As the world braces to finally enjoy the summer months, the threat of Covid still looms in the air. With vaccination drives in full swing, there are still some areas where the virus is creeping up, and some have become anxious about businesses reopening after months of restrictions. Some of the hard-hit services such as dental clinics, chiropractors, physiotherapists and dermatologists are all looking forward to seeing new and existing patients but face the risk of a Covid outbreak or spread if measures are not in place. dental offices in Ontario, however, have sought out extra guidelines for reopening from governing bodies to protect staff and patients this new season.
Outbreaks of Covid within the workplace are one of the main stress points for business owners at the moment but more so for health providers such as dentists for example. Social distancing cannot be maintained at all times therefore clinicians fear of catching or spreading Covid which can result in further closures which is ultimately detrimental to their business after months of closures. Thankfully, the Ontario Dental Association set out rules for dental clinics to adopt to protect everyone during the reopening. Some of these rules include Covid screening questions, clients waiting outside, staff in full PPE during emergency and urgent appointments and longer spaces between clients to allow for air filtration and cleaning. All of these along with the usual social distancing, mask wearing, and disinfecting whenever possible should be enough to keep the virus at bay.
Dental offices in Ontario have also taken on longer working hours and working on weekends to adjust to the new rules to allow for more space between customers and allow clients to make their appointment whenever suits them. The goal is to reduce stress for both customers and staff all while ensuring the environment is Covid-safe. In some cases, also, some clinics have also maintained their virtual appointment services which began during the pandemic, the services have advanced to going beyond consultations over the phone or video call, but now some dentists are using AI software to analyse patients mouths through photo AI programs. Not only does this reduce the majority of risk, it also allows appointments to be extremely efficient.
As we enter into this new phase of reopening with Covid still not out of our lives, vaccine drives are the main source of safety from the virus. Protecting our healthcare providers is crucial as well as moving as quickly as possible to protect other workers and citizens. During this time of vaccination, the new guidelines put in place for dental clinics truly show that maintaining a thorough check of clients before their appointments is a big stress reliever as well as some of the measures aimed at protecting staff at all times. Slowing down and taking care minimises risk for everyone and creates a stress-free transition into the new normality.
We must be grateful that heightened rules are put in place for the dental industry mainly because our oral health is a crucial component of our overall health.