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Patient to Patient: What’s it Like Going to the Dentist During the Coronavirus Pandemic?

Patient To Patient: What’s It Like Going To The Dentist During The Coronavirus Pandemic?

The past few months have been stressful, to say the least. So many of our routines have been completely uprooted due to the novel coronavirus pandemic — and it’s hard to know what preventative care is safe to get.

What appointments do we really need to have? How can we protect ourselves and those around us? Who can make sense of all the information flying around us?

Two weeks ago I went into Madison Family Dental for a dental cleaning, and I’m happy to say I felt completely comfortable the entire time. I hope my experience can ease some of your nerves about keeping up your regular dental care.

From one patient to another, here’s what it was like to have a dental cleaning and exam during COVID-19.

 

Scheduling my appointment

Scheduling my appointment was just as easy as it was before the pandemic. You can still use the online contact form or simply call the clinic like normal!

I know MFD has been working hard to get in touch with everyone who had an appointment that needed to be canceled earlier this spring at the start of Wisconsin’s safer at home order. If you haven’t rescheduled yet, now is a great time to call or fill out the appointment request form.

 

Preparing for my appointment

Madison Family Dental clearly laid out exactly what I could expect from my cleaning, which helped alleviate a lot of potential stress. All the information on their COVID-19 news and updates page is completely accurate!

Preparing for my appointment went pretty much like it always does — I made note of any questions I wanted to ask and tried to floss a bit more than normal.

The biggest difference was that two days before my cleaning, they emailed me a pre-appointment screening form to help assess my risk for carrying COVID-19 to keep staff and other patients safe. It only took a few minutes to fill out, and all the questions were straightforward!

Beyond that, I made sure to have my mask ready to go to wear inside.

 

Arriving to my appointment

Since I’ve opted in to receive text messages from Madison Family Dental (which I highly recommend!), I received a check-in text an hour before my appointment.

When I got to the Odana Road location, I was able to pull into the parking lot and simply reply to the text to let them know I was there! Each parking spot is labeled clearly so you can let them know exactly where you are.

If I hadn’t opted in for texts, I could have just as easily called the front desk.

I waited for just a minute in my car — mask on securely — before my hygienist came out to escort me inside. When we walked through the main entrance, I saw that plexiglass had been put up to create an extra barrier between patients and staff.

In the front waiting room, she took my temperature with a no-touch infrared thermometer. It only took a few seconds, and then we headed back to my exam room.

 

Getting my teeth cleaned

Once I was in the exam room, things went along pretty much like normal. The only real difference was the reassuring addition of extra personal protective equipment to keep everyone safe.

Like always, my hygienist wore her usual gloves and glasses. She also used a surgical mask as well as a plastic face shield — it wasn’t until she had the shield secured that I removed my own mask so she could access my teeth.

It was clear that Madison Family Dental was taking measures to keep me, their staff, and fellow patients all healthy. The exam room was pristine!

As she cleaned my teeth and my dentist came in for her examination, I was almost able to forget that we’re in the middle of a global pandemic. It felt so… normal. I really enjoyed having a friendly, face-to-face conversation with someone who isn’t an immediate member of my household — and how comfortable I was able to feel while doing it.

 

Leaving the clinic

Once my appointment was over, my hygienist scheduled my next appointment while I was still in the exam room and then escorted me back out into the parking lot. You could tell that they were carefully timing things to limit all human contact. I didn’t run into a single other patient!

All in all, I’m happy I trusted Madison Family Dental and kept up with my regular dental care during this chaotic time. I’ll admit that I was a bit nervous — but they took great care of not only my teeth but the rest of my health, too.

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