COVID-19: Reducing Anxiety and Protecting the Safety of Our Patients

Blog
  • Are dental offices more susceptible to COVID-19?
  • Is it safe to visit the dentist again?
  • Are we able to still physically distance at Yonge Eglinton Dental?
  • Can I get prescription dental medication over the phone?

Yonge Eglinton Dental has always put the safety of our patients first. Our precautionary approach to providing quality dental care while protecting the health and well-being of everyone working in and visiting our office has never been more important than it is now.

The last few months have been trying for all residents of our community. For longer than anyone could have imagined, we’ve been staying home, missing family members and friends, and going without many of the simple things we’ve become accustomed to.

One of the things we missed the most was welcoming you into our dental practice to help you achieve optimal dental health! Although our office continued to be open to treat patients requiring urgent or emergency care for dental issues relating to pain or infection, it was with great relief to once again open our doors and return to work.

However, we understand that due to these unprecedented circumstances, many of you still feel anxious about leaving your homes unless absolutely necessary. This anxiety might be heightened if it’s time to visit your dentist whether it’s for a routine check-up or for a more specific oral health concern.

We’ve heard your questions and concerns, and want to reassure you that we’re meeting or exceeding the guidelines set out by the Ministry of Health and regulatory bodies such as the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario (RCDSO) to protect the safety of our patients and staff. This approach helps reinforce our continued commitment to your comfort and well-being, and to provide the best possible experience every time you visit our office.

Are dental offices more susceptible to COVID-19?

Due to the nature of work, dental offices can be more susceptible to infection than most other businesses. That’s why our team at Yonge Eglinton Dental has always followed strict infection control protocols, such as consistently disinfecting treatment rooms, complete sterilization of equipment, and – of course – frequent hand washing.

However, with the advent of COVID-19, our practice has elevated our usual high infection control standards to protect our staff and patients from pathogens that can cause disease. Please keep reading for more details.

How are dentists coping with the corona pandemic? 

Like most people, our lives significantly changed when the pandemic started and our province closed everything down, including dental offices for the treatment of non-urgent care. We knew, however, that although we’d open again at some point, there would be significant changes to our in-office polices and procedures in response to controlling the spread of COVID-19

We coped through the pandemic by proactively preparing our office for reopening in accordance with new public health guidelines as they became available. Our team wanted to be ready to welcome you back as soon as we were permitted to do so by the provincial government.

I’m looking forward to visiting my dentist, but is it safe?

Absolutely! In addition to the regular infection control protocols we adhere to, such as such as thoroughly disinfecting surfaces and using disposable equipment, we’ve taken added measures in order to help ensure the safety of our patients and staff.

These measures include screening all patients for COVID-19 both before your appointment and upon arrival at Yonge Eglinton Dental. If you’ve screened positive, you can return to our offices after consulting with a physician and/or are symptom-free after a 14-day self-isolation period.

We’ve also installed medical-grade HEPA air purifiers in all treatment rooms to help eliminate contaminants in the air, and have made alcohol-based hand rub for your use when you enter and exit our practice.  

In addition, a plexiglass barrier has been installed around the reception area, face coverings are mandatory except when receiving treatment, and we no longer accept cash payments.

How will physical distance guidelines work in the dental office?

We understand that physical distancing is important to help prevent COVID-19 from spreading. As such, we’ve made both policy and physical changes to our practice that include promoting reduced capacity in our offices.

For example, we are now required to limit our waiting room. However, we still strive to provide you with the best patient experience possible while contributing to both public protection from community transmission and the safety of our patients.

When you arrive for your appointment, our reception staff will call you into the office, and remain in contact with any individuals accompanying you to your appointment. In some cases, such as with parents of small children or support persons for patients needing accommodation, one person may be allowed to accompany a patient into the treatment room. Please contact us for details before your appointment.

Within the office, floor decals have been installed so you can remain at a safe distance from others in the office. We’ve also placed a transparent physical barrier at the reception desk to separate it from the waiting room area.

How do dentists protect themselves from Covid-19?

Even during “normal” times, dental teams are exposed to many health hazards, including infections, hepatitis, and more.

Our entire staff will be wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) to help stop the spread of infection. Patients and visitors will also be required to wear face coverings while in our office, except for when they’re receiving treatment. Unfortunately, there is a limited supply of PPE available, so to conserve resources we’re unable to provide facemasks to all patients. Please remember to bring your own from home.

Everything we do to protect ourselves is also designed to preserve the safety of our patients as well. It’s not just about us – we’re all in this together!

I don’t want to go to the clinic. Can my dentist just provide medication over the phone?

If you’re still unsure about visiting our office but have a specific dental concern, give us a call to discuss remote treatment options, which could include prescribing medication. We will try to accommodate you as much as possible, but not all dental concerns can be properly addressed over the phone. We appreciate your understanding.

It’s truly our pleasure to return to practice dentistry. Our staff and safety requirements, based upon best practices guidelines set out by the government and the RDCSO, will help ensure the safety of our patients during this unprecedented time.

Yonge Eglinton Dental in Toronto: Putting the Safety of Our Patients First

If you have any questions about how we put the safety of our patients first, or have any concerns about your overall oral health, give Yonge Eglinton Dental a call today at 416-932-2222 or visit us online to book an appointment. We look forward to hearing from you!