Taking precautions to stay protected from the COVID-19 virus is top-of-mind for the entire world. Anywhere we go, we wear masks, stay safely distanced from others, and avoid places and situations where we think transmission could happen. However, one place you should not avoid visiting is the dentist.
We wanted to answer some of the top questions floating around when it comes to dental health and visiting the dentist during the pandemic. If you have any other questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our team at Cherry Creek DDS.
Q: Why should dental care continue during the pandemic?
A: Going to the dentist is perfectly safe with proper precautions. Prior to the pandemic, dental hygienists and doctors always wore protective eyewear, masks, and gloves and the same practices remain true today. Dental care is essential to people’s overall health. Regular visits are so paramount because the prevention (and treatment) of dental disease helps keep people healthy.
Q: What is the national infection rate among dentists?
A: The numbers look great! The prevalence of positive COVID-19 cases among dentists nationwide was found to be less than one percent, according to a study published in The Journal of the American Dental Association. These results are significantly lower than other health professionals in the U.S.
Q: How are dentists and dental offices taking advanced precautions to eliminate transmission?
A: Along with always keeping patients and staff members’ health and safety a priority, the following protocols are also now implemented at Cherry Creek DDS:
- Health screening prior to each patient’s care
- Regulated patient volume limits
- Mask requirements for patients
- Designated social distancing measures in waiting and scheduling areas
- Allowing sufficient time between patients for HEPA air filters to thoroughly remove any airborne contaminants
Q: Can poor oral health put people at risk for COVID-19?
A: We know that oral health is a very important part of overall health. The most prevalent oral conditions are dental caries and periodontal diseases, and they are largely preventable. Research suggests a strong association between oral health conditions like erosion, dental caries, and periodontal disease and mood conditions like stress, anxiety, depression, and loneliness.
We are also learning that there is enough evidence to propose that periodontal disease (PD) acts as a risk factor for COVID-19, according to the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health. PD has been widely associated with several disorders such as diabetes, HTA, obesity, among others, which are also all conditions that have categorized people as high risk for contracting COVID-19. It has also been suggested that inflammatory factors could play important roles in the association of PD with comorbidities.
It’s important to note that the elderly population is at higher risk of developing periodontal disease, making them even more susceptible to life-threatening complications of the Coronavirus. At Cherry Creek DDS, we are here to screen for gum disease and educate people on the risks associated with gum disease, especially in connection to the coronavirus.
More research published in the Journal of Clinical Periodontology showed that people with severe gum disease who had COVID-19 appeared at a greater risk for more severe infection.
If you have lapsed on your regular cleaning or are putting off a procedure you need to get done, please rest assured that you are in good hands. At Cherry Creek DDS, we are here to help you with your oral hygiene and keep your health and safety a top priority. We know that your oral health has an impact on your entire well-being, and we want you to be as happy and healthy as possible. Call today for an appointment at (303)393-6006.