We cannot cover this enough: The COVID-19 pandemic is causing more and more dental complications. While we are nearing the one-year mark for the start of the pandemic, health professionals around the world have been fighting COVID-19 for longer. But that isn’t the point of this blog. What we need to be mindful of is how we can help our patients find ways to cope with their added stress and avoid those dental complications.
What’s the problem?
This past year has really affected people in many different ways and we can’t even begin to understand it all. However, because a lot of people are skipping their routine dental appointments, they are showing up in our offices with teeth grinding and clenching.
Stress associated with finances, sickness, isolation and fear is leading the way for these complications. Teeth grinding and clenching can be very painful. It can also hurt when opening their mouth as well as popping and clicking. To make matters worse, this can also lead to headaches and migraines.
What can dentists do?
I cannot emphasize this enough, but we must reach out to our patients. If you have a blog and website, you have a great platform to use. The first thing to note is what your practice is doing to keep your patients safe. Sometimes it is that simple. If your patients know that you continue to follow all proper preventive measures while maintaining your ongoing commitment to cleanliness and sanitizing as we always do, they will feel more comfortable going in.
Next, share some of the problems that you have been seeing since the pandemic began. If your patients are educated on the complications associated with stress and avoiding the dentist, they can be mindful of their own actions. It may even be enough to get them to schedule that appointment sooner than later.
Lastly, share stress relief tips. Even if most of your patients are not presenting with complications, they may still be experiencing heightened stress. By sharing some stress relief tips, such as deep breathing exercises or taking a walk, you can help reduce their feelings of stress as well as their chances of dental complications.
What else are you doing to keep your patients healthy during the pandemic? Contact my office to learn more and sign up for some online lectures to continue to provide your patients with the best care possible.