Everyone’s world has changed so much this year. It feels like every day, we’re learning something new that makes us reevaluate what we thought we knew for sure.

A few months back, a Canadian research group estimated that dentists were among the most likely professions to contract COVID-19. Even before this study was published, here at Timberhill Dental we were well aware of the potential risks facing our dentists, staff, and patients. 

We took every necessary step to create an environment that was as safe as possible by:

  • Prescreening all patients and staff for temperature, recent travel, exposure, and sickness. No one has been allowed to enter the treatment areas until all conditions have been met.
  • Using the highest level of personal protective equipment (PPE) including masks, face shields, and surgical gowns.
  • Continuing to be zealous about sterilization and cleanliness, something we’ve prided ourselves on for decades.
  • Upgrading our office to feature a high-powered hospital-grade HVAC system capable of filtering out the smallest particulates and viruses. The air in each room is completely exchanged and purified every 15 minutes.
  • Updating our office procedures to limit your time in our office, maintain social distancing among patients, and more

So what has happened since that article was published? Were they right?

Not exactly

Yes, it’s true that dentists (and many other healthcare professionals) were at high risk of contracting COVID-19. But something strange happened. Despite the risk, very few dentists and dental staff have actually contracted COVID-19.

The most recent data from the American Dental Association shows that fewer than 1% of dentists have contracted COVID-19 with the majority of the cases likely contracted outside of the dental setting.

So, what happened?

Preventing and treating infections in the teeth, gums, and surrounding tissue are key aspects of what every dentist does. Dentists and their staff are trained in how to work cleanly and prevent contamination and the spread of illness. 

There’s no other way to put it: you can’t be a great dentist if you’re not fanatical about sanitation and sterilization. Our office must pass inspections and our entire staff follows rigorous procedures to keep our office clean and safe. We’ve been doing this forever. Adapting to COVID-19 just required a deeper commitment to something that was always a part of our daily routine.

Plus, as our understanding of the coronavirus has changed, it has become more clear that aerosols (like those disinfected by our HVAC system) are a major source of transmission. Simply cleaning surfaces as many businesses do just isn’t enough to limit the spread of coronavirus. 

Our powerful HVAC system has played a big role in keeping our air clean and eliminating pathogens of all kinds at Timberhill Dental. Of course, surface transmission of coronavirus can’t be ignored. We take every precaution to reduce the possibility of COVID-19 infections.

The commitment of dentists everywhere to the health and safety of our staff and patients is what has helped minimize the risk of COVID-19 in our offices.

In addition, unlike emergency rooms, hospitals, and doctors’ offices, people experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 didn’t come to the dentist and further, appointment pre-screening measures further reduced the risk of dentists, staff, and other patients contracting COVID-19.

See you soon!

Drs. Black, Hickson, and Tidwell and the Timberhill Dental team would love to see you in our office for a checkup, cleaning, exam, or to plan restorative and cosmetic treatments. Schedule your appointment at Timberhill Dental today.

Great service, professional, very customer conscious including safety protocols. They always go the extra mile to recognize personal details (I.e. from last visit or asking about other family members). Just a good group of folks, from the dentists to the frontline staff. Thank you for a delightful visit!