should i visit the dentist during covid 19

How the Coronavirus Pandemic might Affect my Dental Care

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should i visit the dentist during covid 19Erie, Harborcreek and Millcreek, PA

Across the world, news outlets are covering the coronavirus or COVID-19 pandemic. The information shared has raised concerns when it comes to daily activities, such as going to the dentist. Our family dentist in Erie, Dr. Albert Starr, understands your concerns and is answering the question if you should still visit the dentist during the coronavirus pandemic.

General Information to Protect Yourself During the Coronavirus Pandemic

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides ways to help you fight against contracting the coronavirus.

By following the few items on the list below, you could reduce your risk of becoming sick from COVID-19

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you sneeze or cough and properly dispose of the tissue
  • Avoid close contact with others that are sick or have tested positive for coronavirus
  • Clean and sanitize commonly used surfaces such as light switches, doorknobs, keyboards, countertops, bathroom faucets, etc.
  • Practice social distancing as much as possible

The CDC also warns that older adults, especially those with underlying conditions such as heart disease, lung disease, or diabetes, should use extra caution as the conditions could cause additional health complications after becoming infected with the coronavirus. If you suffer from a chronic disease, Dr. Starr, a general dentist serving Harborcreek, recommends contacting your primary care provider for more information or an assessment of your risk if you contract COVID-19.

Who can go to the Dentist During the Coronavirus Pandemic?

According to the American Dental Association, non-emergent or elective dental procedures should be rescheduled, effective March 16, 2020. Over the next several weeks, only patients with dental emergencies may be seen at their dentist. This is affecting dental offices across the U.S., not just here at our general dental practice in Erie. At Laser Dentistry of Erie, we will be contacting each of our patients to reschedule their elective procedures for after April 7, 2020. Our team will be working diligently to ensure patient safety during the pandemic. If you experience a dental emergency, we ask that you please not show up at the office, but instead, call Dr. Starr, an emergency dentist serving Erie, Harborcreek, and Millcreek, at (814) 825-2615 to make arrangements for your care.

Dental Emergencies are Necessary to Address During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Dental emergencies usually happen at the worst time. Even amid the coronavirus pandemic, it is critical to have dental emergencies addressed as they could cause additional damage to your teeth or overall health. For example, a cracked tooth could begin to cause pain if bacteria reach the tooth root. If an infection is present, it could spread to other areas of the body, such as the brain and heart, causing life-threatening conditions. Due to the potential health risks of untreated dental concerns, Laser Dentistry of Erie recommends receiving emergency dental care during the coronavirus pandemic. If you show symptoms of COVID-19, please contact the office before your appointment so your case can be discussed in private.

Laser Dentistry of Erie’s Process of Protection for Patients

Our patients entrust us with their health and safety at every visit. Therefore, the team members at Laser Dentistry of Erie are fully trained to follow strict OSHA guidelines in the daily cleanliness and sanitization process of the tools, patient rooms, and equipment that is used during patient examinations. Within those guidelines, there are specific EPA-approved chemicals that are required for use in medical offices to kill bacteria, viruses, and blood-borne pathogens. Also, our staff is required to wear protective gear such as medical grade gloves, goggles, and face masks to reduce the possibility of cross-contamination. As an added aspect of protection, our clinical staff is required to abide by the CDC handwashing guidelines both before and after each patient’s appointment.

When Not to Visit the Dentist During the Pandemic

For the health and safety of our patients and staff, we ask that you contact our office to discuss treatment if you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, you have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for the virus, or you have recently traveled out of the country.

Dentist in Erie, Harborcreek, and Millcreek

Please keep in mind that the coronavirus pandemic is evolving. We urge you to follow us on Facebook and Instagram to stay informed of any changes to our practice that may affect your care. Feel free to call Laser Dentistry of Erie at (814) 825-2615 for more information or to ask a question pertaining to your upcoming dental appointment at our Erie, PA, dental practice.