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Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Issaquah Premier Dental’s Response

by | Mar 19, 2020 | Dental News, Dental Tips, Dentistry

Overview

coronavirus infographic

A respiratory disease caused by a novel (new) coronavirus named COVID-19, which was first reported in Wuhan, China at the end of 2019, has begun spreading globally at a faster rate than before.

Symptoms

Individuals with the confirmed cases of COVID-19 have shown the following symptoms as the most common: fever, tiredness, shortness of breath and dry cough. Some people might experience additional symptoms such as aches, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea. For a complete list of symptoms and how coronavirus is different from flu or common cold see the infographic posted here.

Prevention

So far the primary recommendation to protect yourself from COVID-19 has been avoiding close contact with those who are unwell, staying home if you are sick and practicing good hand hygiene. The use of personal protective equipment (e.g. face masks, gloves) is recommended for health care workers and those who are already sick. The incubation period for this respiratory illness is approximately 14 days which is why those who are suspected to have the infection are asked to self-isolate for two weeks.

Risk

Fortunately, around 80% of the infected patients recover from the coronavirus without requiring special treatment. However, 1 in 6 people who get COVID-19 develops serious symptoms such as breathing difficulty. The coronavirus disease puts elderly and vulnerable individuals with pre-existing conditions at a higher risk of developing serious complications from the disease.

Issaquah Premier Dental’s Response

Since early March, the number of confirmed cases has increased in the United States including the Washington state and Seattle area. In order to ensure the safety of our patients and staff members, Issaquah Premier Dental has been temporarily closed effective March 18, 2020.

corona dental safety measures at issaquah premier dental

Prior to the closure, we implemented additional public health measures in accordance with guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO). These precautionary measures include:

  • Pre-screen all patients with a questionnaire to defer treatment for high-risk patients following the WHO protocol
  • Take the body temperature of staff and patients to check for fever
  • Frequently disinfect high traffic surfaces like door handles in addition to our above-standard waiting room, operating room and equipment disinfection protocols.
  • Use of rubber dams when possible to reduce cross-contamination from saliva
  • Ask patients to pre-rinse and post-rinse with a mouthwash containing oxidative agents that can reduce the spread of the virus
  • Accommodate patients who would like to cancel or reschedule
  • Waive fees for short-notice appointment cancellations
  • Ask staff who are unwell to stay home

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Should I go to my dentist appointment?
A: With the prevalence of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), all elective dental treatment should be postponed as mandated by the American Dental Association. You can still see a dentist if you have an emergency that needs to be addressed immediately. However, the procedures should be carried out with the strictest safety precautions.

Q: What constitutes an emergency or urgent dental care during the coronavirus outbreak?
A: If you have trauma due to an accident, resulting in the loss of a tooth, laceration of the gum, loose tooth.
If you have an abscess, swelling that might compromise the airways and breathing.
If you have a toothache that cannot be managed by regular pain killers
If you have severe gum swelling that cannot be managed by rinsing with saltwater and good oral hygiene.
If you have a partially loose dental appliance that you cannot remove but if it comes off u may swallow it and block the airway.
If the temporary prosthesis comes loose that may cause pain, irritation on the gum.

Q: What are the symptoms of the coronavirus (COVID-19)?
A: The main symptoms for COVID-19 are fever, cough, difficulty breathing, pneumonia in both lungs. You can also have less common symptoms like aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea. (See the infographic)

Q: How does coronavirus spread?

A: Human coronaviruses cause infections of the nose, throat and lungs. They are most commonly spread from an infected person through:

  • Respiratory droplets generated when you cough or sneeze
  • Close, prolonged personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands
  • Touching something with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose or eyes before washing your hands

Q: How to prevent coronavirus from spreading?

  • Social distancing is one of the most effective ways of mitigating the spread of a high contagious illness such as COVID-19. Try to stay home as much as possible and only go out if it absolutely necessary such as buying food or other essentials.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds if soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick. Put distance between yourself and other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community.

Q: What special measure are you implementing to prevent the spread of the coronavirus?

  1. We have temporarily closed our office (Updated: March 18, 2020)
  2. Setup pre-appointment screening for all patients to postpone the appointment for high-risk patients
  3. Check the body temperature for staff and patients for fever upon entering the office
  4. Frequently disinfect high traffic surfaces like door handles in addition to the standard waiting room, operating room and equipment disinfection.
  5. Accommodate patients who would like to cancel or reschedule
  6. Waive fees for short-notice appointment cancellations
  7. Ask staff who are unwell to stay home
  8. Use of rubber dams when possible to reduce cross-contamination from saliva
  9. Ask patients to pre-rinse and post-rinse with a mouthwash containing oxidative agents that can reduce the spread of the virus

Q: How is coronavirus (COVID-19) different from flu or common cold?
Differences between coronavirus (covid19) and seasonal flu and common cold
A: To compare the symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) to Flu and Cold see the infographic attached here.

  • The speed of transmission is an important point of difference between the two viruses. Influenza has a shorter median incubation period (the time from infection to appearance of symptoms) and a shorter serial interval (the time between successive cases) than COVID-19 virus.
  • While the range of symptoms for the two viruses is similar, the fraction with severe disease appears to be different. For COVID-19, data to date suggest that 80% of infections are mild or asymptomatic, 15% are severe infection, requiring oxygen and 5% are critical infections, requiring ventilation.
  • Mortality for COVID-19 appears higher than for influenza, especially seasonal influenza. While the true mortality of COVID-19 will take some time to fully understand, the data we have so far indicate that the mortality ratio is between 3-4%

Q: Can I still cancel my appointment if it is less than 48 hours from the time of my scheduled visit?
A: We have automatically cancelled all the appointments. We will contact you to reschedule your appointment once the temporary closure is over.

Q: I still have questions or other concerns, what should I do?
A: Please contact us. We are always here to help 🙂

Sources: Transmission routes of 2019-nCoV and controls in dental practice (Nature), Prevention of Coronavirus (CDC), Q&A on Corona (WHO), COVID-19 Report (WHO), Mitigation Strategies for Seattle Area (CDC)

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