1. Be prepared to answer more questions than normal.
In addition to discussing your oral health prior to your appointment, we’ll ask you a few questions about your overall health a day before you arrive, and again on the day of your appointment. You will be screened for common COVID-19 symptoms, such as fever, dry cough, and a new loss of smell or taste; we may also ask if you’ve been in contact with anyone who’s recently had COVID-19. If you have experienced COVID-19 symptoms in the 14 days before your appointment, you may need to reschedule your appointment for a later date. However, we’ll make sure you get the care you need as soon as it’s safely possible.
2. Your appointment intake will look a little different.
To ensure adequate physical distancing, we’re limiting the number of people allowed in our waiting room at any one time. To accomplish this, we’re asking our patients to phone us when they arrive outside our clinic (rather than walking straight into our office). We’ll call you back to let you know when it’s time for you to enter our clinic. Before you enter our office, please put on a cloth face mask to limit the projection of aerosolized particles when you speak or breathe.
After you enter our waiting room, we’ll ask you to sanitize your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Then, we’ll use a touchless thermometer to make sure you aren’t running a fever.
Once you complete these steps, you’ll be able to wait in the waiting room, just as you normally would. However, we ask that our patients do their best to stay at least six feet away from other patients at all times. To make this easier, we’ve spaced the chairs in our waiting room further apart.
3. You’ll need to bring your own entertainment to the waiting room.
Though COVID-19 is usually spread through tiny droplets in the air, it’s also possible to get sick by touching objects that others have recently touched. As such, we’ve removed high-touch items, like magazines and children’s toys, from our waiting room. You can, however, read or play games on your own digital device while you wait for your appointment.
4. You should plan your appointment carefully.
Limiting the number of patients visiting our clinic at any one time is an essential part of keeping everyone safe, but it unfortunately reduces the number of appointments we have available. As such, rescheduling appointments may be more challenging than usual during the pandemic, and we might not always be able to accept “last minute” appointments. (Though we will, of course, do our best to help you if you have a dental emergency.) To make the booking process smoother for everyone, we recommend choosing a date for your appointment well in advance. Make sure you have no conflicting commitments on the day of your appointment and have backup plans in place for childcare, if needed.
We also suggest using the restroom at home before leaving for your dental appointment. Many dental offices have restricted restroom use as a precaution, because restrooms contain numerous high-touch surfaces, like faucet handles and toilet paper dispensers, that may transmit viruses.
Finally, don’t forget that you’ll need to use a touchless payment system (like a debit or credit card) when paying for your care. Using touchless payments limits the amount of physical interaction occurring in our clinic, which is important for everyone’s safety.
5. Expect to see us wearing more protective equipment than usual.
Wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) is nothing new to dentists; we’ve always worn masks, gloves, and gowns to prevent the transmission of viruses and bacteria while we treat our patients. During COVID-19, however, we’ve upgraded the type of PPE we wear to include face shields, head coverings, and face masks that offer a higher lever of protection against airborne particles. We’ll also be keeping our PPE on throughout the duration of your appointment. If this creates difficulties for you (e.g., because you have visual or hearing impairments), let us know before your appointment and we’ll do our best to safely accommodate your needs.
As medical professionals, dentists have an in-depth understanding of infection prevention. That, along with the enhanced safety protocols put in place by dentists across Ontario, ensures dental visits pose no risk to your health, or the health of your family. On the contrary, looking after your teeth is a great way to reduce inflammation throughout your body, keep your immune system strong, and improve your cardiovascular health.
If you have any questions about our safety standards, or you feel ready to book your next appointment, contact Davis Dental Clinic online or by phone at 1-844-292- 8200. We look forward to seeing you again!