Should I cancel my appointment for tomorrow?
I asked my wife for input since our state had recently eased shelter-in-place restrictions. She said that as long as I was comfortable with going then I should go to my dentist appointment.
So for those wondering what the experience is like now in a COVID-19 reality, here’s what you may expect.
After arriving in the parking lot, I texted the front desk my name, appointment time, and car make and model. A few minutes later, a masked assistant took my temperature from six feet away: I don’t know if it’s a laser or what, but as soon as she pointed the gun at my forehead it gave her my temp almost instantly.
I filled out a questionnaire answering no to whether I had tested positive or had fever symptoms in the last 14 days and then followed her inside. A mandatory squirt of hand sanitizer and then a different masked assistant took me past a wave of other masked assistants to an exam chair. It was momentarily creepy to see all of the staff masked up, but it’s the new necessary normal. At no time did I cross paths with another patient, masked or otherwise.
My hygienist then gave me an antiseptic rinse to kill whatever might be lurking and actually timed me for 30 seconds while I did swish-swish.
During the hygiening, I was given a pair of protective glasses to wear and the hygienist wore a face shield over hers.
After the cleaning and exam, I was brought to the pay counter, which now had protective glass in front of the front desk receptionist, with a slot at the bottom of the barrier to slide my credit card to her. The office staff also wore face masks.
Overall, I felt safe going to the dentist with these precautions in place. If I had to wait in the waiting room with several patients not wearing masks, I would have second thoughts. But I probably was safer in that environment than most reopened work environments.