Welcome patients: how dental clinics prepared for return

The pandemic has hit almost every industry hard, bringing additional costs and challenges that seem unfinished in 2020. Believe it or not, healthcare has encountered the biggest hurdles of all. The industry needed to evolve quickly and efficiently as it is the cutting edge sector against the virus. Medical institutions have managed to adapt with the help of telehealth technology.

It was a work in progress before Covid-19 turned into a pandemic, but they had to prepare it for global use was pretty desperate. The same cannot be said of other branches of health. Mental health services were among the most disrupted health sectors in the world. Dental care, however, is not far off the list.

Fortunately, dental clinics have made favorable adjustments amid the pandemic. Along with the easing of the lockdown measure, these changes have made dental care safer for patients and staff.

Adjustment of the establishment to social distancing protocols

Dental clinics had to go out of business during the pandemic as every process within the industry involved touching the mouths of other people. The service alone is a violation of social distancing protocols. Dental problems haven’t stopped for people. Although patients may not continue with dental cleaning and maintenance sessions, few oral problems still require immediate attention.

There is not much clinics can do about dental procedures. This does not mean that they cannot adapt the environment to health and safety. As a result, dental clinics are investing heavily in integrating social distancing protocols. The practice is to limit patient exposure to crowded areas.

Appointments are more stringent, with establishments spending more time cleaning up before letting the next customer inside the establishment. Physical barriers, adequate ventilation and testing procedures quickly became part of the process of protecting civilians and dentists. It may mean investing heavily in more equipment and materials, but it all serves to make the dental clinic a safer place.

Provision of personal protective equipment

Any public space could be dangerous for another person. It is difficult to tell if people who visited the dental clinic before you had the virus. Therefore, wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) is necessary for your dental session.

However, the clinics had to follow the procedure themselves. Dental practitioners must protect patients, even if it is from themselves. They will wear PPE all the time, changing their equipment between care of different patients. Clinics should also provide PPE for patients who are unsure of what to buy. Among the PPE equipment are surgical masks. Patients may not wear it during the procedure, but dentists should still have it on at all times.

Accordingly, the purchase of an inventory of PPE will be part of the company’s expenses. This can mean an additional category for the business budget, but it’s about ensuring that everyone in the building stays safe. Dental procedures are already high risk situations for both dentist and patient. With PPE, the risk of infection and spread of Covid-19 decreases.

Additional hygienic and sanitary steps

There is a good chance that patients will enter rooms and chairs previously used by the person before their appointment. Cleanup typically takes less than two minutes before the pandemic hits. Gambling could be fatal because of covid-19. As a result, dental clinics take longer to clean dental rooms before inviting the next patient inside.

Additional procedures such as more in-depth hand hygiene practices, disinfection processes, and air purification systems have become an integral part of preparing the room for the next patient. This could mean a longer wait time for the next client, which means financial losses for dental clinics. It is an essential part of the social distancing protocols that businesses must accomplish.

Invest in more dental tools per patient

It can be hard to believe that dentists use the same dental tools and equipment for patients. Although there is a sanitation and sterilization process between procedures, people might not want this scenario to happen to them during a global pandemic.

Dental clinics are investing heavily in restocking supplies to ensure more time for hygienic and sanitary procedures. Although it does not take a long time to sterilize the equipment, extra precautions can help make patients feel more secure. However, more dental tools mean more costs for dental clinics. Replenishing supplies while treating fewer patients means financial losses, leading to business disruptions or closures. Clinics must bring relief to patients.

Dental care remains vital despite the pandemic. Clinics should always be available as most dental problems can have long-term consequences if patients do not treat them. It is undeniable that the global crisis is making everything difficult. The adjustments made by dental clinics make the process safer and healthier, even if it means more costs.

Larry A. Schroeder