COVID-19 and Dental Assistants
Updated: Apr 15
COVID-19 has left all of us asking some serious questions. One of those questions is what should we expect the "new normal" to look like?
When COVID-19 first hit the United States, most Dental offices stopped doing elective procedures and were only seeing emergency patients. However, at the end of May, most Dental offices opened back up and began seeing elective patients again. So what does this mean for Dental Assistants and the Dental community as a whole? Below are some of the changes most offices made that we can expect to be “normal” for the foreseeable future.
Infection Control and Personal Protection: In a dental office, cleanliness and infection control are always important, and became even more so after the emergence of COVID-19. Keeping patients and dental office staff healthy are major priorities for dental assistants. At a dental office, patient rooms are cleaned thoroughly after each patient, usually by dental assistants, and all equipment is sanitized several times. Offices and common areas are also regularly cleaned and disinfected.
Screening and Social Distancing: Patients at most dental offices are screened for COVID-19 symptoms or exposure before being allowed back for their appointment. In several offices, patients are even asked to wait in their car until the office staff comes to get them. Temperatures and other screening measures are required of anyone who enters the dental office, and all patients and staff are required to wear masks (with the exception of patients being worked on in the operatory).
We can all do our part to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and protect ourselves from exposure. Dental assistants always have an important role to play in protecting patients and staff and cleaning and taking care of office facilities, and these jobs are now more important than ever.