This new form of Coronavirus (2019-nCoV, COVID-19) is alarming the global population. In Italy, the Ministry of Health gave clear indications regarding which actions can be useful to reduce infections and maintain the right level of individual safety. It can also be useful to talk about Coronavirus prevention at the dentist office.
A doubt could arise in patients’ minds: should I visit the dentist office? Could there be risks for my health?
We say no to needless alarmism. Still, it is necessary to remember that in elderly patients or those suffering from other diseases, the complications could be severe. Not to forget, a massive spread of the coronavirus would mean a difficult situation for any national health system. The places in the hospitals are not unlimited. An overcrowding crisis could adversely affect all patients.
Therefore precautions should be taken.
There are guidelines to prevent the spread of the coronavirus in a dental office, as in other medical offices. Here are the main points you have to focus on, to prevent the infection at the dentist office.
In case of flu symptoms
In case of fever, cold or cough, it is advisable to stay at home. Call your family doctor for suggestions and postpone the dental check-up.
Your last journeys
The dentist should take note in the patients’ medical history of any trip to quarantined or unsafe areas and also of contacts with infected people.
In the case of recent trips (20-30 days) to the outbreak areas or of close contact with people from those areas, it is preferable to postpone the dental check-up or the dental treatment, at least by two weeks.
Wash your hands
One of the most important things you can do to protect you and the other people: washing your hands thoroughly.
That’s why in our office you can find a dispenser with alcoholic disinfectant soap to invite patients to clean their hands.
Before entering, patients should wash their hands for at least 20-40 seconds. While it may seem superfluous, here is an infographic from Wikipedia to better understand how to wash your hands.
Let some fresh air in the rooms
The new Coronavirus spreads through close contact. In any case, it is essential, between one visit and another, to let fresh air in the rooms. The waiting areas need ventilation with fresh air, too.
Patients can help: to avoid crowding or to wait in crowded places, do not bring a companion this time.
Internal PPE devices
It is clear for all doctors, but better to state it again. All the staff who work on the patient for any medical activity (from oral hygiene to other cares) must use PPE. Personal protective types of equipment are masks and respirators, single-use gloves, goggles, aprons, gowns.
Sterilization of instruments
It is crucial for the dentist to carefully clean instruments and tools. Handles and buttons as well, in this particular situation, must be protected and cleaned after each patient.
Is it safe to go to the dentist?
Many patients ask us if, with this latest news, it is safe to go to the dentist. The answer is yes.
Usually, we disinfect and sterilize all surfaces and tools to counteract the spread of viruses and bacteria. In the latest weeks, we also try to manage appointments to avoid overlaps and crowds in the waiting room.
What else you can do
Just follow the standard personal hygiene rules carefully to avoid the spread of viruses.
🚫Please do not touch your eyes, nose and mouth with your hands without having first washed them
🚫Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
🚫 Use a mask only if you have respiratory symptoms (coughing or sneezing). Surgical masks protect others from your possible symptoms.
The telephone numbers you can call in Italy
For information related to Coronavirus (in Italy)
if you presume you have Coronavirus, or that a family member has been affected