Dentistry always plays an important part in the health-care system, and dentists will always have a role in times of health crisis. The pandemic and the subsequent lockdown has brought out new dimensions in every healthcare sector and Dentistry is no exception. Dentistry has also faced its own share of challenges during the pandemic and as members of the Dental fraternity; it takes immense pleasure to say that the field has overcome the same wonderfully.
72-year-old Avinash Chander Sharma had scheduled tooth extractions, following which he had to get implants, but the lockdown halted his plan. He is in pain but too worried to get a dental procedure done in a hospital during the pandemic. 12-year-old Geetha has palate expanders in her mouth, post which she was supposed to get her braces. But the lockdown shelved the plan and now she has to bear with the expanders for longer now. The myths spread in social media are not helping the cause either. Dentists are open,but people are scared to venture out.
The real question in everybody’s mind is
“IS IT REALLY SAFE TO VISIT A DENTIST?”
The answer is an Overwhelming “YES”
The pandemic has raised the sterilization protocols and disinfection procedures to a new different level. The Dental clinic premises are being disinfected constantly along with instrument sterilization. Equipment is being disinfected with more care than ever before. In additions, the clinic staffs, including the receptionist is wearing protective gears, masks, and the operators wearing a PPE suit, face shields. Temperature and oxygen saturation checks are not only done for patients, but their attenders too. Social distancing in the waiting rooms has become the norm. With all these precautions, one can safely say that a Dental clinic is a safer place than a market or any other shop. Visiting a Dental clinic is obviously safer than visiting a grocery shop or a restaurant.
While it is okay for a patient's cosmetic dental treatment plans to be on hold, there are other procedures that should not be delayed. As we all know, COVID-19 isn't going anywhere and this is the new normal. So we have to learn to live with it.
Dental care is sometimes urgent, and putting it off can at times flare up the issue. While some issues can be handled through tele-consultation but many times it requires personal visits.
Dental practice has taught me that nothing is worse than a dental pain irrespective of nature and reason. Also, it purely depends on the pain threshold of the patient what might be just sensitivity for us it can be sleepless nights for someone.
Most dentists are worried about the side effects of delayed dental care. An unattended cavity might have reached the stage of root canal or even tooth removal. A removed tooth that had to be implanted may be causing bone loss. Some degree of risks is also involved in case of unaddressed gum issues. It can lead to inflammation, which can lower down one's immunity.
Dental Clinics have been open since May 2020 and so far there is no reported major incidence of COVID break out or a hotspot at a dental clinic, in the country. This only proves that Dental clinics following good infection control protocol are extremely SAFE to visit.
One of the positive developments with the Pandemic, it has ascertained that the high levels of sterilization and disinfection are non-negotiable. It is only logical to continue the high standards whether there is a pandemic or not.
The dental staffs are at the forefront of the control of infections and have proved that it is possible to handle dental treatments without carrying any infection to others and self as well, in the past year. As members of dental fraternity, it is our duty to create awareness among the public to avert panic and promote the oral health and wellness of patients during these challenging times.
- Team Dental Ville