As Lakewood, Colorado dentists who are committed to the health of their patients, Drs. Matheson and Lazaroff remain dedicated to providing a safe environment that can meet our community’s oral health needs during this pandemic.
Dentists across the U.S. have seen a sudden increase in the number of patients dealing with cracked, broken, and damaged teeth, much stress related. Even if not infected, COVID-19 can still take a toll on your oral health by increasing the amount of stress and anxiety you feel on a daily basis. This stress can result in the clenching, grinding, and gnashing of teeth, which can lead to the types of problems being seen by Lakewood, Colorado dentists and those around the country.
With stress related oral health problems on the rise, now is not the time to start skipping your dental appointments. Unfortunately, many patients may decide not to visit their dentist out of concern that the trip could increase their risk for contracting COVID-19.
Fortunately, visiting the dentist ranks as low risk for contracting the virus, according to the results of a recent study. Oral health experts hope results showing that visiting the dentist presents little chance of contracting COVID-19 could help to put patients’ minds at easy so their oral health can receive the care it requires.
The results of the study were published in the Journal of the American Dental Association.
Dental Care Poses Little Risk for Contracting COVID
Finding a way to safely treat patients has remained our top priority ever since we reopened our doors to patients earlier this year. Drs. Matheson and Lazaroff knew that convincing patients their health wasn’t at risk was of paramount importance.
After all, the steps many people take to prevent infection – wearing a mask, standing six feet apart, and avoiding indoor locations with non-family members – is simply not possible when receiving dental care. To address this issue, our Lakewood, Colorado dentists have taken exceptional steps to increase safety protocols, including the use of additional PPE, medical grade disinfectants, and equipment designed to reduce the spread of respiratory droplets.
Dentists offices across the country also adopted similar methods for ensuring patient safety, but research had yet to determine whether these measures were proving effective, until now.
In a recent study, researchers examined three dental offices in New York that treated a total of 2,810 patients over a six-month period between March and September. Of those patients, nearly 2,000 were considered to be of high risk (high blood pressure, diabetic, 65 and older, a history of immune dysregulation, etc.) for developing severe COVID complications should they contract the virus.
Each office put into place a variety of control systems – patient screening, staff training, distancing appointments, improved ventilation and air filtration, increased sanitization protocols, etc. – as directed by the Centers for Disease Control. All staff members wore masks, full-face shield, hair covers, glasses, and surgical gloves whenever interacting with patients. Throughout the course of the study, each office practiced and adhered to a strict standard for infection control.
These control systems resulted in zero transmissions either from patient to health care worker or from health care worker to patient. Patients who visited each office were tracked for two weeks following their dental appointments and none were found to have developed symptoms of the virus. Of the patients involved, 73 did call their dentist to report a positive test before their scheduled appointments, but none of the patients were found to have contracted the virus due to any previously received dental care. Overall, no connection could be found that linked a patient receiving dental care to a positive COVID test.
Your Safety Remains Our Top Priority
This study marks one of many that have recently been released that show visiting the dentist presents little risk to patient health. In another recent survey of over 2,100 dentists conducted by the American Dental Association, less than 1 percent of respondents had probable or suspected COVID-19 infections.
This data just goes to show that the potential for virus transmission is incredibly low at the dental office. Despite the justifiable concerns may patients may have about their health when visiting the dentist, our team at Lakewood Advanced Family Dental wants every patient to know that they can safely receive the care their oral health needs.
Now is not the time to avoid receiving dental care. And with more information coming out about how safe it is to visit the dentist, we hope that this latest research helps to put your mind to ease.