Safe

A visit to the dentist will get expensive. But is it safe to book an appointment during the pandemic?

WASHINGTON: Is it safe to visit the dentist during the COVID-19 pandemic? Dentists can’t eliminate all risk, but they are taking steps to minimize the chances of spreading the coronavirus.

You’ll likely notice changes as soon as you enter the office. Many dentists have removed magazines from waiting rooms, for example, as well as some chairs to encourage social distancing.

They also are spacing out appointments to avoid crowding their offices.

You may be asked to arrive for your appointment with a facial covering and to wait in your car until equipment is cleaned and the dentist is ready. Before receiving care, you can also expect staff to take your temperature and ask about COVID-19 symptoms.

Procedures are changing, too.

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Some dentists are charging for all the extra gear, so ask in advance if you should expect extra costs.

Coronavirus is spread mainly through droplets people spray when

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Dental offices have begun seeing patients return for routine procedures. Seattle dentist Kathleen Saturay has increased the layers of protective equipment she wears when treating patients.

Elaine Thompson/AP


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Elaine Thompson/AP

Dental offices have begun seeing patients return for routine procedures. Seattle dentist Kathleen Saturay has increased the layers of protective equipment she wears when treating patients.

Elaine Thompson/AP

Add dental visits to the list of services you can book now or shortly as cities, counties and states continue to modify their months-long stay-at-home orders aimed at reducing COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations.

Dental offices were largely shuttered across the United States after being advised in March by the American Dental Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to close their practices to all but emergency care. Many closed entirely.

The hope was that by allowing dentists to continue to treat serious cases — such as

Read More

Is It Safe To Go Back To The Dentist, Despite Surging Coronavirus Cases? : Shots

Dental offices have begun seeing patients return for routine procedures, and are working under updated CDC guidance regarding the coronavirus pandemic. Seattle dentist Kathleen Saturay has increased the layers of PPE she wears when treating patients, among other precautions.

Elaine Thompson/AP


hide caption

toggle caption

Elaine Thompson/AP

Dental offices have begun seeing patients return for routine procedures, and are working under updated CDC guidance regarding the coronavirus pandemic. Seattle dentist Kathleen Saturay has increased the layers of PPE she wears when treating patients, among other precautions.

Elaine Thompson/AP

Add dental visits to the list of services you can book now or shortly, as cities, counties and states continue to modify their months-long stay at home orders aimed at reducing COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations.

Dental offices were largely shuttered across the United States after being advised in March by the American Dental Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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Is It Safe to Go to the Dentist Again?

At Dr. Todd Bertman’s office, the receptionist wears a plastic face shield. So do the hygienist and the nine doctors in the practice in Manhattan’s East Village.

Dr. Bertman reopened the office two weeks ago after closing it in March in response to the coronavirus pandemic. In another change from the past, he has switched from ultrasonic cleaners that spray water and saliva into the air to laser instruments.

The dentists and hygienists wear head-to-toe personal protective equipment that they change between appointments, a time-consuming, awkward ritual that requires them to take off booties, gowns, goggles, masks, gloves and the shields and replace them with clean ones.

“It’s like changing out of a spacesuit,” Dr. Bertman said. “It’s annoying as hell but this is what it kind of comes down to until we find a vaccine.”

As of June 19, every state had allowed dentists’ offices to reopen for all

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Is it safe to go to the dentist? What doctors are doing to prevent the spread of the coronavirus

America’s dental offices are reopening after months of handling only emergencies. All 50 states now allow routine dental care, like teeth cleanings and cavity fillings, but dentistry is considered one of the highest risk professions for the coronavirus.

“If someone asked me in January, ‘Hey, ever think about taking three months off from dentistry?’ And I’d be like, ‘Yeah, when I retire.’ It was never on my radar that we would have to shut down for this long,” Dr. Peter Shatz, the chairman of the Georgia Dental Association’s COVID-19 Innovation Task Force, told CBS News senior medical correspondent Dr. Tara Narula. 

He’s one of the people trying to help dentists navigate complicated guidance from the state, OSHA and CDC on how to reopen safely.

“We were stood up to help our members better understand the complexities of the coronavirus … from science, research, availability of PPE,” Shatz said.

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