WHO Advises Delaying Routine Dental Visits—What to Know If You Still Need to Go

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What’s worse than the fear of going to the dentist? The fear of going to the dentist compounded with the fear of leaving your house during a pandemic. If that doesn’t make you anxious, the World Health Organization (WHO) just advised that all dental patients should avoid undergoing any nonessential oral health services in areas where the COVID-19 outbreak continues to spread. But, if you’re in need of a dental procedure, dentists say you shouldn’t wait. Here, the top reasons for overcoming dental anxiety and not putting off necessary dental treatment.

Safety Comes First
Beverly Hills, CA cosmetic dentist Katherine Ahn Wallace, DDS says the dental office is actually a super sterile place to be at this time as dentists have adopted more rigorous measures than they’ve already had in place. “Most dentists are well prepared for infection control,” says Dr. Ahn Wallace. “With the COVID stay-at-home order, many dentists established even stricter protocols by also utilizing N95 masks, disposable gowns, intraoral rinses, alcohol wipes, temperature monitoring protocols, HEPA filters and extraoral suction units to minimize aerosol production.”

Boost Your Immunity
To ease patient anxiety, New York cosmetic dentist Nargiz Schmidt, DDS thinks patients should consider that overall good health and wellness begins in the mouth, making it an area you shouldn’t neglect. “I always say to my patients your oral health is directly related to your systemic health and the immune response of your body,” she says. “Now, it is more important than ever to keep your mouth clean and healthy. If you have essential dental work you need to have done, don’t delay. These difficult times show that we need to make sure our body can withstand any external challenges.”

Step Away from Google
If you’re not sure whether your dental issue falls in the necessary or nonessential category, New York cosmetic dentist Jason Kasarsky, DDS says try not to succumb to the modern practice of self diagnosis. “Most patients Google their symptoms and fear the worst,” he says. “What goes on in between our ears is usually far worse than the reality. Reach out to your dentist via telemedicine and become more informed. Most young adult mouths can usually sustain a few extra months between checkups, but as we enter our 40’s and 50’s our bodies have a tougher time making up for ‘lost time.’”

Don’t Stress
Above all, Dr. Kasarsky says patients should remember that their overall health and safety comes first, and that includes dealing with daily stressors no matter how big or small. “Anxiety compromises the system. We break down faster and have a tougher time recuperating, so it’s important to address these issues now as we continue to adapt to what happens next.”

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