ELKHORN, Neb. — As we are returning to normal, the closeness that comes with seeing a dentist is concerning for some.
COVID-19 can be a challenge and the stress of the pandemic is also showing up in dental problems.
“The problems that we are seeing now, as compared to a year ago. are the stress-related oral health conditions. Increased teeth clenching and grinding of the teeth, we are seeing more chipped, cracked and broken teeth," said Liz Biehl, D.D.S., of Shadow Ridge Dental.
Dental offices already had strict cleansing protocols so, although they did have to up their game, those at Shadow Ridge Dental said it wasn't by much.
Biehl added, “We are very good at making sure all of our surfaces are cleaned and disinfected regularly between every patient and, of course, all of our instruments are sterilized as we had been doing prior to the pandemic."
Some people are feeling more comfortable going to the dentist after getting their Coronavirus vaccine.
However, Kathy Nielsen, a patient and employee, said she never shied away because she sees first hand the precautions they are taking.
"I got an exam and Invisalign, so I got new trays today," said Kathy Nielsen, "They are all masked, gloved up and everything is clean.”
“If you still feel a bit uncomfortable about coming to the dentist's office, you can ask if the staff has been vaccinated as well as the person or persons working on you,” she said.
Part of their COVID changes include installing air purifiers. They also have a UV Sterilization system for masks as well as incorporating a high evacuation system that decreases the aerosols in the air for procedures.
“We are back to normal, it took a long time and a lot of hard work but thankfully we are back to normal," added Biehl.
The staff at Shadow Ridge Dental have all been vaccinated. And for people that get uncomfortable wearing masks all day, they recommend taking carefully planned mask breaks.