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Returning to the Dentist: What to Expect

The next time you go to the dentist, you may have a new experience because of COVID-19. Offices are taking extra measures to keep you and your family safe. Here are some things that may happen before and during your next visit.

Scheduling a visit

  • Since offices have been closed, you may have to wait longer than normal for an appointment.
  • You may need to put your name on a waiting list.
  • More complex procedures may be delayed.

Pre-appointment screening

The office may ask questions to make sure you do not have any COVID-19 symptoms such as a fever or cough, or have been in contact with anyone with COVID-19. This screening will help your dentist decide if you can safely come into the office.

Day of visit screening

  • You may be asked similar questions on the day of your dental visit about having any COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Some dental offices may want to ask you those questions outside of the office or as soon as you walk in.
  • They may ask to take your temperature.
  • Many offices will ask that you wear a mask while in the office. If you have a mask, bring it with you.

Preparing for your visit

  • Try to leave individuals that do not have an appointment at home.
  • You may be required to wear a mask. If you have one, bring it with you.

During your visit

  • You may be asked to wait in your car.
  • Waiting rooms might look different — with fewer chairs spaced farther apart, no child toys or magazines, and hand sanitizer will likely be available.
  • Let your dentist or dental staff know if you have any questions or concerns.
  • Dental staff may be in face shields, masks, gowns and head coverings.
  • You may see additional dividers, such as plexiglass at the front desk and throughout the office.

Can my dentist charge me for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)?

Delta Dental of Virginia’s agreements do not allow network dentists to bill charges such as PPE to our members. Dentists who are out of network are not required to follow these restrictions since they are not part of Delta Dental networks. If you’d like to find a Delta Dental PPO™ or Delta Dental Premier® network dentist, click here.

After your visit

If you feel any COVID-19 symptoms or you test positive for COVID-19 within 14 days of seeing your dentist, call the dental office to let them know.


Looking for your state's policy on dental procedures? Visit the ADA's state-by-state map tool

Unable to see your dentist in person?

If you're unable to meet with your dentist in-person, you may be able to meet with him or her via teledentistry. Click on the button below to view a list of Delta Dental participating dentists in Virginia that offer teledentistry services.