Guidelines for Re-Opening Dental Offices

Texas dentists opened offices in May, but they followed specific guidelines. The Governor of Texas issued a notice that Texas dentists who chose to treat patients could open fully on May 1, 2020. However, they had to follow Governor Abbot’s executive order. Furthermore, the executive order set the minimum standard for safe dental practice during the coronavirus crisis. Under the order, CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) guidelines for non-emergency care would apply.

What Sort of Standards Were Put in Place When Dentists Opened Offices?

Many people have wondered what to expect as a patient during the pandemic. What is being done differently? Dental offices are following a lot of protocols regarding masks and protective garments. They are also following guidelines to keep equipment and areas sanitized.

In addition, dental staff is screening patients.

Guidelines for Screening Patients

Examples of questions that dental offices used to screen patients prior to confirming an appointment include:

  • Did the patient test positive for COVID-19?
  • Has the patient been tested but is waiting for results?
  • Does the patient have respiratory symptoms including fever, sore throat, cough, or shortness of breath?
  • Did the patient run a fever in the past 21-14 days?
  • Has the patient lost the sense of smell or taste?
  • Is the patient 65 or older?
  • Does the patient have medical issues such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer or a weakened immune system?

Preventative measures include patient scheduling and screening for the following:

  • Scheduling that minimizes contact with other patients in the waiting room
  • Screening patients by phone and asking questions when confirming the dental appointment ahead of time (see above questions)
  • Taking patients’ temperatures when they arrive at the office.
  • Having the patient answer a questionnaire similar to questions asked during the phone appointment confirmation (questions as above)

Do you have questions about dental care during the Covid-19 pandemic?

Give us a call at Hutto Hippo Family Dental. We are glad to answer your questions. Our number is (512) 806-7740.