The COVID-19 outbreak has brought modifications to dental care services in Colorado Springs. During the onset of the pandemic, discussions had centered on how to sustain safe oral healthcare and adjust common dental procedures to control the dispersion of the virus.
Like other health care professionals, dental staff were at the highest risk of acquiring COVID-19. Hence, these providers ought to implement standard measures more cautiously to avert contamination. Some things have to be compromised to prioritize safety as a response to the changes brought by the crisis.
Here are the effects of COVID-19 on dentist offices in Colorado Springs:
- Client Restrictions Inside the Office
Due to adherence to health measures, there are alternative mechanisms for patient and visitor interactions in Colorado Springs. Scheduling of appointments is preferred to reduce the number of clients in the waiting area. For this reason, if you’re about to visit a nearby dentist office, head on to sites like https://balotadentistry.com/ to set a schedule and minimize overlapping appointments.
Upon patient arrival, patients have to undergo forehead temperature checks before they enter. Anyone with a temperature of 100.4 F (38 C) had to be rescheduled. Likewise, only one childcare provider is allowed to enter and assist the young patient.
After checking in, patients may opt to wait in their vehicles or outside the dental office and are phoned only when it’s their turn for treatment. When possible, seating arrangements in waiting rooms have to be, at least, six feet apart. All of these measures are designed to avoid crowded waiting areas and to control the spread of infection.
Moreover, asymptomatic dental patients are considered as potential carriers. For this reason, dentist offices have to carry out routine screening systems for both patients and their staff. This is to initially ensure that both symptomatic and recently exposed staff quarantine themselves for everyone’s safety.
- Postpone Elective Procedures to Prioritize Emergency Care
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way dentists see their patients on different levels. For many dental offices in Colorado Springs, this resulted in seeing fewer patients in a day and scheduling only those who are in need of immediate care. Hence, if you lose a tooth in an accident, immediately schedule an appointment through sites like https://balotadentistry.com/dental-implants/ for your emergency dental implant.
Non-urgent procedures are placed aside to cater to crucial dental cases. Seeing your dentist for regular checkups can be quite complicated now; nonetheless, all of these are done to promote social distancing and prioritize dental issues which cannot be delayed.
However, when unprecedented problems arise due to limited access to routine dental care, immediately speak to your dentist about it. He may be able to create exceptions for special cases such as this.
- Proper Sanitation and Wearing of PPE for Staff and Patient Safety
Dental professionals are familiar with safety measures to avert the spread of infection either directly or via cross-contamination.
The practice of dentistry incorporates the usage of rotary dental and surgical tools. To note, these instruments generate visible sprays that can hold droplets of water, saliva, blood, microorganisms, and other debris. Moreover, surgical masks may shield mucous membranes of the mouth and nose from droplet spatter; however, these do not provide total protection against the inhalation of infectious agents.
For this reason, dental offices in Colorado Springs have to ensure proper sanitization and disposal of replaceable tools after every patient. Staff members also have to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) to ensure not just their safety, but their patient’s as well.
Moreover, all public dental areas — treatment rooms, restrooms, and waiting rooms — are sanitized with medical-grade disinfectant sprays as per Center for Disease Control and Prevention or CDC guidelines. This also includes high touch spaces such as equipment, counters, and chairs.
Offices in Colorado Springs have to change their dental practices to let patients know that they can still receive safe and trusted treatment and care. In turn, patients may be able to feel satisfied and willing to see their dentists. Notably, this is one way to boost profitability, particularly during this economic crisis when most businesses waned.
- Offering Assistance through Teledental Health Services
Dental office closures and limited hours in Colorado Springs have brought challenges in providing dental care and support. It has also financially affected dental staff who are paid per hour.
As an alternative, teledentistry services were introduced to some Colorado Springs patients. This enables dental offices to reach more patients who lack access, lived afar, or who are hesitant to visit the clinic due to fear of infection.
Teledental health systems aim to provide care as well as collect and exchange information with a licensed dentist. Its objective also involves offering dental care delivery, diagnosis, consultation, treatment, and transfer of dental information and education. These services continue to provide work for dental staff too.
- Laid Off Staff
Inevitably, due to the crisis brought by the pandemic, dental offices in Colorado Springs have to retrench few employees.
Forced office closure and restricted operations have led to fewer patients which, consequently, equate to less revenue. In spite of the options of teledentistry services, there were few dental offices that were not able to cope with the losses. Hence, they had to minimize the number of their staff members. Hopefully, today, as borders reopen and practices return to normal, staff members can have their jobs back to accommodate the surging number of patient visits.
The Current Situation of Dental Offices in Colorado Springs
Unlike other small businesses, most dental clinic owners in Colorado Springs have adequate assets to withstand business interruptions for longer periods, particularly with the implemented public support initiatives. In spite of this, there were other dental offices which had to permanently close due to irregular operations and deferral of revenue. It was a different scenario for each dental office.
Summing It Up
The COVID-19 pandemic altered dental health practice and treatment methods in Colorado Springs. It challenged clinics to improve routine dental service and find alternatives to care for patients. Despite the strict adjustments, the transition became quite bearable for the majority due to the aid of technological advancements and the cooperation of both patient and dental care provider.