What Can I Expect at My Recare Visit During COVID-19?

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

Most people understand the importance of regular dental visits for maintaining good oral health. Oral health has a run-off effect on a person’s overall health as well. Gum disease can easily creep in and, when left untreated, can lead to heart disease, stroke or even death. Sadly, during the COVID-19 pandemic, some have been avoiding the dentist for fear of catching or transmitting the virus. Our team at Eggert Family Dentistry wants you to know the facts about our COVID-19 safety measures and what you can expect at your visit as well as answer some common questions so you can feel comfortable coming in to see us!

Safety measures at Eggert Family Dentistry

When you visit our office, you can be assured that we are:

  • Keeping up with the latest CDC and OSHA guidelines
  • Running HEPA air scrubbers to remove particulates from the air
  • Disinfecting all surfaces regularly throughout the day
  • Providing hand sanitizer
  • Mandating face coverings for all our patients
  • Mandating PPE such as face shields, long gowns and high-filtration respirator masks for our team members.

Important instructions for your visit

Throughout the last year, we have been maintaining some infection control protocols of stricter magnitude, out of an abundance of caution. We know these measures have been keeping our patients, as well as our team members, safe from COVID-19. While we are happy to see so many members of our community able to get vaccinated, we wanted to review the current protocols as change can only come slowly and only as the virus continues to decrease in our state. Therefore, when you come in to see us, you will still notice the COVID-19 protocols we have in place.

In addition to asking that you wear a mask to your appointment, we will:

  • Have you wait in your car and text us upon arrival since our reception area is still closed due to the need to socially distance. When possible, you may also be asked to come into our building and wait in the hallway near our door.
  • Ask you to complete a COVID-19 screening questionnaire. You will see that you can save time in our office by filling out your survey electronically prior to your appointment. See your email for details.
  • NO LONGER take your temperature prior to entering the office unless requested by you. It has been decided by the CDC that temperature screening is not an accurate tool.
  • Continue to ask that you don’t bring guests along with you to your appointment unless it’s absolutely necessary. This continues to minimize contact with other people.

FAQs about your recare visit during COVID-19

I would like to see that things have been wiped down—the community pen, the electronic pen, the handles of the chairs, etc.

“Even before the COVID-19 outbreak, our office followed strict infection control guidelines that would have prevented the transmission of the novel coronavirus (or any other virus) to our patients or staff. In an abundance of caution, we have increased the frequency and thoroughness of our sanitizing procedures and we are following safety procedures recommended by the Center for Disease Control, American Dental Association and OSHA. Our cleaning procedures include the electronic pen and the chair handles. We also either wipe any touched pens or ask you to take home any pen you use.”

I am concerned that the risk of virus transmission is too high for the benefits associated with a routine checkup.

“Our hygienists have streamlined their protocols so that patients can return to their recare intervals which are key in maintaining health and well-being. There are many articles noting that those with the highest levels of inflammatory diseases are the most at risk for contracting COVID-19. We are happy to be able to provide high-level dental care to reduce whole-body inflammation and keep you at your healthiest.”

How will I be safe if my mouth is open?

“All patients coming to the practice will be asked to wear a face covering, limiting the particles in the air. Patients will be ushered directly to a clean and sterilized treatment room. All clinical team members will be protected with eye protection, a tight-fitting respirator mask, a surgical mask to eliminate contamination and often a face shield. This will mean that, if your mouth is uncovered, it will be your particles in the air. In addition, we have HEPA air-scrubbing units in the clinic area to eliminate particles in the air.”

I am concerned that dental tools are being used on multiple patients. What are you doing for safety and sanitizing?

“We have always maintained a high level of cleanliness and sterilization in our office, our operatories, and with our dental instruments, or tools. In addition to our new high powered instrument washer to remove debris, we use an autoclave to sterilize our instruments which destroys all forms of microbial life, including viruses and bacteria. The autoclave accomplishes sterilization by using steam under pressure. All instruments that are placed into the autoclave are completely sterilized at the end of the complete sterilization cycle and we ensure that the sterilization indicators prove that before using the instruments on another patient.”

To see our full list of FAQs, visit this link on our website.

If you have any questions about our COVID-19 safety measures or to get on our schedule for your next recare visit, contact us at 651.482.8412!

In Spite of COVID-19, Dentist Appointments Are Safe: Here’s Why

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

According to the ADA, dentistry is an essential medical service. Dentists are responsible for maintaining systemic health by evaluating, diagnosing, preventing and treating oral diseases. Consequently, during the pandemic, dental professionals are working hard to ease patients’ fears about coming into the office and they’re taking steps to ensure that it continues to be a safe experience for everyone.

There’s no evidence of COVID-19 transmission in dental offices.

During a 2020 NPR interview, Dr. Michele Neuburger, Dental Officer for the CDC’s & COVID-19 Response Team, stated “There have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 transmitted in a dental office so far. And that includes follow-up by the CDC of false news reports suggesting such infections.”

