Dentist/Dental hygienist? (in times of COVID)

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blackcat allie
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Dentist/Dental hygienist? (in times of COVID)

Post by blackcat allie »

Would you guys cancel an appointment to dentist office? It's a fairly small office, albeit with open plan. They are very good with disinfecting etc.
(Personally I'm torn, part of me says go now, before it gets worse. I realize this is elective though, not in great pain).
Thanks for input/ stay safe BH's. Pardon if this exact topic has been covered elsewhere - I've appointment in a few hours.
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ResearchMed
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Re: Dentist/Dental hygienist? (in times of COVID)

Post by ResearchMed »

blackcat allie wrote: Wed Mar 18, 2020 8:24 am Would you guys cancel an appointment to dentist office? It's a fairly small office, albeit with open plan. They are very good with disinfecting etc.
(Personally I'm torn, part of me says go now, before it gets worse. I realize this is elective though, not in great pain).
Thanks for input/ stay safe BH's. Pardon if this exact topic has been covered elsewhere - I've appointment in a few hours.
If any of us were in pain or needed some actual procedure (something that could no easily wait months), we would go!

But for something strictly elective, or just a regularly scheduled cleaning, we'd cancel.

Just last week, we cancelled MIL's dental cleaning. Ours are coming up at a time when we'll probably want/need to reschedule.

I wonder if the hygienist will be scaling (oops - no pun intended!) back her hours?

RM
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Kenkat
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Re: Dentist/Dental hygienist? (in times of COVID)

Post by Kenkat »

My dentist has cancelled all routine hygenie visits and are only taking people who need procedures to address current dental issues.
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SmileyFace
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Re: Dentist/Dental hygienist? (in times of COVID)

Post by SmileyFace »

My dentist just closed for 3 weeks. I am surprised yours hasn't canceled on you.
Nowizard
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Re: Dentist/Dental hygienist? (in times of COVID)

Post by Nowizard »

Consider your circumstances. Obviously, if there are issues with your teeth, go. In my case, being elderly, having no problems and knowing there is research that indicates six month cleanings are not necessary for those with excellent hygiene led me to delay an elective procedure. Same question applies to getting a haircut. What are others doing in that regard?

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runner3081
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Re: Dentist/Dental hygienist? (in times of COVID)

Post by runner3081 »

I have an appointment on the 25th and plan to go. As of yesterday, they are still open.

For the haircut question, my wife does a quick shave. That one is easy!
Lalamimi
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Re: Dentist/Dental hygienist? (in times of COVID)

Post by Lalamimi »

Headed to my dentist in an hour to get my permanent 3 crown bridge. Small office, downtown Houston, everyone in building probably working from home. DH will drop me at door and wait in car. They rescheduled it from next week as they are closing after tomorrow. Mainly going because I don't want a temp for 6 months.
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burgrat
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Re: Dentist/Dental hygienist? (in times of COVID)

Post by burgrat »

All organizations, such as the CDC, ADA, and state dental organizations are recommending to do emergency care only for the next 2-3 weeks. It varies by state at this point, but within the next day or two I think this will be nationwide consensus. I would call your office if they have not cancelled on you yet. They should be available for emergencies as this will help keep people from going to the emergency room at this time.
njuser
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Re: Dentist/Dental hygienist? (in times of COVID)

Post by njuser »

I would go and get it taken care of. Our dentist just notified us that they will be closed for two weeks.
clip651
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Re: Dentist/Dental hygienist? (in times of COVID)

Post by clip651 »

If it is not urgent, please cancel.
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JonnyDVM
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Re: Dentist/Dental hygienist? (in times of COVID)

Post by JonnyDVM »

Kenkat wrote: Wed Mar 18, 2020 8:37 am My dentist has cancelled all routine hygenie visits and are only taking people who need procedures to address current dental issues.
Mine did as well. This is high risk activity for staff. Anything that’s not urgent should be moved.
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earlyout
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Re: Dentist/Dental hygienist? (in times of COVID)

Post by earlyout »

I had my teeth cleaned last Thursday using an appointment I had made 6 months ago at my last visit to the hygienist. My thought was that the dentist's office is cleaner and less likely to be contaminated than anyplace else.
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cheese_breath
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Re: Dentist/Dental hygienist? (in times of COVID)

Post by cheese_breath »

I'd cancel if you can wait it out. Of all the mouths your dentist has been in who knows if one of them might have been infected and passed it on to him or her.
The surest way to know the future is when it becomes the past.
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greg24
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Re: Dentist/Dental hygienist? (in times of COVID)

Post by greg24 »

I had an appt for later this month. They called yesterday and said the state board of health was asking them to reschedule any non-emergency work.

