Has it been years since you've been to see a dentist because you've been worried about getting or unwittingly transmitting COVID-19? Are you in desperate need of a cleaning or filling now? The realization that it's time to go back regardless of risk can be anxiety-inducing if you have been taking the virus very seriously even now. But you'll be in good hands.
You're Not Alone
You are not the only one who has avoided the dentist. While many people went right back the first moment they could, many others stayed away. They had long COVID, they were immunosuppressed or caring for someone who was, they lost their insurance after a job loss, or, like you, they just couldn't take the risk yet. No judgment here; the past few years have been very strange for the medical and dental fields. But you do eventually have to go back, so you'll want to look for a dentist who is still taking plenty of precautions.
It's Completely Understandable
When the coronavirus pandemic was first recognized as a real threat in the United States, and all businesses were shutting down, even dentists were told to shut down except for emergency procedures. So the idea of avoiding the dentist to avoid transmission is actually based on a real event that happened. Dentists were asked to shut down, so it's understandable that you would think there was still a risk. Now, of course, with personal protective equipment, occupancy limits in each office, and vaccines and boosters, the situation is different. Dentists are no longer shut down, and they know that people have had varying levels of worry and confidence.
Dentists Had to Improve Their Game
In order to open for more than just emergency procedures, dentists had to become very strict about hygiene and preventing disease transmission. This included using both masks and face shields, upgrading ventilation, changing waiting room procedures, and more. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued guidelines to help dentists revamp their offices and use personal protective equipment to ensure the safety of patients and dental office staff, as well as reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19. Dentists really did a great job, and people were able to resume getting routine procedures like cleanings. Now, years out from the start of the pandemic, there are dentists who have eased up a bit, but there are also plenty of dentists who have not relaxed their vigilance against COVID-19 at all. Find one of those dentists to help put your mind at ease.
Your reluctance to visit the dentist due to COVID-19, even now, is understandable. Find a dentist who has the same attitude toward the risk now as you do. You will be able to get your teeth cleaned and examined in a supportive environment.
Contact a local family dentist to learn more.