COVID-19 Update for Our Members
As Tennessee dentists start to reopen their doors for preventive and elective appointments, you may be curious about what to expect now. Many dental offices are taking extra measures to keep you and your family safe. This may include pre-appointment screenings to gauge potential exposure to COVID-19, temperature checks, changes to check-in and waiting room procedures, extra cleaning and sanitation measures and additional personal protective equipment for patients and staff, including face shields, facemasks and gowns. Here are some things to know to help you make an informed decision about your oral health care.
What to expect at dental appointments
The next time you go to the dentist, things may be a bit different because of COVID-19. Some of the changes you might see include:
Prior to your appointment:
- To allow social distancing between patients, you may have fewer appointment time options or need to wait longer to get an appointment.
- You may be asked screening questions to make sure you do not have any COVID-19 symptoms or have not been in contact with anyone with COVID-19.
Day of appointment:
- You may be asked similar screening questions about having COVID-19 symptoms.
- You may be asked to take your temperature when you come into the building.
- You may be asked to wait in your car.
- Waiting rooms may have less chairs and there likely won’t be magazines or toys.
- Many offices will ask you to wear a mask. If you have one, you may want to bring it with you.
- You may be asked to wash your hands before going to the treatment room. Hand sanitizer may also be available.
During your appointment:
- Staff may be wearing face shields, masks, gowns and head coverings.
- Treatment may be modified to reduce the amount of aerosols created. For example, the hygienist may hand-polish your teeth instead of ultrasonic cleaning.
- You may see additional dividers, such as Plexiglas, at the front desk and throughout the office.
Depending on your oral health needs, you may want to consider teledentistry. Using video chat, dentists can provide a virtual consultation and diagnose emergency situations to determine if you need to schedule an in-person visit.
Delta Dental members who receive teledentistry services from a licensed dentist are actively involved in their treatment decisions. Working with your dentist, you can choose how and when you receive in-person follow-up treatment for a covered service. Teledentistry claims are temporarily being paid the same as traditional claims, and Delta Dental dentists have been notified on how to code these claims for quick and easy processing.
Keep up your oral hygiene at home
Keeping up with your oral hygiene is more important than ever! By being proactive, you can decrease your risk for tooth decay and gum disease, which can weaken your immune system. Take care of your teeth and gums with a thorough, at-home oral care routine that includes regular brushing, flossing and healthy eating.
We’re still here for you
We are continuing to track information and recommendations provided by the CDC, ADA and state and local governments and promise to update you along the way. We appreciate you and your support. You have access to important information—such as benefits, eligibility, claim status, locating a provider and ordering an ID card—through our secure Member Portal, HERE. Access is also available through our interactive voice response (IVR) system at 1-800-223-3104, and our Customer Service representatives are available to assist you Monday-Friday, 7 a.m.-5 p.m., CST.