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6 Ways to Practice Social Distancing at Your Dental Appointment

June 10, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — rosenfeld @ 2:57 pm
Two women doing an elbow bump

When you scheduled your summer visit to the dentist 6+ months ago, the world was a very different place. Fortunately, social distancing has played a crucial role in limiting the spread of the Coronavirus. In fact, the CDC estimates that it may have prevented up to 185,000 deaths! While a 6-foot distance is relatively easy to implement at the bank or grocery store, many patients wonder how they can follow the same guidelines at their dental appointment during COVID-19. Fortunately, your dentist in East Islip is here to share six ways you can practice social distancing at your upcoming visit. 

No Handshakes or Hugs

Although previous visits may have started with a friendly handshake or warm hug, the CDC does not currently recommend these greetings. To follow proper infection control, you and your dentist should opt for a minimal to no contact hello instead. At your next appointment, consider offering an elbow bump, a “Live Long and Prosper” salute, or the classic smile and wave.

Virtual Waiting Rooms

It’s safe to say that waiting rooms pre-pandemic were not social distancing compliant by any stretch of the imagination. Therefore, dentists across the U.S. are implementing virtual waiting rooms, which allows you to check-in from your phone and sit in your car until the treatment room is ready. Not only does this limit your contact with others, but it also allows the office staff to control foot traffic in and out of their practice.

Sequenced Patient Scheduling

Another measure your dental office is implementing is sequenced patient scheduling. While this does mean there will be fewer appointments available throughout the day, it is a small price to pay to ensure the safety of both the team and their patients. By spacing out appointments, your dentist can ensure there is plenty of time to properly clean between each visit.

Expanded Patient Appointments

Pre-pandemic, multiple trips to the dentist for consultations, procedures, and follow-up visits were routine. However, to comply with the stay-at-home orders and limit your risk of exposure, dentists are offering expanded patient appointments. In short, it means more time for dentistry with fewer trips from your house.   


“We have the technology!” While this line is known from the iconic Six Million Dollar Man TV show back in the 1970s, the statement rings true today. Tele-dentistry visits are being incorporated so you and your dentist can connect virtually. Through a secure e-mail or telephone line, your dental team will follow-up with you to ensure there are no complications and that you are healing properly.

One-Way Traffic Signs

To make social distancing a practical reality, dentists are implementing one-way traffic signs throughout their office. This will effectively funnel foot traffic throughout the building, therefore limiting the potential breach of the 6-foot guideline.

Although these measures require skill, time, and experience to implement, your dentist and their team are happy to do so to keep you protected. With the above social distancing guidelines in place, you can get the oral care you need without compromising your safety!

About the Practice

Led by Dr. Gary Rosenfeld, the team at East Islip Dental Care is dedicated to providing exemplary dentistry that positively affects each patient’s confidence and wellbeing. At their state-of-the-art facility, East Islip Dental Care is ready to serve your entire family with nine dentists on staff! Plus, they offer convenient patient scheduling 7 days a week. If you would like information on additional measures they are taking to be a safe dentist in East Islip, visit their website or give them a call at 631-581-8600.

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