Similar findings have been reported by industry experts throughout this past year. We are also EXTREMELY proud to note that there is no evidence of any COVID-19 infection stemming from our office.

Unfortunately, there’s still been an increase in the number of people who’ve delayed routine dental care or elective procedures for fear of contracting COVID-19. This has led to an increase in tooth loss and gum disease which, over time, could lead to more serious systemic health issues such as cardiovascular disease, stroke and even death. We are so happy to see most of you back, including a slew of recent “returnees” because of the rapid increase in vaccinations. We want share the latest information to encourage and guide the few of you remaining who are taking it just a little slower.

Dentists are used to working around infectious diseases.

Rest assured. COVID-19 isn’t the first infectious disease dentists have encountered. HIV, hepatitis, influenza, strep throat…these are just a handful of viruses that dentists ward against every day. Dental professionals wear scrubs, masks, and latex-free gloves to protect themselves and their patients. And our precautions have only increased since the pandemic began.

Offices are implementing increased safety measures.

The ADA released additional guidelines for preventing the spread of COVID-19, including reduced use of aerosols and dental dams and an increase in the use of high-power suction for hygiene procedures.

Eggert Family Dentistry is working hard to keep you safe!

At Eggert Family Dentistry, we recognize the importance of routine dental care and following through with recommended procedures to keep your teeth, mouth, and body in optimal health. That’s why we’re going the extra mile to make sure each one of our patients feels comfortable when you come in for a visit.

Our protective measures include:

  • Paying close attention to the evolving CDC and OSHA guidelines and continuing to make our practice safe for all those we are honored to serve.
  • Running HEPA air scrubber units in the office to remove particulates from the air, including germs like viruses.
  • Personalizing arrival procedures to guide you directly from your car or the hallway of the building to your treatment rooms to eliminate contacting surfaces and promote social distancing.
  • Requiring the use of a face covering and social distancing protocols.
    Providing a hand sanitizer station.
  • Wiping surfaces regularly in the administrative areas and between each patient in the clinical areas.
  • Continuing to keep the reception area and restroom closed.

If you’d like to learn more about what we’re doing to keep our office clean and safe or if you’d like to get on our schedule for your next appointment, give us a call at 651.482.8412.

Protect Your Teeth During Sports With a Mouthguard

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

If you play sports, please consider wearing a mouthguard to protect your teeth.

According to the American Dental Association (ADA), 10-20% of all sports-related injuries are maxillofacial injuries, relating to the mouth and all the connecting regions. The ADA recognizes “the preventive value of orofacial protectors, endorsing their use by those who engage in recreational and sports activities and encouraging widespread use of orofacial protectors with proper fit, including mouthguards.”

While the risk of injury is obvious in classic contact sports like football, boxing, wrestling, lacrosse, and hockey, the ADA also advocates a mouthguard when participating in limited-contact sports like baseball, gymnastics, racquetball and surfing. 

A well-fitting mouthguard will protect your dental health in a variety of ways. While it can’t guarantee that you’ll suffer zero dental damage, a mouthguard is almost certain to reduce dental injuries.

Benefits of Mouthguards

Mouthguards prevent teeth from being knocked out: Having an intact tooth knocked out is no fun. In some cases, it can be retained, but it will require substantial dental attention.

Mouthguards can prevent teeth from fracturing: It may be possible to save a broken tooth, but it will require a substantial filling, a crown, and likely a root canal. If it can’t be saved, an extraction and implant will be needed.

Mouthguards can protect soft tissues: When you suffer an unexpected impact, it’s easy to accidentally bite your tongue, cheek or lips. A mouthguard will help prevent this.

Mouthguards can protect against tooth displacement: Sometimes, an impact can loosen a tooth so that it stays in the socket, but is moveable. When you’re wearing a mouthguard, the force of the impact is distributed over several teeth, reducing the likelihood of displacement. Teeth can be displaced laterally (forwards or backwards) or can be extruded (down).

Mouthguards can prevent jaw fractures: By serving as a shock-absorber, a guard can help prevent the jaw from fracturing—a serious injury that may require surgery.

Mouthguards may help reduce concussions: Evidence is not conclusive, but it’s possible that the padding between the upper and lower jaws can absorb some of the impact that causes a concussion.

In Case of Dental Injury

Should someone suffer a dental injury during sports or any other activity, follow these guidelines:

If a tooth is fractured, stabilize the portion of the tooth retained in the mouth and control the bleeding by gently biting on a towel. Retain all tooth fragments and keep them submerged in water or milk.

If an entire tooth —root and all—is knocked out, handle the tooth by the crown, not the root. You can rinse it gently with water, but do not wash, sterilize, or scrub it. If possible, place it back in the socket (the correct way) and then bite gently on a towel. If not, transport it to the dentist.

In both cases, time is critical and you should be in the dentist’s chair within two hours.

Wear a Mouthguard for Sports

Dr. Elizabeth and Dr. Jeff love seeing you, but we hope you never have to come in for treatment after a preventable dental injury! Take care of your teeth, please. Wear a mouthguard for sports.