bleeding gums can be a sign of increased inflammation throughout the body and correlate with overall health.
Periodontal Disease and its connection to overall health
Studies have demonstrated a strong relationship between chronic conditions and periodontal disease. Such chronic conditions include diabetes, pregnancy complications, heart disease, and respiratory disease.
A few things characterize periodontal disease. Common characteristics include chronic inflammation of the gums, disease-causing bacteria within the oral cavity and periodontal infection below the gum line. Maintaining excellent oral hygiene and halting or slowing periodontal disease progression not only reduces the risk of bone loss and gum disease, but it also reduces the chances of developing other serious illnesses.
Periodontal disease is, unfortunately, the leading cause of tooth loss among adults in the world. Periodontal disease should always be treated promptly. Our dentists care about your overall well-being, which means we understand the downside of inflammation within the mouth. After all, the mouth is a gateway to our entire body.
Check out this video: Can I get rid of Periodontal (Gum) disease?
Still not comfortable leaving your home and visiting our office? Consider Teledentistry.
Teledentistry is a fantastic and growing option that still allows you to see your dentist. Telehealth, or Teledentistry, connects patients to their dentist using various forms of technology, including cell phones, videoconferencing, and communicating through tablets and other personal digital electronics. Teledentistry services can address dental conditions that range from crooked teeth to oral exams to urgent or emergency care.
Our dentists can help you via teledentistry visit for:
✅ Routine oral exams
✅ Examine a toothache and prescribe necessary medication
✅ Diagnose the source of sore or bleeding gums
✅ Evaluate a broken tooth and scheduling a follow-up
Questions you may be asking about your upcoming safe dental visit.
Q: You might still be asking what extra precautions are we taking during this time for dental tool sterilization?
A: Non-disposable items such as dental tools are cleaned and sterilized between every patient. Needles and disposable dental tools are never reused. Additional infection control precautions also require that any dental team members involved in direct patient care, use the appropriate protective equipment, including gloves, masks, gowns, and eye wear.
Q: I heard you have rooms with negative pressure. What is it? Does having a negative pressure room help decrease aerosols caused by aerosol producing procedures?
A: Yes, it significantly decreases the number of aerosols and any potential exposure to other pathogens, such as mercury vapor.
Q: What do you use to catch aerosols/splatter by dentists during drilling to ensure a safe dental visit?
A: A big part of our “2019 Clean Air project” was adding a standalone air purification machine or APM. APM should be placed right next to patients while performing aerosol producing procedures. It can play a significant role in reducing transmittable bio-aerosols.
Q: What do you use for isolation and catching saliva?
Check out this video
Q: What is the best mouthwash to kill coronavirus?
A: At this time, it is uncertain which mouthwash is the best to kill the COVID-19 virus. According to one study, hydrogen peroxide is more effective as it oxidizes and inactivates the virus.
At our offices, we use a a pre-procedural mouthwash of 2% hydrogen peroxide.
Q: I am older and afraid to see the dentist in fear of contracting COVID-19? How can I see a dentist safely?
A: Our dentists strive to create an environment that is safe for all patients. Your entire well-being is our priority.
Q: Can I have a safe dental visit near me?
A: If you are looking for a safe dental visit during COVID-19, our dentists work extremely hard to ensure they are providing a safe place for patients, dentists, and team members.
Q: I am an immuno-compromised and know that healthy gums are essential to keep me at my healthiest. Yet, I am worried about visiting the dentist. How can I have a safe dental visit?
A: Healthy gums are an essential part of being healthy overall. Our dentists practice dentistry to ensure that all patients and team members have the healthiest environment free of common pathogens that can be encountered in dentistry.
Q: Can my dental treatment wait until fall?
A: Most dental diseases, such as cavities, gum disease, and low-grade infection, are painless. The pain develops when the disease reaches its final stage. At this stage, the cost of treatment increases dramatically. But, prognosis decreases. In deciding to wait, you should consider the current condition and the stage of it. If you need help in choosing, please email our treatment coordinators or schedule a FREE Online Virtual Visit with one of our dentists.
Q: I had an infected tooth before the pandemic, can this infection grow and affect my overall health?
A: If a tooth becomes infected, a small area around the tooth can become infected. This type of infection is a low-grade infection. Likewise, this type of infection can be painless. Unfortunately, if this infection gets bigger, it will affect the soft structure of a face. It will also create swelling, putting a patient at risk for a life-threatening situation.
Q: I had SRP before the pandemic, should I consider my gum disease under control?
Do know and understand that you can have a safe dental visit, even now, and we will make sure of it. Dental cleanings are essential in removing the build-up below the gum line and keeping gum disease in remission. Deep cleaning is the first step to treat gum disease. After every deep cleaning, it is natural to get the build-up back. At home, you can do a big part of keeping gum disease in remission by flossing and brushing daily.
Depending upon the stage of your gum disease, these steps may not be enough. Gum disease can become active without the help of a hygienist to remove the build-up naturally below the gum line.
Q: I needed SRP, deep cleaning before the pandemic. Can gum disease go away on its own?
A: The gum disease diagnosis relies on the signs of inflammation in the mouth. This inflammation is caused by the tartar or rough feeling build-up above and below the gum line. Without the help of a dental professional, it is impossible to remove build-up and treat gum disease. Deep cleaning is a crucial step in treating gum disease.
At Nebraska Family Dentistry, we know that each patient trusts us to provide a safe and healthy atmosphere. After all, you want to have a safe dental visit, and we think you should. Also, each patient trusts us to operate with the highest standards of dental office infection control. Part of our responsibility to each of you is to provide the highest infection control standard to ensure your safety and health. It is vitally important that every patient feels well-cared for and safe while at any of our offices.
Nebraska Family Dentistry in Lincoln, NE maintains a high standard of cleanliness. We follow the infection control guidelines recommended by the ADA and CDC (American Dental Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). When you come to any Nebraska Family Dentistry location, we want you to rest assured that your overall health and well-being are our number one priority.