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As we begin to emerge from our government imposed quarantine, there will be a lot of questions abut how to keep patients and employees safe and disease free. As many know, the dental field goes above and beyond in maintaining a clean work area for both patients and employees.

Precautions We Will Take For Your Safety

Pre Appointment

Our regulations have increased dramatically since the development of HIV/AIDS. Our daily coverage includes use of surgical masks, eye wear, gloves and surgical gowns. This is along with disinfecting the room before and after patients arrive. So how will operations change following development of coronavirus?

-Patients will be screened at time of setting the appointment. A series of questions will be asked to confirm the patient is safe for dental treatment. If safe, appointment will be made.

We will go above and beyond our normal protocols and institute as sterile an environment as is humanly possible in a dental office setting. The following will list what our office will be doing to protect you and our workers.

-When the office is ready for you to come into the office, we will call or text you. This will alert you it is safe to come into the office. Again the office will minimize the amount of people in the office at any one time.

-Patients will be asked to call the office when they arrive in the parking lot to alert the staff that they have arrived. There will be no waiting in the waiting room. During this call our office will ask you a series of questions to assess your physical well being.

-You will notice a plexiglass barrier placed at our front desk. This will protect our staff and patients from direct contact. It will feel impersonal but in these times we have no choice but to look out for all of our safety. Your safety and ours is our #1 priority while giving first class dental treatment.

-Once you arrive in the office, your temperature will be taken. If normal we will allow you to enter the office for treatment. If there is an elevated temperature (temperature greater than 100 degrees will be turned away) you will be advised that you cannot recieve treatment that day.

-You will be provided with hand sanitizer and foot covers before proceeding to operatory area. You will then be asked if you were screened by the front desk and your temperature will be taken again. You will be given a nose mask to wear during procedures and most procedures will be done utilizing a rubber dam. This will help keep moisture release to a minimum. If it is necessary for someone to accompany you, they will need to wear a mask in the room and go through the same screening process.

Dental Treatment

-Our staff will only work on one patient at a time. This means they will stay with an individual patient for the entire appointment time. They will stay protected for you and for them.

-Extra precautions our office has added:

  1. All staff will be given N95 masks. This is above and beyond the normal surgical masks that are usually worn. While surgical masks give moderate protection, N95 give excellent protection and are recommended by the CDC (Center For Disease Control) and ADA (American Dental Association) for employee and patient protection.
  2. All staff will wear surgical scrubs that have been provided for in office use only. These surgical scrubs will be sterilized at end of day so employees do not leave the office with possibly contaminated clothing. The surgical scrubs will be washed and sterilized in office.
  3. All staff will also wear eye protection and face shields for added protection. Added protection will also include head and foot covers.
  4. We have also acquired additional items for the patient’s safety. These include an extra oral suction which will remove any aerosols that are developed thru dental treatment.
  5. UV Light Disinfectant. UV-C light has been found to be very effective against virus and bacterial membranes causing them to become inactive upon exposure. UV-C Light will be used at end of each day to disinfect the office from possible exposure.
  6. Our office carpet will be removed and hard surface flooring will be installed to make disinfection easier and more effective.

Post Dental Appointment

-All Payments and future appointments will be done via telephone. We are trying to limit human to human contact as much as possible at this time.

CoronaVirus Protection Conclusion

Our #1 priority has always been our patients and staff. This does not change during this time. We will do whatever is recommended and then some to ensure your and our safety. If you have any questions please feel free to ask we are always available to answer your concerns.

Wishing Everyone A Healthy And Safe St. Patrick’s Day 2020.

We are experiencing a turbulent and scary time as a global society. The development of the novel coronavirus (also known as covid-19) has upended many lives and changed others forever. Dental care can sometimes take a back seat in the medical community and in cases like this rightfully so. However, as we have noted many times before on this blog, your dental health is intimately connected to your overall health and immune system. A dental office might be one of the safest places to be during this crisis. On a normal day, dentists follow sanitary and disinfection protocols that match what we are recommending now for everyone else. Maintaining regular dental visits will bring normalcy to our lives in a time when things may not feel so normal.

Dental Health And The Coronavirus

-Maintain Regular Dental Hygiene At Home. Doubly important now to keep our immune systems working properly and keep oral bacteria at bay. Periodontal disease causes an immune response in our bodies due to reaction with bacteria and plaque. This will weaken our immune response but will also affect the cardiovascular system which can delay healing. This should include brushing, flossing, tongue scraping, along with listerine rinsing. Following completion of your at home regimen, wipe down the sink and faucet with bleach wipes to ensure you do not pass anything along to family members.

Coronavirus Marielaina Perrone DDS
A Smile Always Brightens A Day!

– Call Your Dentist If You Have Symptoms Of The Coronavirus. With our healthcare system overloaded, your dentist can be an educated person to discuss what may or may not be going on with your health. For many, first signs of any symptoms and they may panic. Main coronavirus symptoms include fever, difficulty breathing, and a dry cough. Be aware of the differences between influenza and even seasonal allergies. Generally a fever above 101 is cause for concern for coronavirus.

-Maintain Regular Dental Visits. If healthy and asymptomatic, it is recommended to continue treatment to stay healthy and oral disease free. This is especially important for dental hygiene visits and to receive regular examinations to avoid dental emergencies.

