There are a lot of scary bits and pieces of information out there about the novel coronavirus COVID-19, and it can be very tempting for people with dental issues to decide to try to “grin and bear it” rather than risk a trip to the dentist. However, if you have ever needed emergency dental surgery, you know very well that sometimes “grinning” plays no role whatsoever in how you feel when you are experiencing severe oral pain.
If you find that you need dental treatment, Dr. Pat Crawford’s dental practice in Kenosha, Wisconsin, is here to help. We are keeping a close eye on all CDC guidelines as well as state and federal regulations and recommendations for medical practice safety, but there are things our patients can do to optimize their own safety as well. Here are 5 things we hope every patient will do before going to the dentist during the coronavirus outbreak whether you come see us or go elsewhere.
- Take your temperature.
Although you can have COVID-19 without having a fever since symptoms appear anywhere from two to 14 days after exposure in most cases, the CDC cites a fever as one of the most common symptoms of coronavirus. A patient with a fever should notify their dentist and stay home, and our office staff will do the same for you!
- Avoid bringing extraneous items to the office.
If you visit our practice during this time, you will see that our waiting room feels very empty. This is partly because of how we are spacing out appointments to make sure that there is plenty of physical space between any waiting patients, but it is also because we have removed all magazines and toys from the reception area. Bringing in extra things of your own increases your risk and ours, so please leave everything you don’t need at home.
- Cover your cough.
We know it’s pollen season, so you might have a few coughs that are more of a “throat-clearing” type of cough than a real cough. Nevertheless, please be sure to cover your cough with a mask, if possible, and if not, with an elbow. Hand sanitize regularly if you find yourself touching your face or covering your mouth – even if it is just to yawn.
- Be honest about flu-like symptoms.
At this point, we know it is very easy to spread the COVID-19 virus, so we are always happy to reschedule an appointment if you have the slightest bit of concern that you could be experiencing flu-like symptoms. Be certain to monitor fever, of course, but also coughing, shortness of breath, and pain or pressure in your chest. Many patients also report serious muscle pain, so watch for this, also.
- Call us if you have questions or concerns.
The information all medical practitioners have access to about this infection is changing daily. If you have any questions or concerns about your own health or the health of anyone in our office, please reach out! If it is not appropriate for us to address the issue directly, we will be happy to refer you to a doctor or treatment facility that can help. The great news for patients at Dr. Crawford’s dental clinic in Kenosha, Wisconsin, is that we are working hard to keep our doors open and our services available for every one of our patients during this difficult time. Learn more at PatCrawfordDDS.com.