Safety Note From Dr Irina
Dear patients, family, and friends,
As we all navigate these difficult and uncertain times, we find ourselves bombarded with often conflicting information from all different sources. Some may be more reliable than others, but that makes it ever more confusing. Since I’m a dentist, I am going to specifically concentrate on the importance of going to the dentist during this difficult time.
One thing I am going to say right away – IT IS SAFE to visit your dentist. As a profession, we have been on top of disinfecting equipment, sterilizing instruments, and being very serious about wearing protective equipment for many decades now… wearing masks is not new to us. Being serious about protecting ourselves, our staff, and families – our own and those of our patients – is our priority. As a profession we pride ourselves on being sticklers when it comes to cleanliness. We have also been very good at following all the innovative technologies – dentists love new cool toys. We are all equipped with the newest medical grade air purifiers and high speed suction machines. WE HAVE YOUR SAFETY AT HEART!
Not being able to see your dentist for the three months of quarantine has caused substantial damage to both sides – the patient and the dentist alike. I cannot stress enough how WRONG it is to call dentistry “elective” or “non-essential”. Teeth do not come in a jar, separate from the rest of the body. The health of the mouth is essential to the overall health of a person. Neglecting it – causes not only dental disease, it also exacerbates many systemic diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease.
Now that we have been allowed to see patients for non-emergency treatment, I see a lot of the treatment that could have been less invasive had the patient had a chance to take care of the problem early on.
When the news channels tell the patient to not go to the dentist, the news crew is not the one to be faced with the consequences of delaying dental care, the patient is. A tooth that had a cavity restorable with a filling at time of exam and diagnosis, may need a root canal treatment with a crown, if the treatment is delayed by months. That translates to possible pain from the tooth that didn’t get timely treatment, more time in the dental chair, more appointments, and more expensive treatment.
Why do medical and dental insurance plans cover preventive treatment at 100% usually? Because it’s less expensive for the insurance. Prevention IS less expensive both in a monetary sense and in terms of time investment.
Early detection of cavities and gum disease affords more successful treatment outcomes. It prevents more invasive treatment and may mean that a tooth may be saved as opposed to being extracted.
Dear patients, do call your dentist. DO make an appointment, DO keep it. Let us take care of your mouth health regularly without any more delays. See you soon!