We’re still in a pandemic so dentists have new rules to follow to keep everyone protected
TORONTO, ON — After 12 weeks of restrictions, Ontario’s dentists got the green light last night to re-open their offices. While you can now book an appointment with your dentist for a cleaning or any other treatment, the Ontario Dental Association (ODA) wants you to know what you can expect from your dentist during this ongoing pandemic.
Dentists have always followed strict infection prevention protocols but there are some new rules in place to ensure the protection of patients, dentists and their dental teams:
- All patients will be asked COVID-19 screening questions before their appointment. If they clear the screening, they can receive treatments. Just keep in mind, dentists are prioritizing patients making sure those with the most pressing dental care needs are treated first.
- If a patient screens positive, the dentist will determine if they require emergency and urgent care and if not, will be asked to wait until their health improves. If they do meet emergency or urgent criteria, treatment will happen in a closed room with the dental team in full personal protective equipment (PPE), and there will be up to a three-hour wait time until a dentist can see the next patient (the amount of time depends on the air filtration system in the office).
- At the time of your appointment you may also:
- Have to wait outside the office and be called in
- Be asked screening questions again
- Have to sanitize your hands when you enter and leave the office
- Wear a mask (except during treatment)
ODA President, Dr. Lesli Hapak, says, “Dentists are happy to get back to providing care but it’s not like flipping the switch. Dentists have a backlog of patients and have to treat those who need immediate care first – it’s been 12 weeks since people have been able to see the dentist, and some are in greater need right now. We’re asking for everyone’s patience and understanding.”
Your dentist will let you know about their new procedures before your next appointment. For more information on new COVID-19 screening and answers to frequently asked questions, go to www.oda.ca.
About the Ontario Dental Association
The ODA has been the voluntary professional association for dentists in Ontario since 1867. Today, we represent more than 9,000, or nine in 10, dentists across the province. The ODA is Ontario’s primary source of information on oral health and the dental profession. We advocate for accessible and sustainable optimal oral health for all Ontarians by working with health-care professionals, governments, the private sector and the public. For helpful dental care tips, visit www.youroralhealth.ca.