We are committed to providing families the safest possible environment for their dental care.
Infection control has always been a top priority for our practice and you may have seen this during your visits to our office. Unlike many other offices that need to make several changes to adapt to the new CDC and ADA guidelines, we’ve already been using these industry-leading sterilization and safety protocols for over 30 years:
- Separate sterilization areas—one for preventative care and another for surgical and restorative care.
- Double sterilization in treatment rooms between patients (all surfaces and instruments are wiped down twice)
- HEPA filtration system
- Tools and equipment, like a rubber dam, have always been utilized to reduce airborne particles and droplets in the air
- Educating other dentists on best practices for sterilization
In addition to what we’ve always been practicing, we have elevated our best practices to exceed the recommended guidelines provided by the CDC and the American Dental Association (ADA) to ensure the safest environment and have added 2 high-velocity evacuation devices that will remove aerosols during treatment. We are continually researching other devices that will add additional safety measures.
When it is time for your next appointment, you may see some additional changes for patient and staff safety, along with our already strict infection control protocols:
- We will call with a COVID pre-screening questionnaire 48-72 hours prior to your appointment, which will be given again upon arrival at your appointment
- When arriving for your appointment, please wait in your vehicle and check-in by phone. We will let you know if your treatment room is ready for your entry.
- No additional guests may attend the appointment with the patient (with the exception of those needing special assistance determined on a case-by-case basis)
- Please wear a mask when you come in the building and at all times except when receiving dental treatment
- Patient’s temperature will be taken upon arrival
- You are invited to use our hand sanitizing station in the lobby
- Patients will be asked to do a pretreatment antiseptic mouth rinse.
As always, we are committed to protecting you and your family and offering the highest possible quality of care. Our protocols for sterilization and disinfection will provide a safe environment for not only our patients but for our team as well. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to us.
We value your trust and loyalty and look forward to welcoming back our patients, neighbors, and friends.
To make an appointment, please call our office at 440-238-6141 or visit https://aernidental.com/contact/.
How Do I Avoid COVID-19?
As there is no vaccine for SARS-CoV-2, avoiding being exposed to the virus is the only defense that’s available.
How does the COVID-19 virus spread?
Transmission of the virus tends to happen from one person to another. This typically occurs by way of respiratory droplets from speaking, sneezing, or coughing within 6′ of other people. These particles may come into the body through the mouth, eyes, or nose, and can also infect the lungs directly when inhaled.
Please keep in mind that people do not have to show symptoms to be contagious.
The virus can also be spread by coming into contact with surfaces where respiratory have landed and then touching your face afterward.
What can I do to protect myself?
The recommended ways to avoid exposure to the virus are as follows:
- Maintain a distance of six feet (6′) from others when in public.
- Wash your hands frequently. Make sure you are doing it the correct way.
- If soap is not available, use a hand sanitizer containing a minimum of 60% alcohol.
- Avoid touching your nose, eyes, or mouth without washing your hands beforehand.
- Be sure to use a mask when around others in public.
- Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze, and wash your hands as soon as possible.
- Be sure to disinfect and clean often.
What symptoms does COVID-19 have?
The symptoms of COVID-19 can be severe or mild. Make sure to check your temperature if you think you could have symptoms. Known symptoms of COVID-19 to look for are as follows:
- Shortness of breath
- Muscle and/or body aches
- Sore throat
- Loss of sense of taste or smell
- Runny nose/congestion
- Vomiting or nausea
Who is most vulnerable?
Even though anyone can have dangerous complications from COVID-19, the people who are most vulnerable are people over 65 years old as well as those who have a preexisting condition, like:
- Heart disease
- People who are immunocompromised
- Individuals who are severely obese
- Liver disease
- Kidney disease
What should I do should I think I’ve caught COVID-19?
Should you believe that you may have the virus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides a self-checker and a website with recommended guidelines to follow.
Can the Health of Our Mouths Affect COVID-19?
As we’re currently going through the COVID-19 pandemic, many people prefer to keep from leaving their homes as much as they can. This often means avoiding any appointments they feel may not be necessary. Some people may be wondering, is it a good idea to postpone dental cleanings and checkups?
It turns out that the opposite may be true, according to a paper recently published in the British Dental Journal.
The links between the health of the mouth and the health of the rest of the body, typically called the oral-systemic connection, has been known by dentists for a long time now.
Victoria Sampson’s paper examines how many of COVID-19’s dangerous complications could be contributors to oral bacteria.
What are the complications that are connected with the coronavirus?
Serious COVID-19 complications are:
- Acute respiratory distress syndrome
- Septic shock
- Blood clots
The complications shown above are more likely to cause death than the virus itself. COVID-19 is a virus, but these complications are actually caused by bacteria, and studies are revealing that 80% of patients in the ICU are shown to have high levels of harmful bacteria, necessitating treatment with antibiotics. When it comes to the severity of COVID-19 infections, these studies indicate that bacteria are an important factor.
How are COVID-19 complications linked to oral health?
The bacteria from our mouths are likely to make their way to the respiratory tract. Many of the same types of bacteria in periodontitis may worsen or cause health conditions such as sepsis and pneumonia.
This connection is where the need for good oral hygiene comes in. The transfer of bad bacteria between the mouth and lungs can be lessened through taking good care of your mouth. Some studies have revealed that improved oral health can lower the risk of ventilator-associated pneumonia in patients in the ICU and also help stop bacterial superinfection.
Don’t avoid caring for your oral health!
While COVID-19 makes it a scary time for a dental visit, now is when you really need to make sure you are in the best oral health possible. Having good oral health is essential for your body overall, and may lower your chances of complications from COVID-19.
If you’re past due for a checkup or have a dental concern you’d like looked into, call Aerni Dental now to schedule your next appointment.
Can You Die From Gum Disease?
The link between oral health and the health of the entire body is not something to be ignored. Researchers have established many significant relationships between oral health and cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. Respiratory conditions can be affected by types of bacteria found in the mouth as well.
In Germany, a 3-month study was undertaken that examined patients who had been hospitalized with COVID-19. The researchers discovered that those with periodontal disease had a significantly greater chance of life-threatening respiratory failure than those without gum disease.
This respiratory condition is likely caused by interleukin (IL-6), which is a harmful protein that is produced by periodontal disease. Interleukin travels from the gum tissue down into the lungs where it causes severe respiratory issues.
According to founder of the UCLA Dental Research Journal, Shervin Molayem, DDS, “Gum disease has been linked to other breathing ailments, including pneumonia and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, so we weren’t surprised to find a link to respiratory problems with COVID-19.”
Molayem continued with, “what shocked us was the discovery of the protein’s devastating, life-threatening impact on patients once they’re hospitalized. One tiny, inflammatory protein robbed them of their ability to breathe.”
You can learn more about these findings in The Mouth-COVID Connection from the California Dental Association.
Having a healthy mouth is more important than ever. Be certain you have your regular exam and cleaning scheduled and get in touch with us if you notice any of the symptoms of gum disease.
Links to be included where referenced above: