Personal protective equipment (PPE) is now a widely-used term among the public these days. Once only heard of in healthcare settings, everyone is donning some form of PPE, the most common being a face mask. Fortunately, a facial covering is only one form of protection your child’s dentist will be wearing during their next appointment. For proper COVID-19 safety in Katy, you will find there to be at least 4 types of protective equipment worn by both the dentist and their team members. Read on to find out what you can expect to see when arriving for your appointment.
The Importance of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
As a pediatric dentist in Katy, your child’s health professional is taking all the necessary precautions to keep their team and patients safe. As COVID-19 remains a global threat, precise measures must be taken to avoid potential contamination or transmission of harmful bacteria or viruses. This is where PPE becomes a valuable component to the daily operations of your child’s dental office.
Not only do gloves, protective eyewear, face masks, face shields, and disposable gowns protect your little one from pathogens that could be easily transferred from staff to patients, but they also safeguard the eyes, nose, and mouth of your child’s dental team.
Many routine and elective treatments performed in a dental office require the use of instruments that produce aerosols. Because these can cause splashes or sprays of saliva or other bodily fluids to project upward, not only is your child’s dentist minimizing the use of aerosol-generating procedures, but they’re also better protecting themselves from exposure with the right PPE.
What Forms of PPE is Your Child’s Dentist Wearing?
When arriving for your child’s dental appointment, it is important that you prepare them for what they will see. Team members will likely be wearing a wide array of PPE that might be unsettling for some younger patients. Some of the most common and effective forms of protection you may see include:
- N95 Face Masks and Shields: Apart from serving as a filter to reduce the potential of breathing in harmful bacteria and viruses, these PPE also safeguard against airborne particles and aerosols that may splash upward during a regular treatment.
- Disposable Caps and Gowns: Many dentists are requesting all team members to wear their hair pulled up and away from the face. They are also requiring everyone to wear a cap and disposable gown to ensure no dirt or bacteria will be transferred to the patient.
- Gloves: Another not a new PPE for dentists to wear, gloves help to protect both the dentist and patient from exposure. If your child has any form of bad bacteria in their mouth, gloves help to protect the dental hygienist from being infected with it, as it could easily get under the nail bed.
- Protective Eyewear: Depending on the dentist, eyewear may also be worn to add another layer of protection against harmful pathogens in the air. If face shields are worn, they may opt to forgo this form of PPE; however, that is not always the case.
Remember, make sure you are informing your child of these changes before their arrival. By showing them pictures of each type of PPE, you can help to minimize any fear or anxiety they might feel when seeing their dentist and team members.
About the Author
Dr. Adeel Khan is a board-certified pediatric dentist in Katy, TX. Receiving his Doctor of Dental Medicine at the Boston University School of Dental Medicine and graduating Magna Cum Laude, he promises to provide his patients with accessibility, affordability, expertise, and fun appointments thanks to his animated personality. He and his team at Happy Chompers Pediatric Dentistry also ensure the health and safety of everyone who enters their office. Because of the continued threat of COVID-19, additional protocols are now being implemented to better protect both staff and patients. To learn what steps Dr. A and his team are taking, visit our website or call (832) 789-8348.