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COVID-19 : What to expect at the dental office ?

Getting Dental Care During a Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has made it harder for some Canadians to take care of their dental health. Thankfully, we are able to use our training as infection prevention and control experts to help keep dental offices safe during the pandemic. That means even more safety measures than before, such as extra personal protective equipment (PPE), changes to waiting rooms, advanced screenings, and touchless thermometers.

Dental problems are easier and less expensive to treat before you can see or feel them, which is why it’s important to resume your regular appointments so that your dentist can catch any problems early. Call your dentist and find out what your options are. Because the last thing you need this year is a toothache.

Your next appointment will be a little different than what you were used to. Dentists must follow the updated safety guidance from the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario and information from the Chief Medical Officer of Health when providing care during the pandemic. Here’s what you can expect.

  • Appointments will be spaced out to allow physical distancing and disinfecting between patients. This might mean less flexibility when scheduling your appointment.

  • You will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms both before your appointment and upon arrival at the dental office. Your temperature will be taken with a touchless thermometer when you arrive for your appointment.

  • You will be asked to wear a mask or face covering while in the office except during treatment.

  • Dental staff will be wearing more PPE than normal.

  • Your office may ask that you come alone. There may be exceptions for small children and people who require assistance. If a parent or caregiver is allowed, they will also be subject to screening measures.

  • You may be asked to call when you arrive and wait outside the dentist's office until your appointment. You would be notified when you can enter.

  • The waiting room will not be open to everyone. Chairs will be spaced two metres (or six feet) apart. There will be no magazines, toys, or any other non-essential items in the dental office.

  • Patients must clean their hands with a 70- to 90-per cent alcohol-based solution or soap and water when entering and leaving the dentist's office.

  • Your dental office may decide to keep its bathrooms closed to patients. If the bathrooms remain open, they’ll be disinfected between patients.

  • Plan to pay by touchless payment, such as credit card or Interac.

PLEASE stay home if you have flu-like symptoms (fever, cough, or difficulty breathing) or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19. If you are sick and have an upcoming dental appointment, call your dental office to report symptoms, reschedule, or ask about other care options.

We thank you for helping us keep our offices safe for everyone. We’re all in this together.

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