Why Are Dentists Wearing Face Shields?
June 4, 2020
During the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s important to take additional precautions to keep yourself and others safe from becoming ill. This is especially crucial at the dentist’s office. A simple face mask helps prevent the spread of the virus, but your dentist is taking it a step further for additional protection. Read on to learn about personal protective equipment and why full face shields are becoming the new normal at dental practices across the country.
Why is Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) So Important?
The coronavirus that causes COVID-19 is usually spread by respiratory droplets being released when people talk, cough, or sneeze. That is where PPE comes into play. Personal protective equipment is used by healthcare personnel, including dentists, to protect themselves, patients, and others while they are providing care. They can help prevent the spread of potentially infectious bodily fluids, like respiratory droplets, and other dangerous substances. A few different types of PPE include:
- Gowns / Aprons
Why Is My Dentist Wearing A Face Shield?
Dentists have always worn PPE, like surgical masks and gloves, when treating their patients. While cloth face coverings do act as a barrier against the virus, and they are recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, they are not good enough for dentists during the pandemic. Because they are often in close proximity to their patients, it’s important they are extra protected. Compared to a surgical mask, face shields:
- Protect a larger portion of the face
- Can be reused indefinitely
- Are easily disinfected
- Have less breathing resistance
- Are more comfortable
How Else is My Dentist Protecting Me?
In addition to increasing the amount of PPE that is worn in the office, your dental team is taking many other precautions to protect themselves and their patients from potentially spreading the virus. Here are a few ways how:
- Increased sanitization: The common areas will be sanitized even more often than usual.
- Screening patients: Anyone who is unwell will be asked to reschedule their appointment for another time when they have recovered.
- Additional personal hygiene: Team members have always been required to sanitize their hands before a service. Now patients will be asked to do the same. Both hand soap and sanitizer are available throughout the office.
- Sterilization of dental instruments: As always, all dental instruments will be sterilized using an autoclave.
Just because businesses and offices are reopening again doesn’t mean that dentists have let their guards down. With so many safety precautions and increased use of PPE, your dentist is doing everything in her power to keep you safe.
About the Author
Dr. Bita Kamali offers a wide array of services at her practice in Plano, TX. She graduated from Baylor College of Dentistry and has over two decades of experience in the field. She provides everything from general and preventive care to restorative treatments, cosmetic services, and sedation dentistry. For more information or to schedule an appointment, visit her website or call (972) 818-1300.