They wanted me to select a date in April and instead I just cancelled. I didn't want to have to cancel once April arrived.
Mako
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Re: Dentist/Dental hygienist? (in times of COVID)

Post by Mako »

I actually went on Monday for a routine check up/cleaning. They were constantly sanitizing everything and all patients had to wash hands on arrival and sign consent forms.

Tuesday they announced they were closing until further notice for all non-emergency work.

At the time I was 50-50 so I went as I had a sensitive spot and had no idea when I'd get to go again, but things have changed. If I had the choice today (and they were open) I would not go.
RudyS
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Re: Dentist/Dental hygienist? (in times of COVID)

Post by RudyS »

blackcat allie wrote: Wed Mar 18, 2020 8:24 am Would you guys cancel an appointment to dentist office? It's a fairly small office, albeit with open plan. They are very good with disinfecting etc.
(Personally I'm torn, part of me says go now, before it gets worse. I realize this is elective though, not in great pain).
Thanks for input/ stay safe BH's. Pardon if this exact topic has been covered elsewhere - I've appointment in a few hours.
You said elective, and also "not in great pain". If you are in pain at all, the likelihood is that without treatment it will get worse, not better. I'd go now.
yohac
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Re: Dentist/Dental hygienist? (in times of COVID)

Post by yohac »

Just got back from getting a permanent crown. My dentist is only doing those and emergencies, limited hours. Routine stuff is cancelled.
newDDS
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Re: Dentist/Dental hygienist? (in times of COVID)

Post by newDDS »

As a dentist myself I would recommend only going if you are in pain, are in a temporary crown/bridge or have decay that the dentist states will progress to root canal/will be hurting in next few weeks.

We as dentists and hygienists were listed in the top 3 of occupations most susceptible to contracting the virus due to constantly creating aeresol out of whats in the oral cavity.

Most offices will be mandated to move to strictly emergency tx but currently these are just the reccomendations and each business has the decision what they want to do.
quantAndHold
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Re: Dentist/Dental hygienist? (in times of COVID)

Post by quantAndHold »

My dentist claims to still be open for routine appointments, but I personally wouldn’t go unless I had something urgent.
Yes, I’m really that pedantic.
SGM
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Re: Dentist/Dental hygienist? (in times of COVID)

Post by SGM »

I had an appointment for today, but the office is now closed for a few weeks. I may delay teeth cleaning for an indefinite period.
URSnshn
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Re: Dentist/Dental hygienist? (in times of COVID)

Post by URSnshn »

At this point I would only go to the dentist for emergency purposes. Mine is currently closed. Those that I know of that are open are screening people and being very cautious.
OnTrack2020
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Re: Dentist/Dental hygienist? (in times of COVID)

Post by OnTrack2020 »

If it is a routine procedure, I would reschedule. Am planning to reschedule a cleaning I have in a few weeks.

I did have a root canal a few weeks ago--had been having pain since early/mid February and am glad that procedure was handled. Who would have thought all this would have occurred?

Also, our son had an appointment scheduled for wisdom teeth removal next week, but dental office called to reschedule. But said if there is a lot of pain to call and they'll work him in.

I think most dentists offices will see you for pain/emergency-related dental visits if they are still open.
adamthesmythe
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Re: Dentist/Dental hygienist? (in times of COVID)

Post by adamthesmythe »

newDDS wrote: Wed Mar 18, 2020 9:31 am As a dentist myself I would recommend only going if you are in pain, are in a temporary crown/bridge or have decay that the dentist states will progress to root canal/will be hurting in next few weeks.
While I am not a dentist, this is what I would do. Temporaries have a way of becoming...unattached.
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blackcat allie
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Re: Dentist/Dental hygienist? (in times of COVID)

Post by blackcat allie »

newDDS wrote: Wed Mar 18, 2020 9:31 am As a dentist myself I would recommend only going if you are in pain, are in a temporary crown/bridge or have decay that the dentist states will progress to root canal/will be hurting in next few weeks.