-Take Daily Vitamins and Extra Vitamin C. We tend to eat more comfort foods and carbohydrates during times of crisis. This can leave us without recieving the proper nutrition to keep up our health and immune systems in check. This can help ward off disease.

Hand Washing Is More Important Than Ever. We have bad habits of touching our faces hundreds of times per day. If we keep our hands clean we will limit chances of passing any viruses or bacteria to ourselves. Proper hand washing techniques include using soap and hot water and for at least 20 seconds.

-Call Dentist Ahead. If you are nervous about sitting in a waiting room call ahead and let the dental staff know you are waiting in your car. The staff will call you when it is time to come in for your appointment. We try to keep everyone moving quickly but sometimes it is unavoidable to have people waiting in the waiting room even if it is just for a few minutes.

Coronavirus And Dentistry Conclusion

As previously mentioned this is a scary time for all of us as a society. We will get through this and we will try to maintain some level of normalcy. Our office is always available for any questions you might have. If you are feeling ill or have been out of the country recently please call ahead and let us know, so we can make a determination if we need to reschedule your appointment for the safety of our staff as well as other patients.

Root canal and pain go hand in hand in many people’s minds. Generally our fears and anxiety stem from others telling us their experiences and not from our own. A root canal (also referred to as RCT or root canal therapy) is a dental procedure where the damaged nerve (also called the pulp) of a tooth is removed. Following removal of the nerve, the canals of the tooth are cleaned and sterilized. Following this cleaning process the canals are filled and sealed permanently to avoid future dental infection. If treatment is not undertaken, the dental infection will affect the tooth along with surrounding oral structures (like gums and bone tissues) and a dental abscess can form in the area as the infection looks to escape.

The reason for the removal of the tooth’s nerve is because these nerves (along with associated blood vessels) is responsible with providing hydration and nutrients to our teeth. They also give us the ability to sense hot and cold.

Surveys over the years find that root canal therapy is considered the most feared of all dental procedures. These surveys also found people’s views on root canal therapy is based on what others have told them and not their own individual experiences. This leads to people believing mostly inaccurate stories about root canals. It is the fear of the unknown as I like to call it.

Root Canal Therapy Marielaina Perrone DDS
Root Canal Therapy Can Save Your Smile!

Myths Surrounding Root Canal Therapy

Myth #1 – Root Canal Therapy Is Painful

Root canal therapy does not directly cause pain, this therapy is designed to relieve it! With modern anesthetics, techniques, and technology, root canal therapy is no more painful than getting a simple filling. The major cause of root canal therapy pain is the infection that a patient may present with. An infected site will cause extreme pain that can be difficult to get under control initially.

Your dentist will make sure you are comfortably anesthetized and relaxed prior to beginning root canal therapy. The removal of the pain-causing infected pulp from your tooth will relieve any pressure that is built up causing some of that discomfort. After the infected tissues are cleaned out, your tooth will be sealed closed to keep out any further invading bacteria and repair the enamel of the tooth with a dental filling or a protective dental crown.

Myth #2 – Why Not Just Remove The Tooth?

A well trained dentist will always use tooth extraction as a “last resort” type dental treatment. Nothing functions as well as your own natural teeth, so tooth preservation whenever possible is always the best course of treatment. Root canal therapy allows you to keep your natural tooth. This prevents you from having to resort to other extensive dental treatments, such as dental bridges or dental implants, to help replace the lost tooth and restore your smile.

Myth #3 – Root Canal Therapy Is Only For Teeth Causing Pain

Sometimes a dental infection has become so severe that the tooth actually dies. You may no longer be feeling any pain but infection is still present and damaging your underlying bone structure. A lot of the pain and discomfort we feel when dental infection is present is pressure. A dental infection can sometimes cause a bump in the gum tissue where the infection can leak out relieving that pressure and allowing it to feel better even though it is not. Even at this point, root canal therapy can still save the tooth structure itself. This is one of the reasons for routine dental examinations and radiographs. These visits can let us see changes as they happen before they become bigger issues. Regular visits will actually save you money over the long haul but sometimes that is hard to understand.

Root Canal Therapy Marielaina Perrone DDS
Painless Root Canal Therapy Is Possible

Myth #4 – Root Canal Therapy Takes A Long Time

Most root canal therapy treatment can be completed in 1-2 visits. If there is no active, serious dental infection present they can sometimes be finished in just one appointment or you may have to return to complete the filling or crown procedure. The condition of your tooth following root canal therapy and the severity of infection dictate the treatment time needed. Sometimes a dental crown is not needed but is usually recommended as the tooth will become more brittle without the natural nutrients and blood flowing thru the tooth.

Myth #5 – Dental Infections Are Common Following Root Canal Therapy

A re infection of the tooth root can happen, but it is not very common. If dental infection returns to the tooth, further dental treatment will be needed. The newest dental materials and technques used to fill a tooth following root canal therapy have been specifically designed to significantly reduce the likelihood of developing another dental infection in that tooth.

Root Canal Therapy Myths Conclusion

Root canal therapy has developed a very bad reputation over the years. Rest assured with new techniques it can be a painless experience. If you are feeling dental anxiety speak to your dentist and they can offer you advice on how to best cope.