06 May CBC News: Is it safe to go to my dentist? Your COVID-19 questions answered
From dental appointments to PPE disposal, here’s what you’re asking us today
Posted By CBC News · See the original post here.
Dental offices have reopened in some parts of Canada. But is it safe to go?
We’re answering your questions about the pandemic. Send yours to [email protected] and we’ll answer as many as we can. We’ll publish a selection of answers every weekday online, and also put some questions to the experts during The National and on CBC News Network.
So far we’ve received more than 30,000 emails from all corners of the country. Your questions have surprised us, stumped us and got us thinking, including a number of questions about reopening and what that means for you.
My dentist is taking patients again, but is it safe?
Dental offices are reopening in Saskatchewan and Manitoba this week, but Randy Y. is wondering whether dentists have enough PPE to keep patients safe.
In Saskatchewan, some dental offices are staying closed, because they don’t have enough personal protective equipment (PPE), including N95 masks for emergency procedures. But others are open, and are taking appointments to treat anything causing pain or infection. However, simpler appointments for things like cleanings will have to wait for now.
How are dentists keeping themselves, their staff, and their patients safe?
“You’ll be wearing a gown. I’ll be wearing a gown. I’ll be in a hairnet, all that kind of stuff. So, it will be a different experience,” said Dr. Parviz Yazdani whose clinic in Saskatchewan opened Monday.
The College of Dental Surgeons of Saskatchewan says the following measures will be in place at clinics that reopen:
- All patients will be asked a series of questions to make sure they aren’t showing COVID-19 symptoms — their temperature will also be taken.
- If drilling is required, the college asks dentists to do the procedure in an enclosed room with a closeable door.
- Since many dental offices have an open concept layout, a large plastic tent with a zipper door can be set up around the work space.
- The operating room must remain closed for two hours, for dust to settle, before it can be cleaned.
Dentists in Manitoba are taking similar precautions. “We recognize that a lot of Manitobans have been waiting patiently to have their dental care needs managed and dentists want to get to their urgent issues first,” said Dr. Marc Mollot, president of the Manitoba Dental Association.
Nationally, the Canadian Dental Association says it is working with government officials to help offices gradually reopen to provide more services. “Complying with social distancing guidelines and keeping patients, dentists and the dental staff protected are top priorities,” said the association.
Here is more information about what to do if you need to see your dentist during the pandemic.