Our COVID-19 Dental Safety Precautions and Protocols
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted how dental care can be safely delivered in the short-term and will likely stimulate permanent changes in dental safety precautions and protocols. The question of “what are we doing differently than before” comes to mind. To best answer this question and improve your peace of mind, we would like to advise that we dental professionals are very familiar with occupational health issues and the corresponding risks assessments in order to reduce the risk of exposure during COVID-19.
How Family Health Centers Enhances Dental Safety
Preventing the spread of COVID-19 requires new strategies in addition to the Standard Precautions. Therefore, in addition to applying Standard Precautions in order to minimize the spread of the virus, we are utilizing EOS (extra oral suctions) machines with HEPA filters and UV light. We have also implemented an isolated (intra oral suction device) that works with our high suction as well. These devices are set up to trap aerosols to improve dental safety and reduce the risk of contamination.
To improve dental safety, Family Health Centers locations are also screening patients, including a COVID-19 questionnaire, temperature check, and a reminder that mask wearing is required. Our schedules are built to comply with social distancing and patients are made aware of the arrangements that may be needed in order for them to attend the appointment, such as coming alone as we are not able to accommodate extra guests in adherence to guidelines issued by the CDC.
We also offer tele-dentistry (telehealth) for dental emergencies.
Why it’s Important Not to Delay Dental Appointments
Not attending to your dental needs/care can lead to untreated tooth decay or other infections, leaving you with no viable option other than visiting a hospital’s emergency department, which could result in higher fees and can interrupt more urgent needs especially during a pandemic.
Furthermore, many emergency rooms are not staffed or equipped to provide the type of care needed to treat a definitive dental emergency. As a result, the ER department staff/attending physician may refer you to a dentist, pushing back treatment that may be needed immediately. Federally Qualified Health Centers, like Family Health Centers, have a particularly important role in protecting the dental safety of underserved populations who are at high risk of having unmet oral health care needs.
Contact Us to Request an Appointment
Family Health Centers provides a wide range of dental services to children and adults. At four of our convenient neighborhood locations—Elmont, Roosevelt, Freeport, Westbury—you can receive high-quality, affordable dental care services, regardless of your insurance status or the ability to pay.
Contact us today to request an appointment.