We as dentists and hygienists were listed in the top 3 of occupations most susceptible to contracting the virus due to constantly creating aeresol out of whats in the oral cavity.

Most offices will be mandated to move to strictly emergency tx but currently these are just the reccomendations and each business has the decision what they want to do.
Thank you for your (free!) consultation. Seriously though, hope you and your brave coworkers are staying safe.
When I called the office, they were very nice about last minute cancellation, but said they are operating as usual.

It's the aerosol part that concerns me, and the open floor plan.
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donfairplay
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Re: Dentist/Dental hygienist? (in times of COVID)

Post by donfairplay »

I have a temporary crown and was waiting for a permanent crown to be installed next week.

One week into the temporary crown, my dentist said he was closing the office down for 2 weeks. Plus an additional week after it was cancelled because it was a vacation week or a week in which he wasn't taking patients.

Plus its a front tooth. So yea four weeks and a few days with a temporary crown...

I think its fair to say that I am eating soft foods, and hoping the temporary emergency cement works if I lose the temporary. Otherwise I have to go to emergency dental care.
new2bogle
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Re: Dentist/Dental hygienist? (in times of COVID)

Post by new2bogle »

I am in this exact situation. The dentist has shutdown his practice for a few weeks. However, they are taking patients that need to be seen (as determined by the dentist), of which I happen to be one. I believe this is the correct way to handle the situation.
TresBelle65
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Re: Dentist/Dental hygienist? (in times of COVID)

Post by TresBelle65 »

I learned on Friday that my oral surgeon passed away from COVID in July of this year.

My most recent appointment with him was back in February when he placed my implant. I called this morning to schedule a follow up.

This is sad news. He was a great guy.

They have referred me to another surgeon in their office.

Now I am extremely hesitant and am considering postponing any further dental appointments until 2021.

My location is NoVA, about 25 miles west of DC. The rates here have stabilized and yet....

Are you currently keeping your dental appointments or rescheduling? location probably matters if you care to share.

Thanks
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JoMoney
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Re: Dentist/Dental hygienist? (in times of COVID)

Post by JoMoney »

FWIW, I would have postponed my regular checkup/cleaning appointment to next year, but I had a series of dental issues, so I went. I wouldn't put off getting any present medical issue looked at out of fear of the unknown risk of being exposed COVID and the unknown personal reaction to that. That's just not the way I want to live, and I don't think most people do... we've skewed things because COVID has been given so much focus and presence of mind that it feels like somehow avoiding COVID specifically should have some higher priority over other things.
I won't be traveling anywhere by plane/train/bus this year, primarily because of COVID, but there are people I will visit for the holidays next year regardless of what the COVID or other 'flu season' outlook looks like. Why the difference next year? I don't know, it just feels like I'll have had enough of this and the social consequences of not living my life long before then.
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clip651
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Re: Dentist/Dental hygienist? (in times of COVID)

Post by clip651 »

TresBelle65 wrote: Sun Oct 04, 2020 10:09 am I learned on Friday that my oral surgeon passed away from COVID in July of this year.

My most recent appointment with him was back in February when he placed my implant. I called this morning to schedule a follow up.

This is sad news. He was a great guy.

They have referred me to another surgeon in their office.

Now I am extremely hesitant and am considering postponing any further dental appointments until 2021.

My location is NoVA, about 25 miles west of DC. The rates here have stabilized and yet....

Are you currently keeping your dental appointments or rescheduling? location probably matters if you care to share.

Thanks
Sorry to hear about the death of your oral surgeon.

We are a high risk household, so we are putting off everything not essential or emergent for now if close in person contact is required. If/when case levels in our area get really low, we may rethink that, but that hasn't happened yet here since things started in March. So for now, no in person dental care for us unless there is an emergency such as a painful condition, or evidence of an abscess, etc.

Speaking for myself, I'd rather need dentures later, than deal with Covid this year (or next year, unless things improve a lot soon) for myself or vulnerable family members. Or perhaps need a crown down the road, when a timely filling may have prevented that, etc. And I don't think in my particular case that delaying dental care for a while will put me in dentures later. There have been plenty of years in my life when I didn't keep up with dentist visits because I was too busy with work, school, caregiving, etc. Not that I recommend delaying dental care in general, of course. But 2020 sure doesn't feel to me like the time to stay right up to date when I am a high risk person in a high risk household.

