As vaccine dispersion continues across the world, several people are skeptical of how life will alter and what it insinuates for various health care services they expect.
The light is on the horizon for the world as COVID-19 vaccines have ultimately started to be distributed across the world. This is big news for everyone. Nonetheless, it’s still going to be various months until we are entirely out of the woods and things can return to a state of normality. In the meantime, it’s significant to understand how specific things will change and the circumstance evolves as more and more people are provided the vaccine while others patiently await their shift.
This is especially relevant when it comes to attaining health care services, comprising visits to your dental clinic. In this article, we’re going to examine how the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines will influence the health and safety approaches we’ve been following in our daily lives and what patients will need to understand about getting dental care once they get vaccinated.
When Is Someone Considered to Be ‘Fully Vaccinated’?
While vaccines are our biggest preservation against viruses like COVID-19, taking a vaccine isn’t actually like flipping a switch and turning on an invisible shield. It’s not an immediate effect. The science behind vaccines is quite extraordinary, and if you’d like to know more about how vaccines function to protect us, the World Health Organization has a helpful resource that provides an abundance of information on the topic. You can discover it here – Vaccines and Immunization: What is Vaccination?
Depending on the type of vaccine a person is given, the timeline to accomplish full vaccination status will vary slightly. Presently, there are two types of COVID-19 vaccines being distributed in Canada. Some vaccines, such as those created by Pfizer and Moderna, mandate two doses administered 21 days apart for Pfizer and 28 days apart for Moderna. The other type of COVID- 19 vaccine available in San Francisco is a single-dose vaccine produced by Johnson & Johnson.
A person is considered to be ‘fully vaccinated’ two weeks after the one-dose vaccine has been administered or two weeks after acquiring their second dose of the two-dose vaccine. Once someone has traveled this threshold and is considered fully vaccinated, there are amended guidelines that they are permitted to follow. Still, certain precautions are essential for the protection of others who have not yet been vaccinated.
How Do Health and Safety Guidelines Amend Once Someone Is Vaccinated?
Once vaccinated, some of the approved guidelines on personal protective measures are loosened in certain conditions. Particularly, the use of masks in several types of circumstances is not always expected. For instance, the CDC has implied that somebody who has been fully vaccinated does not need to wear masks when amassing indoors with other vaccinated individuals. Likewise, vaccinated persons do not need to wear a mask when indoors with a group of unvaccinated people who all reside in the same household; still, this does not pertain if any of those people are at increased risk of severe COVID infection.
Lastly, vaccinated individuals do not need to strictly avoid touch with others if they have been near someone who has COVID-19 unless they are indicating symptoms correlated with the virus. Regardless, for those people who are employed in or live in a group setting such as a retirement home, long-term care facility, corrections center, or another similar atmosphere, you should pursue a 14-day self-isolation and collect a test if you come into touch with someone infected with COVID-19, even if you are not exhibiting any signs or symptoms correlated with the virus.
What Has Not Altered Even When Someone Becomes Vaccinated?
Even when completely vaccinated, it is still in the best interests of your family and community to obey self-protection guidelines when in public domains, assembling with people from more than one household who have not been completely vaccinated or coming into the vicinity with high- risk individuals.
Travel should still be resisted unless necessary, and even when traveling, you will still be compelled to adhere to all health and safety recommendations without exception. Workplace domains are also spaces where you certainly must follow all crucial precautions for the safety of all those who come and go from those locales.
Ultimately, you must continue to remain observant and essentially monitor your health for any signs and symptoms related to COVID-19. If you undergo any of these symptoms, it is recommended you self-isolate and obtain guidance from your doctor, even if you have been fully vaccinated. It’s not worth the risks of potentially jeopardizing others who are not vaccinated yet.
What are we Doing to Ensure Patient Safety? The Center for Implant Dentistryremains determined to provide comfortable and protected surroundings for our patients and staff, and so we continue to obey all precautions and guidelines as set forth by health authorities for dental clinics during COVID-19. This comprises a comprehensive set of safety protocols and regulations for visiting patients, staff, and for our clinic spaces to minimize the risks of potential exposure and retain a clean, sanitary environment.
