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How Social Distancing Takes Place in the Dental Office

May 20, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — stansbury @ 7:20 pm
A social distancing sticker placed on the floor.

While it’s clear that dental practices can make their offices safer by sanitizing commonly touched surfaces more often and including hand sanitization stations for patients and employees, these steps are only part of the solution. The other part is making sure that everyone within the dental office is maintaining a distance of at least six feet apart, as recommended by the American Dental Association and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. In such a tight-knit space, you’d wonder how a dentist in Tyler accomplishes that. Here are three ways how.

Virtual Waiting Rooms

Typically, patients would be asked to sit in a waiting room momentarily before the dentist or hygienist calls them in for their appointment. Unfortunately, spacing out chairs is not enough to practice social distancing in most dental offices. That is why the waiting area is often removed and patients are instead asked to wait in their cars before coming into the office. This means that the check-in process does not have to be done in the practice, reducing the amount of time that patients spend near other patients or employees.

Furthermore, making the waiting room virtual creates an option to bypass the reception area entirely, which guarantees that patients walk directly towards the operatory when it’s time for their appointment.

Expanded Patient Appointments

For many patients, it’s important that they get the time and attention they need to address dental concerns while feeling safe in the practice. This means more time is allotted to each individual patient, especially if they are at higher risk of getting sick or experiencing worse symptoms due to age or a pre-existing medical condition that affects their immune system. Giving people the time they need to address their concerns reduces the need for as many appointments in the future.

You may also find that offices are offering at-risk patient hours for those at higher risk of getting very sick if infected with COVID-19. At the end of the day, everyone needs routine dental care completed, but some patients (and families) generally need dedicated appointments where no one else is present to ensure their safety.

Spaced-Out Scheduling

Dental offices recognize that they cannot see as many patients in a given day in order to maintain social distancing. Of course, this isn’t the only reason they are reducing the number of scheduled appointments. This also gives team members enough time to clean and sanitize operatories and the practice overall in between dental visits. Dentists recognize this may make visits a little less convenient, but nothing is more important than the safety of their patients, and social distancing plays a major role in that process.

By staying six feet away from others, whether you’re at the dental office or running errands, you’re doing your part to reduce the spread of harmful viruses like COVID-19!

About the Author

Dr. Dennis Stansbury and his team take many advanced safety precautions to ensure the safety of their patients. Through social distancing, sequenced patient scheduling, and expanding patient appointments, his practice is doing his part to reduce spread of COVID-19 and ensure a safe and productive environment for team members and patients alike. To schedule an appointment, you can contact him through his website.

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