While some may opt to pause regular health care visits due to concerns related to Covid, it’s important to note that keeping current with health and dental appointments is essential to optimal health. When it comes to dental health, many oral and dental diseases can progress without symptoms, so regular monitoring may detect problems in their early stages or allow a patient to avoid them altogether with preventive measures.
At The Palisades Dentists and Palisades Surgical Arts, precautions are in place to ensure patient health and safety.
“Dental offices all over the world have been some of the most sterile places you may have encountered, and in the midst of the pandemic, have implemented even stricter protocols to minimize person-to-person contact and pathogen transmission,” says Cerisa Moncayo, of The Palisades Dentists. “Unlike with medical offices and hospitals, patients typically don’t see their dentist because they’re sick. To date, there has not been one reported case of contracted COVID-19 traced to a dental office.”
Here, she provides additional insight about dental care during the time of Covid.
Q. How often should people see their dentist to maintain good dental health?
A. On average, three times a year. For some, twice annually is sufficient, but for others four or more may be necessary to maintain their oral health.
Q. Are there increased risks of seeing a dentist during the Covid pandemic?
A. Not necessarily. During this unprecedented time, any activity outside of the home may seem like it could come with increased risk. However, the dental office is one of the more sterile environments you can find yourself in. Even pre-pandemic, dental offices would follow strict infection control protocols to minimize and eliminate microbial transmission and cross contamination. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Occupational Safety and Health Administration outlines Standard Precautions and Universal Precautions that every office adheres to.
Q. Has The Palisades Dentists and Palisades Surgical Arts taken additional safety measures during this time?
A. In addition to the normal strict standards of any surgery facility, our office has implemented screening of every patient and staff member. We are minimizing the procedures performed each day and the number of patients in the office. Our clinical and non-clinical staff wear additional Personal Protective Equipment, and the office regularly uses UVC and ozone sanitation technology to eliminate any airborne pathogens, including SARS-COV-2.
Q. What role does dental health have on overall health?
A. Oral health is very much linked to overall health and well-being. Medical conditions may affect oral health and vice versa. There are countless diseases of the oral environment that may impact other systems. Also, systemic diseases often show up in the mouth—hormonal imbalances, nutrient deficiencies, vascular and endocrine diseases, cancer and the list goes on.
Dental health and overall health are inextricably linked, and this physiological relationship even delves into the psychological realm of emotion and self-confidence when considering the functionality of a smile and the acts of chewing and speaking.
Q. As a dentist working closely with people, are you personally concerned about any health risks during this time?
A. Not any more than before the pandemic. Realistically, dentistry has always been a higher risk profession in terms of possible transmission of germs. However, our office takes pride in adhering to the CDC/OSHA and the CA Dept of Public Health guidelines to keep us and our patients safe. We feel much safer working on patients in our PPE than going to the grocery store where many more surfaces are touched by people who don’t have training in infection control and cross-contamination principles.
Q. What advice can you offer people who may be fearful about seeing a dentist during the Covid pandemic?
A. Every dental office was closed for elective care for at least a couple months during the “flattening the curve” attempt and was not allowed to re-open unless certain protocols were in place. At the end of the day, each individual just has to carry on and make decisions that they’re comfortable with.”
The Palisades Dentists and Palisades Surgical Arts is located at 881 Alma Real Drive, Suite T-2, in Pacific Palisades. Schedule an appointment today at 310.459.2303 or learn more at ThePaliDentists.com.