The Next Normal: How COVID-19 is changing your visit to the dentist

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Updated: Jul. 8, 2020 at 7:53 PM CDT
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - It’s something most of us only do twice a year − going to the dentist. But the next time you go in for a cleaning, you’ll notice several new precautions aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19.

“We’ve got a lot of barriers in place,” Dr. Donna Franklin-Pitts, D.D.S. said.

At Franklin Dental Center in Tyler, they’re back to their routine procedures, with some changes.

“We’re not doing the volume of work we would normally do. We are making sure that we don’t have all of the chairs full with patients,” Franklin-Pitts said.

Before even walking in the door, people with an appointment are screened for COVID-19 symptoms and asked to wait in their car until they’re ready to be brought back. They’re then greeted by a worker donned in PPE.

“We’re of course wearing masks all day. We used to wear them just in treatment so even when we’re getting the temperatures on the patients, we’re in gear,” Franklin-Pitts said.

Then people are shown to their sanitized chair where the procedure goes on as normal. As for the metal tools used during the cleaning, they’re sanitized heavily.

“They are disinfected. We do have a machine that’s an ultrasonic, so the instruments that are metal, they go through a machine that sterilizes them, gets the debris off them, and then we package them in packages or in cassettes,” Franklin-Pitts said.

Cleaning and sanitizing has always happened frequently in a dentist office − even more so now.

“We just make sure that everything is covered, once the patient leaves the room, everything is uncovered, disinfected, wiped down,” Franklin-Pitts said.

So the next time you go in to get your teeth worked on, you’ll likely see some of these new precautions in the next normal.

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