We have other friends who are in their 60s and 70s that are continuing important but not necessarily urgent dental care (these are procedures where were planned pre-Covid, and are continuing now). They are aware of the risks, and for them they don't want to hold off on dental care. I am nervous for them, to be honest. But I think it is a very individual decision, with risk tolerance of the individual and the urgency of the dental care coming into play. I feel badly for the dentists and other staff at dental offices who must choose whether risks of working are acceptable, or whether to avoid working in their profession.

I think any good dentist will be taking excellent precautions. But procedures that require patients to open their mouths with no masks on inherently risk virus getting into the air. And then being a patient with an open mouth will have some risk of exposure if anyone infected has been in the office recently. Similar in some ways to the risk of going to restaurants for in person dining in some ways, though the dentists will certainly take more precautions than the average restaurant. But the problem is the same - you can't eat with a mask on. And the dentist can't work on you with a mask on either. And same for all the other patrons or patients coming through.
MJS
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Re: Dentist/Dental hygienist? (in times of COVID)

Post by MJS »

I'm in the vulnerable population, and lost a filling recently. Decided to use drugstore DIY cavity filing for 6 months, until healthcare workers are vaccinated.

Note: DIY dentistry really needs eyeballs on stalks so you can see what you're doing. Although I suppose putting an eye in your mouth is pretty icky...
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cheese_breath
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Re: Dentist/Dental hygienist? (in times of COVID)

Post by cheese_breath »

Sorry, I couldn't resist this DIY dental lesson.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tcj0Ui73164
The surest way to know the future is when it becomes the past.
InMyDreams
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Re: Dentist/Dental hygienist? (in times of COVID)

Post by InMyDreams »

I mentioned on a similar thread that I was somewhat taken aback when I had my teeth cleaned at the beginning of September. Glad it wasn't now, when our positive test rate has trebled (or worse).

But not all dental work can be safely postponed. Ignored infections can be life threatening, and the first symptom may be pain.

I wonder if a University setting would be better for close adherence to protection protocols? It's more than just an office deciding what they will and won't implement - there's probably some infection control person mandating compliance from on high.

But I would definitely inquire before going about the precautions they are taking. If you can get your hands on it - bring your dentist and the dentist's assistant an N95 - without valve.

Crazy times.
Starfish
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Re: Dentist/Dental hygienist? (in times of COVID)

Post by Starfish »

InMyDreams wrote: Mon Oct 05, 2020 10:20 am But I would definitely inquire before going about the precautions they are taking. If you can get your hands on it - bring your dentist and the dentist's assistant an N95 - without valve.
If the dentist wants to wear an N95 they already have it. If not, they will not start using yours.
N95 is that is (physically) very hard to use for the entire day for all the patients.
mega317
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Re: Dentist/Dental hygienist? (in times of COVID)

Post by mega317 »

I would have no hesitation. Have you heard of outbreaks or even one case linked to an outpatient health care setting?
https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=6212
clip651
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Re: Dentist/Dental hygienist? (in times of COVID)

Post by clip651 »

mega317 wrote: Mon Oct 05, 2020 2:08 pm I would have no hesitation. Have you heard of outbreaks or even one case linked to an outpatient health care setting?
Well, this article from University of Pennsylvania indicates that primary care physicians were certainly represented among those who died of Covid 19. That implies that they may have been able to transmit to some of their patients while they were infected (e.g. prior to the doctor developing symptoms):

https://www.pennmedicine.org/news/news- ... om-covid19

Precautions to protect health care workers are much better now, so hopefully the risk to the doctors, staff, and patients is lower.

But for a patient, indoor activities that require mask removal while around other people (like dental care) seem logically to present some risk. Whether it is an acceptable risk to an individual is something else (local disease spread, personal risk factors, urgency of the dental care, other factors).
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Re: Dentist/Dental hygienist? (in times of COVID)

Post by toofache32 »

mega317 wrote: Mon Oct 05, 2020 2:08 pm I would have no hesitation. Have you heard of outbreaks or even one case linked to an outpatient health care setting?
Only the thousands of health care providers that have contracted COVID. But other than that, nope.
mega317
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Re: Dentist/Dental hygienist? (in times of COVID)

Post by mega317 »

That wasn’t clear, I meant patients.
https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=6212
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