Should I go to the Dentist during the Corona Virus Outbreak?
It's hard to ignore the media headlines fueling a surge of panic among people across the globe, even right here in Florida with recent novel coronavirus outbreaks. Dr. Cerillo and staff understand patients have many questions and concerns about the coronavirus (COVID-19). Because your health and safety is our top priority, we want to share some insightful information with you regarding the coronavirus and what to do about going to the dentist.
First and foremost, we advise everyone to continue his or her daily routine, unless otherwise directed by government health officials. The best way to protect yourself is to practice frequent hand washing hygiene (washing with soap for a least 20 seconds), covering your coughs and sneezes, and staying home if you are sick. The CDC reports that the elderly and those with underlying health conditions, such as hypertension, diabetes, and lung disease are most at risk of becoming very ill from COVID-19. We encourage you to speak with your primary care physician for specific concerns regarding your health and risk of contracting the virus if you have an underlying health condition. But, most healthy individuals should not worry about becoming sick.
If you are a healthy individual and show no signs or symptoms of COVID-19, and its time for you to have your scheduled dental check up and cleaning, we encourage you to keep your appointment. Dental cleanings are an essential part of maintaining good oral health and preventing gum disease and cavities. The CDC reports that gum disease affects nearly half of adults in the U.S. And, there are severe health risks associated with poor oral health, including an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and even cognitive decline that leads to Alzheimer's. While the outbreak of COVID-19 may have people panicking, the health threats associated with poor oral health are just as serious. Continue with your cleaning appointments to minimize your risk of developing gum disease.
Toothaches and dental emergencies always seem to happen at the most inconvenient time, and they won't stop just because of a viral outbreak. Ignoring a dental emergency is not advised, especially if you are in pain. Dental pain could indicate an infection that could easily spread to your brain or heart and become life threatening. If you experience dental pain of any kind, we urge you to call our Tampa Palms OR San Antonio office to schedule and appointment as soon as possible. For dental emergencies that aren't painful, such as a minor chipped tooth or loose crown, we still advise that you call to schedule and appointment. An exposed tooth, such as from a broken tooth, loose crown, or filling that falls out, could result in pain or cause further damage to the tooth.
At Cerillo Family Dentistry, our doctors, and each of our team members is trained in OSHA standards for cleaning and sanitizing our practice, including patient rooms and all equipment used for patient care. Our office uses EPA-approved disinfectants specially designed for use in a healthcare setting to kill viruses and bacteria, and other blood-borne pathogens. Also our dental care team members that provide direct care to patients wear protective gear, including gloves, surgical masks, and glasses for eye protection. These efforts help minimize the risk of transmitting germs from one patient to another. We also adhere to the CDC's hand hygiene recommendation for washing our hands thoroughly and between treating patients. These sanitizing and sterilization methods are in effect regardless of whether a patient presents with an infectious disease. For us, the coronavirus outbreak does not alter how we disinfect and clean our practice, because we always take necessary precautions that protect our patients and keep them safe.
For the safety of our dental care team, and other patients, we ask that you call our office prior to coming into your appointment if you have a fever, cough, feeling ill or have traveled out of the country recently (or have been in contact with someone who has), or been in close proximity with an individual that has received a positive test result for the coronavirus. Otherwise, all healthy individuals should continue their normal routine, including keeping their upcoming dental appointments.
If you would like more information or would like to schedule and appointment please call Cerillo Family Dentistry- Tampa Palms (813) 971-1688 OR San Antonio (352) 668-4819
Thank you for your cooperation and we look forward to seeing you soon.