The arrival of Covid-19 and the onset of the pandemic had a profound effect on all forms of medical care. Endodontic care is just one more form of care that this environment impacted. The nature of this form of care and the guidelines required significant adjustment in how they delivered it. Concerns such as viral transmission risks, patient management, and treatment recommendations all had to be altered to fit the new paradigm. Below, we look at some of the changes that were made and how they changed the way endodontic treatment is delivered.
The Recent Changes in General Endodontic Protocols
It should come as little surprise to anyone that the pandemic created some significant changes in how care is delivered. As the virus rampaged across the world and a rush for vaccines was underway, everyone had to do their best to limit the risk of transmission. After the arrival of vaccines, it became clear that the battle wasn’t quite over as new variants began to raise their head. In the midst of all this, we all still needed to get our basic health care taken care of. A new set of protocols was developed for dentists, patients, and staff members alike out of this environment. Some of the changes made include:
- Teledentistry Use: One common aspect of endodontic care was regular check-ups in the office. Throughout your care cycle, you’d often visit the office two or more times. Most of these visits were purely for follow-up purposes. These visits are now generally done through teledentistry use.
- Reduced Treatment Times: New treatment methods have also made it possible to reduce the time required for treatments. This has helped to reduce the total amount of time required to be in the office.
- Same Day Treatments: In addition to reducing the amount of time required for treatment, same-day treatments are far more common. This serves the same function as the reduced treatment times. Fewer visits to the office and less time at risk.
- Reduced Aerosol/Air Droplet Spread: All visits to the office now require the wearing of masks by both patients and dentists. The facility is sterilized and cleaned several times a day, and the rate at which patients are received has been regulated to limit contact.
These protocols have helped to reduce the risk of transmission of Covid and other diseases during dental care. These approaches have proven so successful that many practices are committed to continuing them once the pandemic finally wanes.
Contact Your Dental Provider To About Changes To Care
While many of the above protocols have become common to many practices, contact your provider before your next visit. You may discover that they’ve established their own practices in addition to those listed above. It’s everyone’s responsibility to remain safe and healthy as the pandemic continues. Speaking with your dental office will help you prepare for your appointment appropriately. If they haven’t established these protocols, it’s also your opportunity to encourage them to take steps to protect both patients and providers alike.