Is Dental Designs of Maryland open?
In accordance to orders from Gov. Larry Hogan and the Maryland Department of Health, we are currently open and seeing patients for both elective and non-elective care. Nothing supersedes the safety of our team, our patients, and our community, so rest assured that new and enhanced infection control protocols were instituted and all necessary staff training was conducted to ensure the safest dental experience possible for you and your family.
Why did Dental Designs of Maryland close?
Dental offices were directed to close mid-March 2020 by both the American Dental Association as well as the Centers for Disease Control in order to help limit the spread of COVID-19 in our communities. The vast majority of dental practices complied with these mandates and have been closed for everything except emergency care. Instruments used in dentistry cause a lot of aerosolized water particles which has been shown to be a method of transmission of COVID-19. As of May 17th, this order was rescinded by Governor Larry Hogan and we are now open.
How is Dental Designs of Maryland protecting me and my family?
We are committed to providing a safe dental experience. Our team has been trained in the latest protocols, and we have equipped everyone with the highest level of PPE currently available on the market. This includes N95 respirators, ASTM Level 3 masks, hair coverings, disposable lab gowns, shoe covers, and face shields. We will also have plexiglass enclosures and masks for the front desk staff. Lastly we’ve instituted a strict disinfecting policy where we will be wiping down frequently trafficked surfaces of the office every hour. Although nothing can guarantee the prevention of spread of COVID-19, we feel confident in saying you are going to be safer at our dental office than going to the grocery store, or pharmacy!
What changes should I expect when coming back to Dental Designs of Maryland?
Dental Designs of Maryland will be instituting a screening check-in process for patients, so when you return to our office you may notice some changes! There will be a limited amount of seating available in our waiting room to reduce amount of people in close proximity, so the majority of the patients will be asked to wait in their car until ready to be checked in. Secondly, a health history questionnaire will be given to each patient, and their temperature will be taken. Anybody with an elevated body temperature for any reason, will be asked to reappoint.
During the screening check-in process, it is of the utmost importance to inform your dentist if you have been experiencing fever, chills, respiratory distress, high temperature, or any other signs of illness. It is also important for you to inform your dentist if you’ve traveled internationally or been on a cruise in the past 90 days.
Once you’ve made it to our treatment area, our staff will be equipped with PPE and instructed to limit physical contact which means no more of the handshakes or hugs you may be used to, sorry! You will then be asked to wash your hands before and after your dental appointment. These changes are being instituted using the most up to date recommendations by OSHA and the CDC, and are meant not as an inconvenience, but a way to limit the risk and exposure of our team and our patients to COVID-19.
How do I stay in touch with my dentist?
Many dentists now have active social media accounts, and the best way to stay abreast of developments is to follow or like them on their pages. Dental Designs of Maryland will be providing frequent updates as the situation evolves, you can follow us on Facebook and Instagram by clicking our social media icons in the top menu!
Why it is important to social distance?
The goal of social distancing is to limit social interactions you have with those around you. This serves to slow the projected number of people who contract COVID-19 at any given time, hence ‘flattening the curve’ of infection. This will ensure that our healthcare professionals are not overrun by a sharp increase in COVID-19 patients, without the necessary supplies, infrastructure, and facilities to care for them. Your dentist office has closed to help flatten the curve, as dental offices can potentially be a major source of transmission for the virus.
What is ‘elective care’?
Elective care is not a clearly defined term in dentistry, and the ADA has not issued any specific guidance on what falls under elective care. In general, all dentistry that is not performed due to pain, swelling, infection, or a loss in function is considered elective care. That means dental prophylaxis (cleanings), cosmetic dentistry, crowns and fillings that are not currently symptomatic, dentures, etc could potentially be considered elective care.
What is ’emergency care’?
Emergency care is not a clearly defined term in dentistry, and the ADA has not issued any specific guidance on what falls under emergency care. In general, if you are experiencing pain, swelling, infection, or a loss in function, that would fall under emergency care.
How do I maintain my dental health at home during this time?
It is important especially during times of stress that we make sure to take care of ourselves. Your mouth is a portal to the rest of your body and can have pronounced effects on your overall health if neglected. If your dental appointment has been rescheduled or moved indefinitely, it is even more important that you maintain your dental care during this time. We recommend the basics of brushing twice a day, and flossing at least once a day. For those with significant dental work, a Waterpik also may be beneficial. Your diet also has a huge impact on your dental health. We recommend limiting your intake of refined sugars like soda, candy, and cookies as much as possible, and instead make sure you diet consists of as many green leafy vegetables and lean protein such as chicken, turkey, and fish as possible. Dairy has been tentatively linked to having anti-cavity properties so if you’re aching to satisfy that sweet tooth, some Greek yogurt may hit the spot as well!