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How will COVID19 effect treating dentally fearful patients?

Dr. Daniel

Dr. Daniel

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Hi everyone,

Just wanted to open a discussion about the future. Nobody knows how things will tern out, but I have some thoughts to share. Spoiler alert: I am pessimistic.
* Some dental practices will go bankrupt because of the low cash flow and financial obligations. The practices that will survive will be under lots of financial pressure and that might lead to poor dentistry and less time for dentists to interact with patients.
* Patients will have less money to spend on dental care, which will limit the dentist' ability to provide most adequate treatment. The emphasis on low costs might interfere in the patient-care provider relationship.
* Prior to this crisis, extreme measures of protection (such as special protective gear, etc.) were saved only for surgical treatments. I believe that, as a consequence of this crisis, also day-to-day treatments like teeth-cleaning and a semiannual check-up might require special protection. Safety is importnat, no doubt, but it also has a down-side to it: less direct contact between the patient and the care-provider, less flexibility in performing easy daily procedures (towards patients' needs and comfort), etc.

Are there any optimists out there? would be great to hearing your views.
 
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MountainMama

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I am worried about how things will play out when the restrictions lift. The receptionist at my dentist’s office said that they will have to prioritize visits when rescheduling so that cleanings and minor issues will be put off. Will skipping cleanings cause more issues to crop up?
As a fearful patient, I actually felt relieved that my crown prep has been put off. That doesn’t help the progress I had made in finally getting the appointment made after putting it off for months. Can’t be helped though.

I will say that when I went in last week to get my implant crown seated, it was the most comfortable I have ever been, mostly because I was the only patient at the time and I felt like the dentist wasn’t rushing off to the next patient as he usually does. He was thorough and really in a good mood. It was much more relaxed. I wish it could stay like that, but like you said, it will be worse once they open for regular services again and are “catching up”.
 
krlovesherkids777

krlovesherkids777

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"I will say that when I went in last week to get my implant crown seated, it was the most comfortable I have ever been, mostly because I was the only patient at the time and I felt like the dentist wasn’t rushing off to the next patient as he usually does. He was thorough and really in a good mood. It was much more relaxed. I wish it could stay like that, "

Really love this part Mountain Mama and exactly what we need in times like this.. so glad to hear this
 
krlovesherkids777

krlovesherkids777

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Dr Daniel,

I can only imagine how hard it is to imagine how this will affect your practice, your livlihood, your everyday interactions with patients and the everyday legistics of the practice , so many factors for dentists including financially but thinking about the well being of their patients on every level as well as yourself and any employees of the practice. you certainly have alot to think on as this all hits.

I'm an optomist , but I also stand from a distance, working from home , though the lasik surgery business took a big hit and I'm down on hours and many people got laid off.

What I CAN say.. is when all this goes back to a little more normal...a little more "pre covid" and we are able to start seeing patients." yes we will be a little more careful on distancing and disinfecting. But each patient will matter the same as they did before , and really we will be extra thankful for each patient wanting to make sure we answer all questions and calm fears and really connect on an emotional level with them, because we are all human, everyone is going through this together , we have this common storm we've all weathered and I think the human spirit of compassion will hopefully come out in all this..

I hope that the dental offices are able to bounce back and maybe it will give them a chance to reconnect with patients and draw them back in by good old fashioned phone calls to get some needed work done or that cleaning they've put off and maybe that old phobic pt who was waitingbecause they didn't think anyone really cared will have hope again.. Actually had the dentist I go for a cleaning with call to reschedulue me and I was so impressed he reached out himself to do this.. My dentist has not so far.. but maybe they will. They are emergency so they may actually be busy because so many others are closed.

I hope that if things do in fact slow down at all that it is a case like Mountain mamas dentist where they take that time and slow down and not rush and really show their positives.. Take the time to listen and care and show the world the truly compassionate dentists out there.
 
Dr. Daniel

Dr. Daniel

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I am worried about how things will play out when the restrictions lift. The receptionist at my dentist’s office said that they will have to prioritize visits when rescheduling so that cleanings and minor issues will be put off. Will skipping cleanings cause more issues to crop up?
That is not a big problem. Gum disease advance very slowly. A few months delay should not change much.
I will say that when I went in last week to get my implant crown seated, it was the most comfortable I have ever been, mostly because I was the only patient at the time and I felt like the dentist wasn’t rushing off to the next patient as he usually does. He was thorough and really in a good mood. It was much more relaxed. I wish it could stay like that, but like you said, it will be worse once they open for regular services again and are “catching up”.
Sounds ideal. Imagine that was the case all the time: relaxed dentist, un-rushed appointment. Everybody benefits.
 
Dr. Daniel

Dr. Daniel

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Dr Daniel,

I can only imagine how hard it is to imagine how this will affect your practice, your livlihood, your everyday interactions with patients and the everyday legistics of the practice , so many factors for dentists including financially but thinking about the well being of their patients on every level as well as yourself and any employees of the practice. you certainly have alot to think on as this all hits.
Thank you for your concern. I do work these days but only emergencies. The real challenge is to live with two children 24/7. Gosh I wish school gets open soon.
 
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Thephilsblogbar

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I am hoping the dentist practice etc surive where I go, it offers NHS and private treatment.

I think the practice where I attend are only phoning people up week by week to re-arrange appointments. and will try to work out which people need to be the first to go in for treatment and checkups
 
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DaphneM

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I’m also scared about how the whole covid thing will turn out. I’m still stuck with crappy feeling bridges and I don’t know how long it will take to get this fixed.

