It’s a timely but uncomfortable topic. The recently emerged Corona virus, now officially named CoVid-19, appears to be in headlines around the world. Instilling some fear and anxiousness, today we thought we’d take a look at what you need to know from the perspective of your oral health and your oral health care provider.
This time of year is fraught with hazards, potentially more so for care providers than patients. After all, we are the ones poking around in your mouth! It’s flu season in North America and statistics tell us that flu, while harmless for most people, can actually cause serious health concerns and even death for others. Flu is still ranked higher as a cause of death in most areas of the world than this emerging, novel corona virus that is grabbing all the headlines.
Regardless of what’s got you feeling down – we’re pretty sure if you have the flu, a visit to the Dentist isn’t high on your list of priorities. That’s a good thing, for both patients and oral health care providers. What you will find, should you venture out to your local dental office, is that we are following standard and recommended protocols geared toward the prevention of infection, just as we always do. According to both the Ontario Ministry of Health and the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario these include:
- Following routine practices for infection control
- Practicing additional contact droplet precautions
- Assessing a practices capacity to handle dental emergencies with appropriate access to resources like N95 masks, shield, gowns and gloves and even a contained isolation room if or where necessary.
- Screening patients prior to their arrival (by phone) on arrival, with signage and questions and/or referring patients to local public health agencies if there is a concern about their risk of exposure to the virus.
- In conjunction with public health, and where necessary, referring patients to another practice or to a hospital setting that may be better equipped to handle a dental emergency where exposure to corona virus is a concern.
At the moment, all dental offices are closed and all non-essential dental appointments should be rescheduled. If you have an appointment coming up and haven’t heard from your dentist already, give them a call.
If you think you have a dental emergency, call us and we will let you know what steps to take. In the meantime, we hope you do feel well enough to remember our advice and as always: ”don’t forget to be a BFF with your mouth and Brush that SMILE!”
According to the RCDSO:
“* In dentistry, a “true emergency situation” includes trauma, significant infection, prolonged bleeding or pain which cannot be managed by over-the-counter medications.”