It has been almost two months since the beginning of the nationwide lockdown from the 24th of March 2020 due to the Coronavirus (COVID 19). Due to these circumstances a lot of people who have been suffering from acute pain due to cavities in teeth have been unable to access dental treatment.
In most cases with deep cavities, root canal treatment or extraction of teeth is needed to get rid of the toothache. However, dental clinics were advised to be shut except in the occurrence of emergencies. Interim treatment with antibiotics and painkillers is not always effective and treatment is essential.
Now, dental clinics have been permitted to conduct dental consultations and emergency/ urgent treatment if necessary (depending on location of the practice in containment zones or green/orange/red zones). We at Dr. Nisarg Shah’s The Dental Clinic in Thane are following IDA’s (Indian Dental Association) and Ministry of Health and Family Welfare’s guidelines and follow complete protocols while treating our patients.
If you are in pain, or have bleeding, swelling, or had an accident and need urgent dental care, please contact us right away. Please visit the dental clinic after calling us first. This way we can find out if you need urgent care and be prepared and present at the clinic as we are working on appointment basis only until the end of the lockdown.
What does it mean for me? Can I still visit the dentist? What is allowed?
You might need urgent care for acute dental problems. These procedures create aerosols and have a risk of spreading the Coronavirus (COVID-19). We are prepared with necessary equipment to provide care.
Permitted treatments are limited to:
- Tooth extractions or root canal treatment when someone is in acute pain caused by damage to, or death of the nerve in the tooth.
- Where upper front teeth are significantly damaged, for example, in an accident.
- Management of ulcers or other problems related to the oral cavity such a swelling of gums, face, or neck.
- Providing care for patients with complex medical conditions and where not treating may lead to worsening of their general health i.e Infection or a substantial risk of it
- Where a patient is referred by a doctor for care that is medically necessary.
- Bleeding in mouth that does not stop
The complete list of procedures that are permitted are here:
For maintaining the safety of everyone in the clinic premises, we would request your cooperation.
There are few guidelines that will be discussed here for your understanding while you visit our dental clinic:
- While visiting the clinic, its preferable to have not more than one person accompanying you if you are not able to come alone.
- There is a higher risk of transmission of the Coronavirus (COVID 19) in dental care settings so please visit the clinic with a facemask from home. Cover your nose and mouth when coughing/sneezing with the mask and avoid touching the eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. Dispose used tissues and face masks in designated dust bins only.
- Please provide a detailed health history to the doctors while scheduling your appointment on the phone. This will include history of symptoms of respiratory infection such as cough, sore throat, fever, sneezing, or shortness of breath. Please call your physician if these symptoms last more than 48 hours.
- Wash your hands thoroughly before and after visiting the dental clinic. When you enter the clinic, you will be provided with hand sanitizer. Do not forget to sanitize your hands after entering and leaving the the clinic.
Our staff will measure your body temperature using a noncontact forehead thermometer. We take temperature readings as part of the routine assessment of patients before performing dental procedures.
If you present with fever (100.4F = 38C) and/or respiratory disease symptoms, then elective dental care should be deferred for at least 2 weeks. We are taking utmost measures to ensure everyone’s safety. Such small measures go a long way in helping us providing the right care.
- Avoid touching surfaces in the clinical area and avoid touching your face. When in pain people commonly insert their finger in the mouth to point out which tooth is painful.
It is a highly risky pattern as you will come in contact with other surfaces later such as the chair handle, door etc. which are commonly used and lead to contamination.
You can explain about the side of the jaws and area which is painful. We will be able to ascertain the affected area.
- We provide single patient rooms with sufficient space so you can maintain social distancing from other patients in the clinic. We also appoint patients prior so there should be no waiting time either. Its preferable that you don’t carry bags and other belongings along with you. Cashless payments (credit/ debit cards, Paytm) are also preferred to avoid contact with cash.
- Make your appointments on phone and be on time so that there is no inconvenience to you and others.
- Upon your arrival in our dental practice, you will be asked a detailed medical history and COVID-19 screening questionnaire and assessment of a true emergency questionnaire as below.
Patients with COVID-19 usually present with clinical symptoms of fever, dry cough, and myalgia. In addition, less obvious symptoms such as nausea, diarrhea, reduced sense of smell, and abnormal taste sensation have also been reported.
In addition, abnormal chest X-ray and computed tomographic findings such as ground-glass opacities are typically found in the chest.
Notably, about 80% of these patients have only mild symptoms that resemble flulike symptoms and seasonal allergies, which might lead to an increased number of undiagnosed cases.
These asymptomatic patients can act as “carriers” and also serve as reservoir for reemergence of infection. Although SARS-CoV-2 is known to be highly transmissible when patients are most symptomatic, it is noteworthy that the incubation period can range from 0 to 24 days, therefore transmission can occur before any symptoms are apparent.
Severe forms of this disease have a predilection for men with a mean age of 56 years with preexisting chronic illnesses such as cardiovascular disease or immunosuppression. The higher-risk patient population manifests symptoms typical of pneumonia or acute respiratory distress syndrome.
2. ROUTES OF TRANSMISSION
SARS-CoV-2 infections typically spread through respiratory droplets or by contact. Therefore, coughing or sneezing by an infected person can render SARS-CoV-2 airborne, potentially infecting individuals in close contact (within a radius of approximately 6 ft).
This led to the recent recommendation of social distancing to minimize community spread of the disease. Another important route of transmission is if droplets of SARS-CoV-2 land on inanimate objects located nearby an infected individual and are subsequently touched by other individuals.
Thus, disinfection of objects and handwashing are essential for halting the spread of this disease. This recommendation is strengthened considering that people touch their face on an average of 23 times per hour, with 44% of these occurrences involving the mucous membranes of the mouth and/or nose.
In addition, studies have shown the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in both saliva and feces of the affected patients.