What to Expect When You Go Back to the Dentist
As Governor Hutchinson and the Arkansas Department of Health prepare to allow dental offices to reopen, we want to offer some tips on navigating dental care while the COVID-19 outbreak is still in progress.
Like most other things right now, visiting your dentist will look different than it did before the outbreak began. Here are some important considerations:
Before Your Appointment
- Be sure to confirm your appoint at least 24 hours in advance by calling your dentist or replying to a text or email sent by the office.
- The office staff will most likely ask you a series of questions regarding your recent medical history to screen for possible COVID-19 infection.
- If you are not feeling well, consider rescheduling your dental appointment. This is especially true if you have a fever over 100 degrees, a non-productive cough, or shortness of breath.
- If you have a mask, please be sure to wear it to your appointment.
- Children ages 2 and older are encouraged to wear a mask.
- Children under the age of 2 should not wear a mask.
- Plan to come to the appointment by yourself unless you need someone to drive you. If someone comes with you, they may need to wait outside the office.
- One parent will be allowed to accompany children to their dental appointments.
When You Arrive at the Dentist’s Office
- Plan to wait in your car until notified by the office that they are ready for you. This eliminates patients being in the waiting room.
- When you come in the office, expect to have your temperature taken as part of your check-in process. You may also be asked a few more questions about your recent medical history.
- You’ll see fewer patients in the office as dentists are not scheduling as many patients during the day as they have in the past. This is in order to allow time for proper sanitization of patient areas, as well as maintaining social distance.
- Expect all staff members to be wearing masks while hygienists and dentists may have on more Personal Protection Equipment (P.P.E.) such as gowns and face shields.
- Before your procedure begins, you may be asked to rinse with mouthwash to kill any germs that are present.
Once Your Appointment is Over
- You may be given a facemask to wear if you did not bring one with you.
- Check outs will take place as quickly as possible in order to maintain social distancing for patients and the office staff.
Please be patient with your dentist’s office as they, and we all, learn to navigate this new way of life. Rest assured that any extra time keeping patients and staff at a proper social distance or sanitizing exam areas is spent making your safety top priority.
If you have questions about what safety measures will be in place during your next appointment, please contact your dentist’s office directly. If you need information about your dental benefits, please call our customer service team at 1-800-462-5410.