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Maintaining your gum and dental health as well as helping safeguard your overall health is more important than ever.

In accordance with state and federal guidelines, Antoine Dental Center is reopening to serve the greater Houston community and protect your oral health. We are now scheduling dental appointments for general dental care visits, including teeth cleaning, fillings and tooth removal, orthodontic checkups, cosmetic dentistry, and routine exams such as X-rays.

Should I come in for my routine dental appointment?

Yes, you should continue your regularly scheduled dental check-ups and procedures. As we follow the updates from organizations including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Dental Association (ADA), we are recommending our patients come in for their general dental care, an essential element in keeping their bodies healthy and immune systems strong. Expert guidelines call for a regular dental check-up and teeth cleaning every six months, with more frequent appointments recommended for patients with special conditions.

We recommend that individuals who are elderly or at a higher risk for contracting COVID-19 alongside underlying health issues (such as heart disease, lung disease, or diabetes) take further precautions. All individuals who fall into a lower risk group—that is, otherwise healthy persons—should continue their regular dental appointments.

If you believe you are experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19 or have been in contact with someone who has tested positive, we ask that you inform us. We will be happy to reschedule your dental appointment for a later date, as well as provide medical information as needed. In addition to pre-appointment screenings and post-appointment questionnaires, we will be taking the temperature of every patient prior to entering our Houston dental office. This is to keep you, our staff, and all other members of our community safe.

Why is it important that I continue my dental check-ups?

As with other medical check-ups, dental visits are essential to long-term health and help avoid serious health complications arising from pre-existing or developing health issues. These aren’t just oral health issues. There are strong connections between oral health and major health conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic health issues.

Regular dental visits are essential, as they are the most effective way to prevent and detect gum disease and other conditions which might lead to or exacerbate other health problems. Maintaining your oral health is key to keeping your immune system strong, which is particularly important in this period of heightened infection.

In terms of your oral health, regular dental visits ensure we can take care of any problem as early as possible. Oral health issues like gum disease and tooth decay worsen over time if they are left untreated. Taking care of them early helps avoid future dental procedures that can be high-cost and more complex. Routine appointments, including teeth cleanings, lessen the chance of dental procedures like fillings, root canals and tooth loss. Early detection is also important in order to effectively treat more serious oral health problems such as gum disease and oral cancer.

A large percentage of adults living in the U.S. have or will experience gum disease. Gum health is strongly connected to a person’s general wellbeing, and risks to your gum health increase significantly when you miss regular dental checkups. This in turn can put your overall health at risk. We therefore strongly advise you to continue with your regular dental appointments, thus maintaining your gum health and preventing any escalation of dental issues, so that your immune system is in the best position possible to fight any infections, including COVID-19.

It’s also important to note that pre-existing health issues, like inflammatory responses associated with decreased gum health, can pose serious complications alongside a virus like COVID-19. It’s more critical than ever to safeguard your oral health and practice proper dental hygiene.

What steps is Antoine Dental Center taking to protect its dental patients and staff?

Our office is following a strict COVID-19 preventative protocol, which includes supplying a mask for all patients to wear throughout the clinic, initiating a socially-distanced check-in process, and mandating repeated disinfection of office areas and sterilization of all instruments. In order to protect our community and meet our high safety standards, we have implemented a three-pronged strategy: symptom screening, social distancing, and clinic environment.

1. Symptom Screening

  • We ask that you complete a pre-appointment screening as well as a post-appointment questionnaire. These are aimed at safeguarding the health of both our individual patients and our larger Houston community.
  • Before you enter the dental office, we will conduct a temperature check. Our staff is also required to do daily health check-ins.
  • Companions are asked to wait outside the clinic. If a patient requires assistance (e.g., pediatric patients or elderly patients), companions will also be screened for symptoms during patient check-in.

2. Social Distancing

  • When you arrive for your appointment, you will be asked to wait in your car and complete the online check-in. We will give you a phone call when we have completed the thorough disinfection of your designated room, at which point you may come into the clinic.
  • We are scheduling appointments so as to minimize possible patient-to-patient contact. If patient appointments must overlap, we are enforcing strict social distancing guidelines (i.e. maintaining a 6-foot separation).
  • We are offering specialized appointment times for patients with increased COVID-19 health risks.

3. Dental Clinic Environment

  • Each of our patients has a private room for their dental visit.
  • You will be given a mask before entering the office—all patients and staff will be wearing masks throughout the clinic. We will also have sanitizer available throughout the office and will ask you to sanitize your hands upon entering.
  • We follow strict disinfection protocols, including frequently disinfecting high-touch areas and placing barriers to cover high-touch items. In addition to regular disinfection procedures, we disinfect both the waiting area and the operatory between patients.

Has Antoine Dental Center implemented any additional safety precautions?

Yes—We have implemented additional protective measures on a variety of fronts. As a team of health care professionals, our dental staff is already trained in public health measures and universal precautions. With significant protective equipment and the training to use other protective measures effectively, our office is prepared to address any increased risk.

Each staff member present at a dental appointment wears an N-95 mask, as well as gloves, face shields, scrubs, and other protective equipment. Unlike the general population, dentist offices are accustomed to following strict precautions regarding respiratory hygiene and have already developed state-of-the-art infection control guidelines, including high disinfection and sterilization standards.

 

As our community reopens and accustoms itself to the changing conditions, people are being encouraged to return to the part of their routines that are judged to be safe. This includes keeping up with your dental checkups and safeguarding your oral hygiene. We look forward to welcoming you back to Antoine Dental Center, where we are doing the utmost to protect our community.

 

Chew Good. Look Good. Feel Good.

 Your mother always told you to brush your teeth.  We agree. Only the Houston teeth cleaning experts go about it in a much more effective manner than mom ever advised. The Academy of General Dentistry recommends two check ups a year. This helps keep gums, teeth and overall oral health in check. This is the best way to detect problems before they become serious issues.  

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