Q: I know I’m probably being silly, but I’m really concerned about going to the dentist with all this flu stuff going on. Can you give me some more information to make me more comfortable?
A: I most certainly can. I know the CDC are predicting that incidences of the seasonal flu and H1N1 (swine flu) will increase, now that school has started, and the further we move into season. School has just started and season isn’t quite here yet.
As to the predictions, we will have to wait and see. I can tell you that you have little cause to worry. Modern dentistry has just about eliminated the possibility that you will contract the flu or any other illness while you are in the office. Dental offices today take every available precaution to avoid transmission of illness.
Here are some of the steps taken to ensure you of that. Each treatment room is thoroughly sprayed with a hospital level disinfectant. All surfaces are carefully wiped down, and then the surfaces are sprayed again. Once the room is ready to be set up for a procedure, the materials used are single-use and disposable. All of the dental instruments are individually packaged, sealed, and then sterilized with steam under pressure. None of the instruments are opened until the patient is ready for treatment. Antibacterial soap is present in all the treatment rooms. Disposable barriers are placed on light handles and other surfaces to prevent the transmission of disease. Please rest assured that all precautions are taken to ensure each and every individuals safety and continued health. The likelihood of getting either of these illnesses in a dental office is further diminished for a very simple reason. People do not like to go to the dentist when they are not feeling well. As always, prevention is the best medicine.
Dr. Fred Eck, D.D.S., received his Doctorate of Dental Surgery at the University of Detroit Mercy and is licensed by the Florida State Board of Dentistry. Send your questions to Marco Dental Care, 950 N. Collier Blvd., Suite 305, Marco Island; call 389-9400; or visit marcodentalcare.com.