Q: I need to get a root-canal treatment, which has been pending for a long time but I kept postponing it. Is it okay to go to the dentist now considering the Covid situation?

The Covid-19 virus has changed everything and yet some things remain exactly the same. Unfortunately, you have to do what you have to do!

Yes, some extra precautions need to be taken from your side as well as from the dentist’s side. For one, make sure that you are not running a fever or suffering from dry cough or having breathing difficulties. Even though these are not the only symptoms of Covid-19, they are the most frequent and one the dentist can check for.

Even though the Dubai Health Authority has now allowed dental clinics to operate normally, it would be advisable to exercise caution and delay elective dental procedures for some time.

Other procedures such as root-canal treatment, crowns, fillings, extractions and such can be performed especially when infections are involved.

You may undergo root canal treatment in the clinic, but try and make sure that adequate precautions are being taken.

Best practices include a rubber-dam for isolating dental aerosols, protective glasses for the patient, N95 or equivalent masks for the dentist and assistant, disposable gowns, head and preferably shoe coverings.

Please also make sure that the dental clinic is not too crowded. You can do this by calling up the clinic in advance and confirming your appointment time. Do not arrive before time. Coordinate with the clinic to enter the premises only when the chair is disinfected and ready so that you don’t have to wait.

Try to avoid taking along too many people with you to the clinic to minimise risk. Ask for a mouthwash, preferably hydrogen peroxide, before you start in case you have not been offered one.

Avoid touching any surfaces or things that you don’t need to.

You can check with your clinic if your patient form can be filled up online. Also, take all receipts, prescriptions and claim forms electronically rather than as hard copies to minimise spread.

Think of the above as guidelines and tips rather than rules because some of them cannot be practised fully. However, the more of these guidelines you follow the safer you can be. Stay safe.

Tanveer Ahmed is an implantologist, dental surgeon and medical director at New Ivory Dental and Implant Clinic. Got a problem? Our fantastic panel of renowned experts is available to answer all your questions related to fashion, well-being, nutrition, finance and hypnotherapy. Email your queries to friday@gulfnews.com.

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