Life happens, and plans change. But just because you have a sudden excuse, it doesn’t mean you should automatically cancel your appointments. For instance, when you make an appointment with a Houston dentist, the dental care team has specially reserved space for you in their office. Think of it this way. Your appointment time has also been calculated to help cover the costs for their dental office, as well as to pay their employees and bills.
So, you should never simply “not go” to the dentist if you have an appointment scheduled. No matter the reason, it is always best to call the Houston dental office and cancel and reschedule your appointment rather than leaving the care team waiting. Don’t be a no-show!
However, there are definite reasons when you should cancel your upcoming dental care visit – especially given the current coronavirus pandemic. Since the information regarding COVID-19 from the WHO (World Health Organization), the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention), and the government is changing every day, this blog is focused on what we know at the current time.
You Should Cancel Your Houston Dentist Appointment If…
Let’s start by discussing when it is appropriate to cancel your dental appointment, outside of the coronavirus pandemic. The basic rule of canceling and rescheduling is that if you feel too sick to go to work or school, then you should not go to the dentist either.
If you have a cold or the flu, you should reschedule. Coughing, runny noses, sore throats will make the visit very unpleasant since the dental hygienist and dentist will be working directly near your mouth and nose. Not only will you be uncomfortable, but you will also be exposing the dental care team and those in the waiting room to your germs.
If you have any cold sores or fever blisters on your mouth, you should also cancel your dental visit. It will be uncomfortable, as well as potential of the spot getting aggravated or possibly spreading elsewhere on your body or to those providing dental care.
Additionally, if you are congested, you should cancel your dental visit. If you are finding it difficult to breathe due to the congestion, you will likely find it uncomfortable to sit with your mouth open for an extended amount of time.
Special Precautions for Dental Patients to Take During COVID-19
With the entire world dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, there are some things dental offices are asking patients to do if they intend to keep their previously scheduled dental appointments. First and foremost, if you are experiencing any of the coronavirus symptoms, you need to call and reschedule your dental appointments. Additionally, if you are in a high-risk group, it is also recommended that you reschedule your appointment.
The Houston Chronicle suggests, “Avoid bringing people who do not need dental treatment with you into the office, and consider waiting in your car before the appointment rather than the office’s lobby.”
Keep in mind, if you do not reschedule a dental appointment and attempt to go while displaying symptoms, the dental office can refuse treatment. It is also important to note that many dental offices in Houston and across the country are asking patients with elective procedures to reschedule to help encourage citizens to stay home.
Dentists Provide Essential Emergency Care Even During Times of Crisis
While you may be unable to get the elective dental procedure right now, rest assured that dentists are considered essential. This means that they are allowed to stay open for medical care. This means that if you have a dental emergency, you should be able to receive treatment.
According to the ADA (American Dental Association), “Concentrating on emergency dental care will allow us to care for our emergency patients and alleviate the burden that dental emergencies would place on hospital emergency departments.”
You may be wondering what is considered a dental emergency. Here are the types of conditions that are considered dental emergencies:
- Trauma, such as a broken tooth
- Swelling of your mouth, face, or gums
- Signs of an infection
- Bleeding in your mouth
- Severe toothache pain
For situations such as these, Greenspoint Dental offers emergency dental care, allowing patients to schedule same-day appointments five days a week.
What Houston Dentists are Doing to Keep Patients Safe During COVID-19
Dental patients should also be reassured that dental offices are doing their part to keep patients safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of the new mandates are things that dental practices already do. The Texas Association of Orthodontics, as quoted by the Houston Chronicle, explains, “Your orthodontist and their staff are continuously trained and routinely follow strict sanitary and preventive measures to avoid spreading any type of disease […] Surfaces and equipment are routinely sanitized and instruments sterilized between patients visits. All staff who are responsible for treatment will normally wear protective gear such as gloves, face masks, eye covers, or disposable gowns as needed.”
Additionally, dental patients may have their temperatures taken before procedures, and patients may be asked to disinfect and wash their hands before beginning. Many dental offices have also closed their waiting rooms and instead have patients wait in their car until it is time for their appointment to begin to promote social distancing. Dental offices are making sure to sanitize even more often than they already do. All of these preventative measures are being done to help alleviate the burdens facing hospitals.
Greenspoint Dental in Houston Always Provides Clean, Safe, & Sanitary Dental Care
This is a new experience for all of us, but we are going to get through it together. Greenspoint Dental continues to provide the highest quality dental care to our patients. We are here to help you with any dental emergencies you have and to help you plan and schedule your smile makeover for a future date. If you have questions or concerns about your upcoming appointment at Greenspoint Dental, please call to speak with us directly.