Scrubbing and cleaning away germs has become the norm in the times of COVID, but what about your teeth?
Dr. Carmen Garcia-Paul of Miami Orthodontic Specialists answered some questions when it came to going to the orthodontist or dentist in the middle of a pandemic.
She said her practice is doing things right, going above and beyond to protect their patients by investing in extra safety equipment.
“We have a UV light in the air conditioner to purify the air as it goes and recirculates throughout the office, and because I’m an orthodontist and we do create some aerosol when we remove the braces, we even invested in an extra machine called an extra oral suction that actually suctions the air as it is coming out of the patient’s mouth,” said Garcia-Paul.
Before an appointment, patients are asked to fill out a questionnaire, wear a mask and sanitize their hands. Staff will take their temperatures. Patients are also asked to wait in their cars until a chair is available to ensure less people in the waiting room.
Staff is also taking necessary steps for protection.
“We actually do not take our masks off from the moment we walk in to the moment that we leave,” said Dr. Garcia-Paul.
Recently the World Health Organization issued a recommendation saying people should postpone non-essential dental work, like cleanings, until COVID-19 transmission rates drop. However, urgent or emergency oral health care interventions or managing severe pain should be provided.
The American Dental Association respectfully disagreed with the recommendation, saying dental work is essential healthcare.
“That is a consideration that needs to be taken. However, it can be very bad for oral health if you prolong and do not go to your routine dental appointments. There can be more serious consequences later on,” said Dr. Garcia-Paul.
She says dental health professionals have always practiced universal precautions and safety measures before the pandemic hit and she says safety is their main concern.
“We really value the trust that our patients put in us and that’s why the health and safety of our patients their families and my team is our number on priority,” said Dr. Garcia-Paul.