For over a year now, the world has been trying to find ways to battle the global pandemic, COVID-19. Everyone seems to count on the distribution of vaccines, and that they will be produced on such a massive scale that the virus will disappear completely. There have been different estimates about how long it will take to vaccinate enough people to bring COVID to a halt; some say we’ll be there by summer 2021, others say it will take a year – some say it will take five.
What we do know for sure, is that it will take time, and that we will need to do what we can where we are in order to prevent this virus from taking over. Many different industries are thus finding new ways of doing business.
Even though dentists and other oral hygienists do their best at preventing the virus from spreading and becoming more critical, COVID is now requiring an even higher degree of security measures for dentists as well as clients.
Dentists and oral hygienists, who are quite likely to get the virus because of their use of aerosols in their work, have teamed up and found new and lasting ways for how to tackle the extraordinary situation we all face.
Establishing a leader of hygiene in dental teams has been especially important; this person makes sure that everyone feels like they are being properly protected from the virus.
One of the major ways that dental treatments intersects with COVID-19 prevention, is the focus on preventing infections in people’s gums or teeth. This is because infections can weaken people’s immune system. And a weaker immune system in turn makes it more likely that the patient will contract diseases like the coronavirus. Naturally, a stronger immune system will help protect the patient from getting the disease.
The objective for dental workers should be to limit the risk of these oral infections, since this should also limit the number of people who get sick with COVID-19. In addition to this, the patient will also simply feel better. This should be the standard at all times, but it’s especially important now that it can help control the spread of disease.
How Patients Respond
Fredrikstad Tannlege says that communicating these changes to patients is a completely different thing. Keeping in mind that many people are having a hard time with their finances because of temporary or final layoffs, many dentists wondered if their clients would stop coming to get treatments, despite how important it might be. Also, after hearing a lot about the advice of staying home and staying away from other people, the wish to go receive treatment might be even lower. Surprisingly, though, a lot of patients still came.
The reason for this might well be that many of these already people knew the importance of caring for their oral hygiene. But it seems that a lot of them might also have become more enlightened about their health in general, as a result of the coronavirus – which is natural, considering that most every media outlet is talking about the pandemic, giving advice on how to prevent the spread of infection.