How Does Social Distancing Apply in the Dental Clinic?

dental chair

Every business made adjustments to the COVID-19 pandemic. People are in grave danger every time they leave the house to purchase products or services. Companies must act responsibly by ensuring that their establishments are the safest versions for customers, hence adjustments for social distancing.

Retail stores reduce the number of people that enter the store simultaneously while limiting displays to avoid overcrowding. Service spaces like massage parlors or barbershops are also doing the same thing. Employees also have to follow social distancing protocols to ensure their safety amid the pandemic, wearing personal protective equipment and keeping their distance from customers.

However, it can be challenging to pursue adjustments when the procedure requires physical interaction at people’s most vulnerable body parts. One of those businesses is the dental care industry. Dentists have to treat patients by putting their hands on the latter’s mouths.

Unfortunately, that situation makes spreading COVID-19 a risk every time it happens on the dentist’s chair. There are no known alternatives to it, which means social distancing could be challenging to pursue. However, it doesn’t mean that the areas around the procedure can’t change. Here are a few adjustments dental clinics follow to keep patients safe amid the pandemic.

Reception Area Adjustment

Dental procedures take time, which means patients might have to wait in line before receiving treatment. As a result, dental clinics have waiting rooms to accommodate those people. The area might fill up fast, especially when the patient’s procedure currently in session requires a lot of time. The waiting room must follow social distancing protocols, which means a limited number of people in the area.

Fortunately, dental clinics can utilize technology to accomplish the feat. Sending automated messages to the next patient ensures they can safely enter the room, limiting interactions or overcrowding in the area. Dental clinics must also remind patients that only one guest is acceptable. Usually, those establishments have plenty of things to entertain or distract people while waiting for their session.

Magazines, newspapers, board games, and other materials might be present in the past, but they should no longer be inside the waiting area. Limiting the items that people can touch makes sanitation easier for your staff. The adjustment ensures that patients only have to worry about the dental procedure instead of getting infected with COVID-19.

Online Appointment Schedule

woman looking at her teeth

Dental clinics usually welcome walk-in patients, especially when the dentist’s schedule is free. Catering to more patients means more profit. However, the pandemic turned the strategy into a risk. Limiting the number of patients in the establishment requires anticipation. If people need to visit the dentist, they must schedule an appointment beforehand. The strategy allows the staff to sanitize and prepare the establishment for the patient’s arrival. As a result, a person seeking dental services might have to book a session for the following day.

However, people might encounter emergencies where immediate treatment is necessary. Dental replacements are among those situations. An impacted wisdom tooth might also fall under that category. Should crises like those happen, patients can still inform the clinic beforehand.

An online schedule appointment and an open business line ensure that people can book their appointments without issues. Walk-ins might happen from time to time, but receiving information about a patient’s arrival might be all the things clinics need to ensure that the place is as safe and healthy as possible.

Personal Protective Equipment in Procedures

Patients on the dentist’s chair know the routine they have to go through. The dentist will be using their hands, with sterilized gloves, to assess and treat any dental issues you might have. Unfortunately, the procedure is a violation of social distancing protocols. There is no way around it, but dental care is an essential service that risking might be a necessary choice.

However, it won’t stop dentists from taking cautionary measures. They will wear personal protective equipment, with sterilized gloves and surgical masks being the top priorities. Dental tools will require thorough cleaning, especially those interacting with the teeth and gums. Fortunately, those processes are already part of the service even before the pandemic. Dentists might not find it challenging to adjust the procedure because it only involves a few minor tweaks.

Dental clinics suffered from a reduced number of patients every day amid the pandemic. However, dental care remains essential for people. It might be costly to pursue those significant changes, but they can help prevent the further spread of COVID-19. Dental clinics will make the adjustments necessary for social distancing, even for the procedures themselves. The resiliency deserves praise, making dental clinics a healthy environment amid the global crisis.


About the Author

Scroll to Top