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27-10-2020, 09:42   #1
Away With The Fairies
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Dentists dealing with covid

I'm nervous enough seeing a dentist but with covid I'm more anxious.

I need to see a dentist and asked my dentist if they leave space between patients because dental procedures can be aerosolised. Aerosols can hang in the air for a while. Nope, they ask us to stay outside until our appointment and then they bring you in so there's no cross over and meeting other patients.

But I could be 10 minutes after the last patient.

Does this make sense to anybody? They seem to be following HSE which is all about distancing but no control over the airborne transmission.

With dental procedures being aerosolised, surely they would have to leave a gap between patients?
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27-10-2020, 14:03   #2
Fitz II
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Covid can be scary alright for people. In dentistry we are well used to avoiding contagious diseases spreading between patient and between the staff and patients. A coronavirus is nothing new, and very easy to kill.

Generally dentist are instigating social distancing and ensuring that patient know not to attend if they have any risk of covid infection. Its that last bit is the important bit because if the last patient didn't have covid then there is not risk.

Before Covid, after each patient the nurse would clean the room down, disinfect the surfaces and move the old instruments and put out new sterile ones. In the covid world them same is done, except Covid is much easier to kill that most of the nasty's that dentist are concerned with.

The main thing is that you are well. You attend alone, you get in and out as fast as possible, dont be brushing your teeth in the bathroom, infact if you can use your own bathroom at home before you leave all the better. The dentist will be in full PPE depending on their risk not yours. The dirtiest thing in the surgery will be you unfortunately and you have come in from outside bringing the outside with you, the dentist surgery is a very controllable environment otherwise.

Stress not, dentistry represents no great risk. Dentists are on the ball from decades of practice with PPE and cross infection control and generally wont get all worked up about it. The dentist is the one taking most of the risk here not you, so be cognisant of this when making demands.
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27-10-2020, 22:45   #3
Dianthus
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As above.
Practices generally have either mechanical and or natural ventilation systems in place.
Guidance followed is given by the HSE, HPSC, & the Irish Dental Council.
Like other healthcare workers, the dentist& dental nurse are spending 8 hours a day in that surgery shouting to be heard through heavy masks (->dry throats, & constant repetition), having visors pressed tightly into their foreheads (->perspiration, headaches). Trust that they're doing the best they can to keep everyone safe.
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27-10-2020, 23:32   #4
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Thanks for the replies. I'm more nervous about the patient before me and being asymptomatic and leaving god knows what behind them. But then I could be the same.
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27-10-2020, 23:40   #5
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It was probably a stupid worry, sure dentists would have know about dental procedures being aerosolised and what aerosols can contain and have procedures in place for themselves and their patients they see.
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27-10-2020, 23:46   #6
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Get the first appointment of the morning, I always do that, nothing to do with Covid but I can't stand the way appointments always run late and you end up waiting so now I just ask for when the next available slot for first thing is.
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27-10-2020, 23:47   #7
NSAman
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I visit the dentist monthly at the moment due to work being done.

I have to say they have a fantastic set up going. Two rooms, one for seeing the patient for assessment. Mouthwash given, temperature taken, basically examination done in that room before moving to the other room. While that first room is being cleaned you get seen to by the dentist in the second room.

You cannot enter the premises without appointment, you have to wait in the car until your appointment then a text is sent once they are ready in room one.

Once you have finished room 2 cleaned and so on and so forth....feels very safe and you never meet anyone except the dentist and the dental nurse.
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28-10-2020, 09:29   #8
Odeta
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I'm never a fan of visiting the dentist and the current pandemic adds to this nervousness. Went recently and I felt very safe. NSAman's description of the setup was my experience also.
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