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Sonoma Family Life Magazine

How Has the Pandemic Changed Dentist Office Visits?

In a pandemic, the idea of getting your teeth cleaned can be scary. Knowing what to expect can help.

Family Life: How has COVID-19 changed your protocols for families?
Petaluma Dental Group: Dr. Yolanda Mangrum, owner of the Petaluma Dental Group, has co-created a company with Fred Joyal called Best Patient Safety ( that goes above and beyond regulatory COVID-19 requirements. There are enhanced protections and tele-dentistry available.

FL: What can patients expect at your office?

PDG: We now have a virtual front office. Once patients arrive in the parking lot, they remain in their cars and a staff member comes and gets them. The staff can process all record requests, insurance claims, and financials while the patient is in the car. Staff also ask patients COVID-19–related screening questions. Patients are required to wash their hands and their temperature is taken upon entry. Patients and the staff wear PPE (personal protection equipment) and social distancing protocols have been instituted. In addition, the lobby has been cleared of magazines, pillows, and beverages. The air and surfaces of our dental rooms are disinfected using electrolyzed hypochlorous acid, an all-natural, non-toxic, hypoallergenic solution ( Patients are treated in private, individual treatment rooms using technology that makes it possible to reduce the amount of time a patient spends in the dental chair and the number of visits it takes to complete treatment. Sometimes in-office treatment is not necessary, in which case we use tele-dentistry. This allows patients to connect with their dentists through their laptops, tablets, or smart phones.

FL: Is there any additional information you would like to add?

PDG: If you want to stay healthy, you need to take care of your teeth and gums. Recent research suggests that gum disease is linked to other health problems, including heart disease, stroke, pneumonia, and some pregnancy complications. It is thought that the bacteria that causes gum disease may enter the bloodstream and cause damage to the heart and blood vessels.

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