Don’t Let Pandemic Anxiety Keep You from Getting the Dental Care You Need
If you have been feeling anxious or nervous about visiting the dentist lately because of the COVID19 pandemic, rest assured our clinics are taking all necessary precautions to ensure your safety and protection.
We are all working together to fight the spread of COVID-19, but for many people the added stresses and worries associated with navigating this pandemic are causing anxiety levels to rise. Staying safe is the top priority right now, and so it is easy to understand why some people would be apprehensive about booking appointments for things like dental work.
Fortunately, we can help to alleviate those worries and apprehensions by explaining how the team here at Georgian Dental is working to keep all patients and staff safe and protected. In addition, we can suggest many different strategies to reduce the effects of stress and anxiety during this difficult time. It’s important to know that essential dental treatments don’t need to be put off because of COVID-19 and staying on top of your dental care will help contribute to better overall health and well-being.
Let’s start the process of alleviating any concerns you may have about the safety of dental care during this pandemic by reviewing the protocols and special equipment that is in place at Georgian Dental clinics to protect patients and staff.
How Georgian Dental Is Keeping Patients & Staff Safe from COVID-19
Georgian Dental has always followed a very strict set of dental safety protocols in order to ensure that our clinics are exceptionally clean and sanitized, so we adapted quickly to the additional guidelines and requirements put forth by Health Canada and other authorities. Before patients or staff are permitted to enter the clinic, a screening process is performed to verify that each person is not exhibiting any symptoms of COVID-19, and to confirm that they have not been in contact with anyone infected or suspected to be infected.
Social distancing measures are enforced whenever possible, and personal protective equipment (PPE) is worn at all times. Face masks that cover the nose and extend below the chin are required by all patients in the clinic, and you will be instructed by your dentist or hygienist when to remove it for your treatment and when to put it back on when your treatment is complete. Staff members will wear additional PPE such as face shields, respirators, gloves, and protective gowns as required.
The clinic space itself is diligently cleaned and sanitized by our team throughout the day, including all high-contact surfaces such as door handles, chairs, and payment touchpads. A comprehensive airborne sanitization treatment occurs every night while the clinic is empty. This is done by flooding the clinic with an ozone/air mixture via the HVAC system, which sterilizes all surfaces and equipment throughout the clinic.
We also have installed in-room HEPA air filters, clear plastic barriers separate and isolate all treatment spaces, and transparent plexiglass dividers are present in the waiting room and offices. Hand sanitizer is distributed throughout the clinic for patients and staff to use frequently.
As you can see, we take the safety of patients and staff very seriously. For a complete breakdown of all the various safety measures that are currently in place at the Georgian Dental clinics, we recommend you refer to our guide to dental clinic COVID-19 safety for more details.
Education Can Help Address Concerns & Reduce Worry
One of the most effective ways to help reduce anxiety around a particular topic is to learn more about it from trusted experts. To this end, Georgian Dental has put forth many different articles on our blog that our patients and their families can use to learn about a wide range of different dental treatments and procedures and how they may have changed in response to the pandemic.
Whether you are interested in getting started with orthodontic treatment to straighten crooked teeth, need a dental implant to replace a lost tooth, or want to brighten your smile with dental veneers, you can still obtain all of these treatments at Georgian Dental thanks to our heightened safety measures. By reading up on what to expect, you can avoid the stress that comes from fear of the unknown. If you know what the experience will be like before you even make the appointment, it’s much more likely that your anxiety level will be significantly lower.
There are other ways to reduce anxiety and worries, too. In fact, there are several holistic approaches to managing stress and anxiety that are proven to be very effective and can be of great benefit during times of difficulty like the COVID-19 pandemic.
Holistic Approaches to Reducing Anxiety and Stress
Managing anxiety through holistic methods can be quite simple. In fact, many of the strategies and techniques used to help alleviate anxiety holistically are things that you may already be doing to some degree. Let’s review some of these methods for reducing worry and anxiety.