However, vaccination status, all patients arriving at the clinic spaces will be compelled to wear facemasks, the Center of Implant Dentistry team members will conduct a symptom screening when you arrive. Hand sanitizer is available throughout the clinic, social distancing criteria are still in place, and the number of people inside the building is kept to a minimum.
All staff is equipped with a set of personal protective equipment (PPE), comprising face masks, face shields, and respirators as required. In expansion, clear barriers and room dividers are in place to curb airborne particles from spreading from one space to another, and in-room HEPA air filtration systems are frequently carried out to sanitize the air inside the clinic.
At the edge of each day, a top-to-bottom sanitization of all clinic spaces and surfaces is performed using a refined ozone-saturation sterilization system. Once all clients and personnel have left the clinic for the day, the ozone sanitization system operates during the night, flooding the whole building with an airborne ozone mixture through the ventilation system of the building. This ozone mixture entirely sanitizes all surfaces it comes in contact with and then quickly dissipates to become inert and harmless. Each sunrise, when the clinic unlocks its doors again, the whole environment is disinfected and ready for the day.
For a detailed list of all safety precautions and protocols that are in place at the Center for Implant Dentistry, we recommend you check our Guide to COVID-19 Dental Clinic Protocols. We make sure the safety of our patients and staff is our absolute prime priority and are repeatedly working to provide the highest levels of safety for all individuals who arrive at our clinic spaces.
Is it Safe to Visit a Dental Clinic Now?
Even before the pandemic, dental clinics were expected to maintain relatively strict hygiene exercises. It has long been a basic protocol for the whole dental care team to wear shielding gear, comprising gloves, surgical masks, and goggles for eye protection to minimize the danger of transmitting germs from one patient to another.
Now, due to COVID-19, there are following safety precautions in place, numerous of them advised by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoH&FW) itself, and with the recently enhanced safety precautions, the dental clinics are, hence, safe to visit.
What Precautions Should I Take While Visiting a Dental Clinic?
Take part in pre and post-appointment screenings, be honest with your dentist, and don’t miss the details.
You should wear a mask whenever possible- while stepping through the facility, while talking with your consultation, and on the way out. Doing so may prevent you from unknowingly spewing contagious airborne particles and may even prevent you from inhaling them in.
Resist using the restroom. If you decide to use the restroom or touch a surface with your bare hands, you should wash or sanitize your hands instantly afterward. Also, washing your hands is necessary after you leave the clinic.
Adhere to the appointment time and prevent getting an attendant, with an oddity of dependents and children.
Stop wearing a wristwatch, jewelry, and any other additional accessories or bags.
Online fees through wallets or QR codes are enabled to avoid chances of transmission via cash or credit cards.
What Can I Do in the Meantime?
COVID-19 is going to be with us for numerous months. So it’s crucial to look after your oral health by maintaining a healthy diet and oral hygiene habits.
Brush twice daily: Give at least 2- 3 minutes on brushing.
Utilize Fluoride toothpaste: Fluoride is consumed into the enamel and enables to repair it by restoring the lost calcium and phosphorus, obliged to keep your teeth hard.
Avoid sticky foods: ‘Sticky foods’ are those that contribute long-lasting sources of sugar, such as hard candies, breath mints, and lollipops. These are also associated with tooth decay and should be resisted.
Drink lots of water: Water helps in maintaining your mouth clean and battling dry mouth. It rinses away leftover food and residue that cavity-causing bacteria are gazing for. Further, it also dilutes the acids developed by such bacteria.
Stay Safe, Stay Healthy, Stay the Course We have struck a turning point in the fight against COVID-19, with vaccine distribution now taking place nationwide, and so we look ahead to the day when the danger of this virus has become lessened to the point where life can return to normal. Until that day arrives, every person must remain dedicated to protecting themselves and all others protected to the best of their abilities.
Here at the Center for Implant Dentistry,we remain to concentrate on delivering exceptional dental health care to all our patients and their families in a protected and insulated environment. Contact us today to schedule your next appointment. We look forward to catching sight of you again soon!