Is Dental Care Safe in Mexico?
The COVID-19 impact has resulted in the world closed around us, but Mexico became a top hot-spot quickly for people across the border in the United States. Even with the health travel restrictions, Americans across the border flooded popular destinations like Los Algodones, Tijuana, Mexicali, Cancun, and Puerto Vallarta, especially for dental treatments. Due to significant cost savings and a highly convenient location, Americans and Canadians needing major dental work crossed the border for various procedures.
However, the global impact of coronavirus imposed fear in people’s minds. It is now particularly important to check and understand the clinics’ COVID-19 measures before booking a treatment.
During the COVID era, the new standard of care for dental clinics and guidelines to follow includes factors such as:
- All necessary paperwork must be filled by the patients before the appointment (including COVID symptoms documentation).
- Using extra personal protective equipment (PPE) is recommended.
- COVID symptoms and temperature checking of all patients.
- COVID test results of international patients
- Using hand sanitizers while entering the clinic. Some clinics also have hand washrooms and ask patients to use them before and after appointments.
- Ensure a minimum 6 ft. distance between everyone entering the clinic.
- Reducing the time spent in waiting areas.
- Frequent disinfecting and cleaning of all operatories and surfaces.
- Safe injection practices
- Respiratory cough/hygiene etiquette
Leading Dental Clinics in Mexico are raising the Bar of Safety Parameters
Many dental clinics in Mexico not just remain committed to providing dental care to patients, but also monitor the pandemic situation continuously in their region. The patients must search for such dental clinics that seriously follow standard infection control recommendations by the government or independent bodies like CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).
Some dental clinics are also implementing high-end technology to raise the level of sanitization to their clinical surroundings. For example, some clinics are using advanced air filtration technology that safely controls airborne bacteria, fine air particles, and surface pathogens continuously. According to the experts, using such technology is more effective than chemical solutions to destroy harmful surface and airborne bacteria, fungal spores, and viruses.
To maintain and improve a safe environment, the clinics might impose a marginal additional fee. Patients must understand that it is justified when the dental clinic is following safety protocols and upgrading equipment for your safety. So, let’s take a look at some top COVID considerations before traveling to Mexico for dental treatment.
Prior Appointment is Extremely Important
It is highly advisable to book a prior appointment considering the present circumstances. This is essential for reasons like:
- Reducing waiting time
- Reducing the number of patients in the waiting area to make sure there is enough social distancing
- Gathering all the essential travel documents including recent travel history or other essential requirements
- Since the usual time for preparing dental operatory has increased due to thorough safety protocol, making a prior appointment is encouraged
Check Land Border Crossing Timing
You must remain updated with land-border crossing timings and schedule appointments with the dental clinic in Mexico. For example, border crossing to Los Algodones remains open only for essential travel from 6 am to 2 pm California time in order to restrict the virus spread. This temporary timing restriction to cross the Los Algodones border is expected to continue till January 21, 2021.
How safe it is to visit a Dental Clinic in Mexico Now?
Dental clinics were always required to maintain strict practices of hygiene, even before the pandemic. The standard protocol for the entire dental team of a clinic is to wear surgical masks, gloves, goggles, and other protective gear to reduce germ transmission risk. Now, due to the pandemic, additional safety precautions are recommended.
Before, booking a treatment, check if the clinic maintains enhanced safety precautions such as sanitization of the premises and equipment, thermal temperature checking of people entering the clinic, a regular test of the staff, etc. Let’s discuss these COVID safety considerations in more detail.
What Steps are taken by Dental Clinics in Mexico to Protect Patients and Staff from COVID-19?
1. Booking Appointments
Check if the clinic is conducting thorough telephonic or online screening before scheduling an appointment. Also, check how the appointments are being scheduled so that each patient gets more allotted time and the number of patients at any given time is reduced ensuring social distancing.
2. No Shared Areas
Make sure that you don’t have to share a space with another patient at the clinic. In the waiting room, the chairs should be placed at least six feet apart. If the dentist is late or you have visited early, don’t rush inside until the previous patient leaves and the facility is reset.
The screening process should not be restricted to only reading pulse oximeter and checking the temperature of patients, staff, and anyone entering the clinic. Rather, detailed information about medical and travel history should be taken from every patient regarding COVID-19 along with any other health issue in general. Be very sure that your chosen dental clinic in Mexico is rendering treatment only after properly assessing every possible risk.
4. PPE of Dentists
PPE or Personal Protective Equipment such as face shields, hairnets, gloves, and full-body gowns and suits are common kits for dentists. You need to make sure that the dentists at the clinic change PPE after treating each patient so that the risk of cross-contamination is reduced.
5. Increased Sanitization
Your dentist must keep the sanitized tools ready before you visit the clinic in Mexico for your appointment. Also, ensure that all-disposable instruments and furniture like chairs are disinfected thoroughly after the treatment of every patient.
6. Avoiding Aerosols
Sometimes more aerosols can be produced because of some procedures or equipment. In the case of some extensive procedures or certain dental surgeries, aerosols can be unavoidable. In such a situation, dentists must effectively use other tools for removing the aerosol.
Apart from these COVID considerations, you must also tick a few more boxes before booking an appointment at a dental clinic in Mexico to ensure that your dental travel is safe and successful. Look out for the clinics that are certified by Mexican organizations or accredited by international organizations such as the America Dental Association. Apart from the clinic, you should also consider the accreditation of the dentists. So, you should search for resources that inform about their experience, past patient reviews, credentials, and images.
Being one of the top global self-pay medical tourism marketplaces, PlacidWay can help you get access to a huge resource of the best dental clinics and dentists in Mexico. You can review a wide range of educational resources such as center profiles, articles, testimonials, before and after pictures, videos, and a lot more and choose the most efficient, cost-effective, and safest solution.
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