As per Gov. Ron DeSantis, dentists’ offices were allowed to fully open as of May 4 – after two months of only handling emergency procedures due to COVID-19.
Dr. Cary Berdy sat in on the News4Jax Morning Show on July 6 to discuss how the reopening has gone and what patients should be doing now to ensure healthy mouths amidst the continuing COVID concerns.
How Berdy Dental Has Changed from Pre-COVID to Now
Fortunately, our office is pretty much fully back to where we were pre-COVID at this point. While Berdy Dental Group has always taken particular pride in creating a very sterile environment, we’ve definitely made further enhancements to ensure everyone is as safe as possible. For instance:
- We have a staff illness policy in place that mandates that our staff must report illness and they are temperature checked when they come in.
- Patients complete a screening form and get their temperatures taken before they come in the offices. We have barriers in our reception area to help maintain safe social distancing, but we typically time appointments so that patients often go straight to a procedure room after they enter.
- Our offices’ ventilation systems have always filtered the air with UV light sterilization and a HEPA filter to keep contaminates out. But, with COVID concerns, we made further modifications, placing additional returns in all operatories to enhance air evacuation.
- We also work hard to protect our own team – for example, while treating patients for anything that can generate an aerosol, we wear face shields in addition to masks.
Advice for Those Still Nervous About Going to the Dentist During this Time
If you’re immunocompromised or at a higher risk for contracting coronavirus, it’s very much a personal choice whether you decide to head into our office – or your other health offices – for regular appointments again.
That said, it’s especially important for those who were previously diagnosed with a dental issue to get in before anything gets worse. Dental problems often quickly compound. For example, something that may have just been affecting one tooth or a portion of the gum, could easily cause more problems if left unchecked. Also, this pandemic has been constantly changing, and we simply never know if another shut-down could occur, so you may want to take advantage of dental care – including preventative maintenance – while you can.
Preventative care – such as regular cleanings – are incredibly important for catching often-undiagnosed issues such as gum disease or even oral cancer. There’s also a definite link between oral health and general health – and during this challenging time, we all want to be at our heathiest to fight off whatever may come our way.
How Oral Health and General Health are Connected
Your mouth is full of bacteria – mostly of it either harmless or taken care of by good oral hygiene, yet your mouth is the gateway to your digestive and respiratory tracts, and some of these bacteria can cause disease.
According to various studies, oral bacteria has been linked with endocarditis - an infection that can affect the heart’s inner lining, cardiovascular disease and even pneumonia.
With this in mind, protect your mouth by doing your own diligent dental care and visiting us for preventative care as you feel comfortable. And, for people currently experiencing dental pain, it’s very important to get care sooner than later.