On the other hand, I had the same experience as MountainMama at my dentist during this time. My dentist was alone, without his assistent. He was very calm, in his normal clothes, there was lots of time, no rushing. It made me feel like we were more on the same level. I actually felt way more comfortable then I normally do. The extra protection wasn’t weird for me at all.

But I’m also a bit pessimistic about how it will be after the crisis. I think there will be lots of patients who need care and I have to wait longer to get it all fixed.

I just hope the Dutch government compensates the dental practices in some way, so nobody has to go bankrupt and things can get back to normal.
 
Judythecat

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I’m not a fearful patient, but as a sufferer of atypical facial pain, I fear my own teeth. I rely on going in for a checkup every three months to be sure pain is nerve-pain and not tooth-pain, and also being able to ring in between appointments if I have a really bad flare-up. I’m due a checkup/scale and polish at the end of this month, and am really worried about missing it.

I read earlier that NHS dentists might be redeployed to hospitals here in the U.K.
 
Dr. Daniel

Dr. Daniel

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I just hope the Dutch government compensates the dental practices in some way, so nobody has to go bankrupt and things can get back to normal.
The Dutch government is hardly supporting the dental clinics. Their solution is that the health insurances will transfer money every month to the dental clinics (and other medical professional like physiotherapists) and later on after the crisis ends the insurances will deduct these payments.
For me this solution is not relevant because I have no contract with any insurance (all my patients pay me directly) so I have no idea what the solution should be with clinics like mine.
The sad part here is that the health insurances, which work for profit, replace the state. This privatisation has gone too far.
 
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Thephilsblogbar

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I am due to go to the dentist at the end of this mont (as I seen a NHS Patient but the practice does offe rprivate treatment), I go for checkups every three months and not because my teeth are bad. I just have a overcrowding problem and my dentist likes to see me every 3 months as I get a build of a plaque.

The dentists after the covid19 will probably end up with a lot of work, and probably see an increase of people grinding their teeth due to stress (I can see practices having to open 7 days per week NHS/private)
 
C

comfortdentist

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I'm an optimist! Perhaps on my gravestone it will say "I'll feel better tomorrow"
However I basically agree with Dr. Daniels. I see the only real solution is an effective vaccine. I also think we might well have a world wide depression.
 
Dr. Daniel

Dr. Daniel

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I also think we might well have a world wide depression.
Totally agree. I believe that after the long social isolation, people will have it difficult to interact with one another like we used to: there will be still social distancing, no body contact, more social anxiety, relying more on technology and less on direct human interaction. This was already happening before the COVID19 but this crisis accelerated it.
 
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comfortdentist

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ANother aspect that will change is that many dental office will use something like a welding fume extractor over the patient's chest so that thew ability to get up periodically will be blocked by this increased level of infection control. Also the dentist won't be hopping around as much. I think that I will be depending more on my hygienist and x-rays and photographs of the patient and then perform exams only 1x per year unless there is a specific complaint. Costs will also go up due to this infection control measures and its reduced effeciency.
 
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Thephilsblogbar

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Not a dentist but the fear of people trying to do their own diy dental work. which will make people have to go to the dentist. (even those who do go to the dentist) I have never been tempted to try my own dental work, but I go regularly to the dentist, not as often as I want to, I go every three months, but my fear of going back after this is all over
 
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Dr. Daniel

Dr. Daniel

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Not a dentist but the fear of people trying to do their own diy dental work. which will make people have to go to the dentist. (even those who do go to the dentist) I have never been tempted to try my own dental work, but I go regularly to the dentist, not as often as I want to, I go every three months, but my fear of going back after this is all over
That’s interesting. Hopefully we will see interesting innovation.
 
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Thephilsblogbar

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Even though I see the dentist regularly, I am still fearful.

I know most the staff who works in the practice, not met their newest dentist yet but my Mum has when she neede a tooth removed last year (could have been earlier this year) I can't keep track, because of this covid19 and us being away in January.

As long as I can a dentist at the practice I go to, if my currently dentist is not available once this is all over, as my records does state nervous person

There will be stricter rules in place to keep the staff and the patients safe, but it won't be put me off going back to the dentist, I prefer to keep my teeth in the best shape possible and get any work done on them as soon as possible.
 
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tazey

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I guess I was lucky (well in one sense) my last appointment was beginning of march I had to insist the bridge was taken out as I was having problems with it,if he'd had his way id have walked off with something else in+would have been stuck with it still now. On the other hand im still here with metal posts in my mouth (which affects my eating alot) I'm concerned how long I can be like this for? as it's already been nearly a year since my implants were put in,is this going to cause me more problems or be more painful when something does get done? he said at the time it should be done sooner rather than later I was only supposed to have 1 appointment left,I also had an appointment somewhere private but that got cancelled too. 😕
 
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Acheygirl

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I am very worried. I worry about my Dentist who runs a family owned business started by his father and uncle might cause him to close down or downsize. I am concerned with the safety of our dentists putting their lives at risk due to the way the saliva aerosolize and can infect the dentist and the whole office! I am pessimistic here and will be until a vaccination or sure fire treatment is here I don't see a way around it.

On a selfish note I am afraid of being in pain and not getting the help I need and possibly losing a few teeth because I can't get in and have things looked at.
 
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Thephilsblogbar

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I am worried for the dentists when things get back to normal will be overworked may end up harming themselves

I will be still going to the dentist at the moment I don't pay for my treatment due to being on universal credit (uk) but will happy to pay towards treatment out my uc, now I got a few hours paid work, even though i have not got any money from the company yet
 
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