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New safety measures at the dental office

We’ve all done what’s needed to keep ourselves healthy and safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. These extra steps include washing our hands more frequently, using sanitizer regularly and keeping our distance from one another to avoid spreading germs. As we’ve made these adjustments to our everyday lives, dental offices have made similar changes to continue protecting patients.

The health of patients and sanitization of the dental office have always been priorities. Steps typically taken to ensure health and safety include:

• Cleaning and sterilizing dental tools like teeth scrapers, dental mirrors and suction devices after each use.

• Disposing of single-use items such as patient bibs, gauze, syringe needles and the rubber cups used to hold tooth polish.

• Disinfecting chairs, lights, handles, countertops and other surfaces before new patients enter the exam room.

• Washing hands and putting on new masks and gloves between patients.


During the pandemic, additional steps may be taken by dental offices to maintain safety, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.



Social distancing

There may be fewer appointment times available to limit the number of people in the office. You may have to fill out paperwork online in advance, and you may be asked to wait in your car before your appointment.




You may have your temperature taken when you get to the dental office or be asked screening questions to ensure you aren’t sick.



Sanitation and protection

You may be asked to wash your hands when you arrive. You may also be asked to wear a mask until your exam begins.



Personal protective equipment

Your dentist and dental office staff will likely wear additional personal protective equipment (PPE) such as goggles and face shields.



Modified procedures

Some dental procedures that create aerosols, such as teeth cleaning, polishing and suctioning, may have been modified to reduce airborne particles.



Preventive checkups help keep your mouth and body healthy. It is important to continue to prioritize your oral health and maintain good oral hygiene habits. Contact your dentist to see what steps they have taken to maintain a safe environment.