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How Are Dentists Accommodating High-Risk Patients?

May 20, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — washingtondent @ 8:12 pm
a dentist and dental hygienist performing dental work on an elderly patient

It is a well-known fact that the elderly population is considered to be “high-risk” when it comes to determining who is most vulnerable to contracting COVID-19. This unfortunate reality is creating additional challenges for dental offices to offer services to this demographic, as is it recommended that they stay home and avoid unnecessary public outings. If you or a loved one are a senior citizen, you may be wondering, “How then can I get the dental care I need and stay safe?” A dentist in Bergenfield explains the special accommodations being made to provide care to these individuals so they can maintain better oral health and remain free of COVID-19.

Why is the Older Adult Population Considered “High-Risk?”

According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), “high-risk” populations include those individuals who are ages 65 and older. Because many people within this demographic have underlying medical conditions, this means their immune systems are not as strong as younger and middle-aged adults. This increases their risk of contracting COVID-19.

Unfortunately, people of all ages are vulnerable to the infectious disease that causes respiratory illness, especially those who have a chronic lung disease, asthma, heart conditions, obesity, diabetes, kidney or liver disease, and individuals who are immunocompromised.

The Mayo Clinic recently explained that the highest mortality rate from COVID-19 is in people who are over the age of 80. And those who reside in a nursing home face an even higher risk because of the increased exposure to germs that are easily spread between residents.

What Accommodations Are Being Made to Help Senior Citizens?

Because senior citizens are vulnerable to many of the same dental diseases as younger and middle-aged individuals, it is important that they receive necessary care to prevent worsening oral health. But how? When organizations like the CDC and state officials are urging older adults to remain at home, it is up to dental offices to offer appropriate accommodations to continue providing valuable treatment, right?

Fortunately, there are many new safety protocols for dentists to follow that make it possible to maintain a healthy and germ-free environment for everyone. But to ease the fear of senior citizen patients, many dental offices are now offering special hours dedicated to this particular demographic. While they are welcome to receive care at any time, these specific days/times will remain available solely for those who are most vulnerable.

At Smile More Dentistry, Senior Citizen Hours are from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesdays, and at Washington Dental Associates, the same hours apply on Thursday.

This is just one more way dentists throughout the country are helping to “flatten the curve” and provide an extra level of care to those in need.

About the Author
Dr. Mariliza LaCap has more than two decades of experience working in the oral healthcare field. Completing her Aesthetic Advantage Certification at New York University, she went on to receive her Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from Columbia University School of Dental & Oral Surgery, graduating in the top 10% of her class. At Washington Dental Associates, she and her colleagues want to protect all patients, including those who are considered “high-risk” for contracting COVID-19. To find out what special accommodations are being made for you or a loved one in this category, contact us at (201) 453-4863.

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