The worldwide COVID pandemic has altered our lives in many ways. Not the least of which has been the unforeseen effects on our oral health.
IN THE BEGINNING
During the initial phase of the pandemic, we in the dental field witnessed an increase in the number of cracked teeth, broken fillings, and patients experiencing jaw pain. These are all related to stress-induced clenching and grinding of teeth. Our jaws are capable of applying an extreme amount of force. Existing restorations, and even previously untreated teeth can be broken, chipped, or otherwise affected.
THE SECOND PHASE
While most dental offices re-opened quickly after a mandated shutdown, many people did not maintain regular dental cleanings and exams due to COVID fears. As we enter the third year of the pandemic, we are witnessing another phase of COVID-related dental issues.
Many of those who forewent regular check-ups are now dealing with multiple cavities due to changes in eating habits and decreased home oral hygiene. Cavities that may have been detected are now large and are causing loss of healthy tooth structure, dental infections, and even tooth loss. Additionally, many are experiencing painful and bleeding gums due to lack of a professional dental cleaning.
THE DENTAL OFFICE IS SAFE!
Dental personnel have practiced “Universal Precautions” since well before the COVID era. This concept dictates that each patient be treated as if they have an infectious disease. Each team member wears personal protective equipment that protects themselves as well as the patient. Surfaces are disinfected between patients, and we observe a strict sterilization protocol for our reusable instruments. Our sterilizers are monitored and checked monthly for their effectiveness.
Additionally, NOT A SINGLE TEAM MEMBER in our office has had COVID. While that may change, it highlights the habits we practice in our professional and personal lives.
Don’t become a dental COVID statistic! Maintain your cleanings and exams, and rest assured that we are looking after your best interest.
*Pyorrhea is an old term for gum disease.
Dr. Michael Gillespie has practiced dentistry in Waynesville, NC for 28 years. His award-winning team has the experience and skill to provide for your entire family.