Coronavirus FAQs

Coronavirus FAQs and Tips to Protect Yourself and Others:

What does the coronavirus mean for Delta Dental?

Our Michigan, Ohio and Indiana offices are closed until further notice. 

The health and wellbeing of our Delta Dental family is of utmost importance.

We have enacted many safety measures to keep our employees healthy during this time in which there are so many unknowns.

All employees who are non-business critical have been equipped with the proper equipment and technology to work from home. 
We are also in the process of deep cleaning and sanitizing our buildings to ensure the safest work environment possible for those who are still working on site to maintain critical business operations.

A deadly new virus, which causes respiratory illness and pneumonia, and is spreading around the world. A novel coronavirus is a new coronavirus that has not been previously identified. The virus causing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), is not the same as the coronaviruses that commonly circulate among humans and cause mild illness, like the common cold.

Reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death for confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases.

The following symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19 get medical attention immediately. Emergency warning signs include*:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion or inability to arouse
  • Bluish lips or face

*This list is not all inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning.

 

Early information out of China, where COVID-19 first started, shows that some people are at higher risk of getting very sick from this illness including older adults, and people who have serious chronic medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and lung disease.
 

There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.

Take steps to protect yourself:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water frequently and for at least 20 seconds each time.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with others.
  • Stay home if you are sick.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes.
  • Clean and disinfect commonly touched surfaces.
     

It’s especially important to care for the elderly and vulnerable in your lives by making sure you do not expose them to unnecessary crowds or sick people during this time. It is recommended these populations stay at home as much as possible during this outbreak.

Higher risk populations include older adults and those who have serious chronic medical conditions like heart disease, lung disease and diabetes. 
 

Because close doctor-patient contact is required for dental treatment, dentists routinely follow infection control guidelines with all patients to prevent person-to-person spread of all types of infections. Precautions followed by dentists and staff include wearing gloves and masks changed with each patient, frequent handwashing, use of barriers on surfaces, sterilization of dental handpieces and tools and cleaning of surfaces with high-level, hospital-grade disinfectants.

In addition, the American Dental Association has provided dentists with recommendations on screening patients for international travel and signs or symptoms of infection along with other guidelines for keeping patients safe from the COVID-19 virus.

The coronavirus continues to spread, and it’s more important than ever to practice good oral and overall health routines, and to re-evaluate basic activities like a trip to the dental office.

Oral and overall health are connected! Your mouth helps you to eat, drink, talk and smile, but health conditions like diabetes, heart or kidney disease, and many more can all affect our oral health. And individuals with those health conditions, plus older adults and those with weakened immune systems, are at higher risk for coronavirus.

Help keep your smile healthy and reduce your risk of coronavirus with a good home health routine.

  • Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time with a fluoridated toothpaste.
  • Floss once a day.
  • Eat a balanced diet.
  • Exercise—even quick walks around your neighborhood or home have great benefits.
  • Wash your hands often, especially before eating or brushing your teeth. You should wash with soap and water for at least 20 seconds each time.

Federal, state and local governments and health care organizations are taking actions to prevent coronavirus infection and save lives.

We strongly encourage you to follow American Dental Association (ADA) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines and delay any preventive or elective dental treatment at this time. However, only you and your dentist know what can be postponed due to individual health needs.

If you do need dental treatment, you should know that dentists already follow strict infection control guidelines that can help prevent the spread of many infections, including the coronavirus. Dentists and staff change gloves and masks between each patient, frequently wash their hands, sterilize dental tools and clean surfaces with hospital-grade disinfectants.

Federal, state and local governments and health care organizations are taking actions to prevent coronavirus infection and save lives.

  • If your dentist has elected to close at this time, an answering service can often relay messages to your dentist, who can provide next steps. Many dentists will also make themselves available for dental emergencies.
  • Without immediate dental consultation, only you can decide if your condition requires a visit to the emergency department. But, here are guidelines that may help:
    • If you have swelling of the face, throat or mouth, along with difficulty breathing, swallowing or a fever of 100 degrees or higher, seek immediate attention at the nearest emergency room.
    • If you can’t contact your dentist and have severe dental pain or bleeding in the mouth that won’t stop, seek immediate care at an emergency room.
  • If you visit the emergency room for a dental issue, follow up with your dentist as soon as possible after the emergency visit for continued care.
    • Medical traumas such as broken teeth can only be dealt with by a dentist, whereas severe trauma related to an accident will require an oral surgeon and/or other trauma specialists followed by restorative dental care.

In general, unless a hospital has dentists or oral surgeons on staff, they can only prescribe medications.

Teledentistry is a part of telemedicine, and it’s a way for patients to receive health care evaluations or advice remotely using videoconference technology. It can be a helpful service for people who live far from a dental office, or in the case of the COVID-19 pandemic, when people are staying home to avoid exposure.

Learn more about teledentistry.

  • Follow all ADA, CDC and federal, state and local guidelines first.
  • Trust your dentist in their knowledge of infection prevention and the priority of patient needs.

Sources: Center for Disease Control, American Dental Association, and Delta Dental of Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana.

 

 

Prioritizing your oral health during the coronavirus pandemic

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