It has been more than eight months since the coronavirus pandemic forced lockdowns, which means it is past time for most people to get their regular dental exam and cleaning.
The pandemic has created fear about a slate of normal activities, particularly ones that require close contact indoors, like going to the dentist.
But dentists are doing their part to reassure people that it is safe to come to the office.
“The transmission of COVID in the dental office is practically nonexistent,” said Dr. Richard Nagy, president of the California Dental Association on KCBS Radio’s “Ask An Expert” program Wednesday.
That is because dentists are well-versed in infection control policies.
“Ever since the mid-eighties when the HIV scare came, dental offices were the leaders in infection control policies for blood borne pathogens,” explained Dr. Nagy.
He says between state of the art PPE, face masks, face shields and disinfectants, the likelihood of transmission is low.
And if you really feel concerned, talk to your dentist about their safety practices and give them the chance to assuage your worries. Dr. Nagy says while it might feel strange, you could even ask the dentist about their COVID status.
“I think that’s a valid question for the dentist and I think most dentists would be very happy to answer that because again, the answer would be, ‘no I don’t have COVID as well as my staff or my office has not seen COVID patients’.”
And with many more months to go before the majority of Americans have access to a coronavirus vaccine, Dr. Nagy says it is time to stop putting off seeing the dentist.