Dental Appointments and COVID-19
As the world slowly starts to open back up for business, many people have questions or concerns about dental appointments and COVID-19. Is it safe? Do I need to take precautions? Should I wear a mask? There have been a multitude of questions people are asking in regards to coming to the dentist post-coronavirus. We decided to clear the air and answer some of the most frequently asked questions we’ve been receiving about how to prepare for your upcoming dental appointments. Keep reading to learn more.
Preparing For Your First Visit
There will be several changes in our protocol for dental appointments and COVID-19. Before your appointment, as you fill out a health history, you can relax, have a cup of coffee, and watch television in our waiting room. Currently, we are only seeing patients on an emergency basis, but when we reopen to the general public, we will likely have a staggered schedule to minimize contact between patients in our waiting room. We will likely be taking patients temperatures before their appointments as well.
While we already maintain a sterile office, and have regular cleanings every day. We are also looking into several local coronavirus disinfection services to offer our patients more peace of mind. If you have questions or concerns prior to your appointment, we recommend calling our office ahead of time so we can help explain our new protocols.
During your cleaning, you can continue to relax as our hygenists perform your routine cleaning. Once your cleaning is complete, the doctor will check in and perform a thorough examination and discuss any concerns you may have. If necessary, we will prepare a treatment plan for any dental issues, or potential problems we find during the examination.
Dental Insurance Questions
At our office, we participate with and accept most dental insurances. We know how confusing dental insurance can be so we take the extra step of helping you fill out the forms and can even submit them on your behalf. You will only be responsible for any balance not covered by your insurance company.
If you have dental insurance, we do not charge up front; we bill the insurance company and collect the co-pay afterwards. This helps patients get the necessary dental treatment they need without having to be concerned about any upfront costs. If cost is an issue, we will work with you to find a payment plan that fits your budget. We also offer CareCredit with flexible financing options and zero percent interest rates. You can apply directly in our office and get a decision within minutes. If you need a dental appointments, don’t let finances of COVID-19 deter you from getting the care you need.
How Often Do I Need To See The Dentist?
Your frequency of visits to the dentist depends on the condition of the mouth. If a patient’s mouth is in good health, we recommend visits at least every six months. There are several warning signs that can arise that would cause a person to want to see a dentist sooner. These include but are not limited to tooth sensitivity, broken teeth, bleeding gums, or swelling.
If the patient has a buildup of plaque or is showing signs of the onset of gum disease, we would instead recommend a more proactive approach including checkups every three months. When a more advanced gum disease is present, we may even recommend alternating visits every three months between our practice and a periodontist. Every patient is different and our recommendations depend on the severity of their issue and the condition of their oral health. At a minimum, you should see the dentist at least every 6 months and maintain a good oral hygiene routine at home. If you have any questions about your dental visits and COVID-19, please feel free to contact our office for clarity.
Dental Appointments and COVID-19
If you do not have regular checkups with a dentist, much larger problems can occur. We like to catch things early. For instance, if a cavity develops, it is quicker and less expensive to treat it immediately. If a patient lets the cavity get to the nerve, a root canal and a crown may be necessary. These are all avoidable occurrences with regular visits as we can identify and treat the issues before the progress to the point of no return.
If you are feeling ill with symptoms of COVID-19 within 14 days of your appointment, we would ask that you contact us immediately as you may have already been carrying the virus at the time of your appointment. This will help us minimize the risk to any of our other patients and staff.
If you have any further questions about your dental appointments and COVID-19, please call and schedule a free consultation with experienced Amherst dentist Douglas Hamill DDS.