Dr. Nammy talks about COVID-19 and gives us an update on her dental practice, San Francisco Green Dentistry, and the safety procedures in place at her practice.
John Maher: Hi, I’m John Maher. I’m here today with Dr. Nammy Patel, founder of Green Dentistry in San Francisco, California, helping patients recognize the vital connection between dental health and full body health, and author of the bestselling book Age with Style: Guide to a Youthful Smile & Healthy Living. Today, we’re doing a Green Dentistry COVID update. Welcome, Dr. Nammy.
Dr. Nammy Patel: Hi, John. Thank you for having me here today.
COVID-19 Dentistry Updates
John: Sure. So Dr. Nammy, are there any new updates in terms of COVID-19 and dentistry these days?
Dr. Nammy: There are so many updates. It is now close to November. Back in March when the whole COVID situation came about, there was a lot of anxiety around dentistry and COVID. There was a lot of fear around… We thought that COVID could be spread airborne, or since dentists are in close contact and there are aerosols, it was going to create a brewing-ground or a spreading-ground for COVID. And six months later, scientific studies have been done in dental offices, and they have found that actually universal precautions work and there have been zero cases where COVID has been spread from a dentist to a patient. So there is a lot of confidence now that it is safe to do dentistry during the COVID time.
Should You Keep Your Dental Appointment During the Pandemic?
John: Okay. So should people then be keeping their appointments and even getting new appointments for cleanings and other dental work like that?
Dr. Nammy: Yes, absolutely. I absolutely believe that it is the best time to get dental visits done because we are now working from home, so that it’s a lot easier to schedule a block of time. If there is any dental work that needs to get done, whether it’s a crown or a filling or something you’ve been waiting on, this is the best time to be able to do it because it has very little disruption in your life. And even if we’re thinking about a cosmetic case, being on Zoom allows us to be able to go through the temporary phase and the final reconstruction a lot easier and more comfortably than it ever has before.
And it’s because dentists are following… Especially in my practice, we follow high sterilization protocols and we make sure that everyone that comes through the office, they’re sprayed down with alcohol, we use UV lights, so we definitely make it a point to make sure that it’s a COVID-free, COVID-safe environment to get any dental work done.
And the benefits, like I said, it’s for the patient, because now that we’re working at home, it’s a lot easier to get dental work done. Things that you might’ve been concerned about, taking time off of work, or that going-in and going-out time, you can now block a time, maybe do the first thing in the morning or late end of the day so that way you can have free time afterwards, because there is no commute time. You don’t have to worry about going back to the office. You just get to go home and get the dental work done. You can go home. Or if you’re concerned about pain and concerned that, hey, you may not be feeling a hundred percent to get the work done, so you can actually just go back home and relax and make sure everything goes really comfortably.
Cosmetic Dentistry Services and COVID
John: Right. Exactly. So you mentioned cosmetic dentistry services, things like braces and veneers and teeth whitening. Should people be making appointments to do those as well?
Dr. Nammy: Absolutely. And dentists are taking precautions in their practice. I know in my practice, I COVID-test my staff daily, and then also make sure that we’re following our safety protocols. The key is going to be for the patient to make sure that you’re following the safety protocols, wearing a mask everywhere you go and making sure that you’re being very conscious of health and safety protocols that are put into place in all states and around the world actually.
And having said that, this is the best time to get dental work done. If I was thinking about doing veneers or bleaching or anything like that, I would do it now, because again, you have the downtime. If you were going to get veneers, you don’t have to worry about going back to work and seeing people with temporaries or anything like that. So if there is any concern about how long things can take, or if there is any concern about discomfort, this is the best time to be able to take care of it.
COVID-19 Safety Protocols
John: Okay. And walk through a few of those safety procedures that you have in your office that you mentioned before. And are you doing anything new, or are you just sticking with the same protocols that you’ve had since you guys reopened?
Dr. Nammy: One of the things that we’re doing, we constantly evolve our safety protocols to see what’s happening, how things are proceeding. And also I’ve done that throughout my process, and also now that, again, November, we’re going to start having the flu season come across.
As far as safety protocols, aside from temperature checks and masks and sanitizers for just basic, and everyone should be doing that, we in the dental practice have extra-oral suctions that suction out any COVID. We also use UV lights, even on the cell phone, to make sure that any bacteria, any viruses, are all killed off. Also, for each procedure, we actually use UV lights in the practice in order to make sure that everything is cleaned.
The other thing that we also do is that we make sure that our patients are given vitamin C. So we give them a vitamin C shot before they get started with any dental procedures. So it’s a great way to boost their immune system. The other thing that I do is every patient that comes in, we laser their gums and their back of their throat, because that’s where COVID enters the mouth. It’s through the nose, through the back of the mouth and into the lungs. So if we can disinfect that area, it actually boosts your immune system to be better and more robust at fighting COVID.
John: Wow. That’s really interesting. All right. Well, that’s really great information, Dr. Nammy, thanks again for speaking with me today.
Dr. Nammy: My pleasure.
John: And for more information about green dentistry, visit the website at sfgreendentist.com or call (415) 433-0119.