Get More Exercise
Physical activity and exercise are extremely effective at controlling mood and reducing feelings of anxiety. The natural endorphins created by exercise provide a heightened sense of well-being and satisfaction, making them excellent counters to the negative feelings that come from worry and stress. A simple walk around the block is often enough to have a noticeable effect, and the more you do it the better you’ll feel overall. More exercise leads to better sleep, higher energy levels, and many other positive health effects.
Proper Diet & Nutrition
Making sure that your body is properly nourished can have a profound impact on anxiety and stress levels. Vitamins and minerals such as B vitamins, vitamin C, and magnesium are all linked to hormone production, energy levels, and can have relaxing effects on the muscles. In addition, cutting back on caffeine intake and reducing our consumption of alcohol can reduce the frequency and severity of anxiety.
It’s quite common that the things which make us anxious can be the things we put off and procrastinate about. However, this often has the effect of worsening these feelings and prolonging their presence in our lives unnecessarily. Getting things checked off of our to-do lists, no matter how small or simple, can be a good way to relieve stress and increase our feelings of accomplishment. If you’ve been putting off dental treatments or checkups, taking the leap and booking the appointment today will start the process of removing that portion of stress from your life.
Mindful Reflection & Writing Down Thoughts
For some people, the thoughts that swirl around in their heads and cause anxiety to build over time can start to lose their power when they get them out of their minds and written down on paper. The process of mindfully documenting our thoughts with pen and paper, creating lists or reflecting on them, can help us gain perspective on our anxieties and change how we feel about our worries. It’s also a good opportunity to weigh our worries against the things we are grateful for in our lives. This action alone can have powerful effects on mood and reduce stress levels.
As you can see, there are many simple yet effective ways you can work in stress-relieving activities and positive habits into your day-to-day life to reduce the severity of anxiety. Of course, we can also help increase your comfort level during dental treatments with different options for sedation. Knowing what these options are can help you feel more comfortable before your appointment, so let’s take a moment and review them together.
Different Levels of Dental Sedation
While many people assume that sedation is merely used for the purposes of pain management during invasive procedures, the reality is that different sedation options are available for patients to address a variety of factors. In addition to anxiety related to particular procedures, dental sedation can be used to supplement local anesthetics, as well as make it easier for some patients to remain still and comfortable during longer procedures.
Mild dental sedation is often offered as an option to patients experiencing anxiety at lower levels, or who are unable to settle into a comfortable state for the duration of the procedure. This type of sedation is typically administered orally, and the patient remains awake while the dental treatment is completed. Within a few hours, the effects of mild sedation wear off and the patient can return to normal activity levels.
For patients experiencing stronger anxiety, or for situations where complex procedures require extended timelines, moderate sedation is used to place these patients in a deep state of relaxation. With moderate sedation, most patients become less aware of time and their surroundings, with many of them not remembering anything about their procedure after the sedation has taken effect. Driving under the effects of moderate sedation is not safe, so after the procedure is complete, these patients will need to be accompanied by another person who can transport them home and monitor them for a short time as the effects can linger for several hours afterwards.
In cases where it is necessary due to the scope of the procedure, or for patients experiencing the most severe levels of anxiety, deep sedation can be offered. These types of sedation are administered by IV, and will cause the patient to enter a sleep-like state with no recollection of the procedure at all. Patients receiving deep sedation will need to be accompanied by someone to assist them after the procedure and transport them back home for a period of rest until the effects of the deep sedation have completely worn off.
Let Us Help Make Your Dental Treatments a Positive Experience
We firmly believe that proper dental care is one of the most critical factors affecting your overall health and well-being and obtaining the treatments you need to keep your mouth strong, healthy, and beautiful is extremely important even during the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s natural to experience some level of stress or anxiety during this time, as there have been many disruptions to our lives. However, as we have illustrated in this article, we can help you overcome these challenges and manage anxiety, allowing you to focus more effectively on taking care of your health in all aspects, including dentistry.
If you’ve been delaying your next dental appointment due to stress, worry, or anxiety, we encourage you to contact us today and speak with one of our team members. We will be glad to discuss your concerns with you and provide answers to any questions you may have. We’re here to help, and we look forward to your next visit!