As dental practices reopen, many patients are hesitating to book appointments because they are worried about getting infected with the COVID-19 coronavirus. Pacific Dental Services, however, is launching an educational campaign to educate patients about safe treatment.
Using the hashtag #dentalSAFETY, dentists are encouraged to post videos on social media describing their infection control protocols and sharing stories of patients who received treatment at their practices instead of going to local emergency rooms.
Dental practices are further encouraged to note that they have long followed Standard Precautions from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to prevent infections including tuberculosis, HIV and AIDS, influenza, and others.
The campaign’s organizers note that the CDC has not reported any COVID-19 clusters among dental settings or personnel despite treating more than half a million patients during the pandemic. Poor oral hygiene could be considered a risk for COVID-19 complications as well, particularly in patients predisposed to altered biofilms, they add.
“Please don’t let fear interfere with your necessary healthcare! As a dentist, we remain committed to providing all patients with excellent, oral healthcare in a safe, infection controlled environment,” the campaign suggests as a potential script for participants’ videos.
“We are experts that have been trained in infection control, and our offices have implemented additional protocols to ensure not only your safety, but the safety of our staff,” the script continues. “Please call or schedule a teledentistry appointment if you have any questions or concerns.”
Additional hashtags may include #DentalER and #DentalHEROES. Relevant dental groups, schools, professional associations, fellow dentists, and other healthcare professionals may be tagged as well.