COVID-19 Updates & FAQs for Gentle Dental and SmileKeepers Patients

InterDent Service Corporation is actively monitoring the rapidly evolving coronavirus outbreak, including gathering guidance from trusted sources of clinical information such as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), and state health authorities such as the Oregon Health Authority (OHA).Below are some frequently asked questions and answers about the coronavirus (COVID-19) and tips for staying healthy as well as service updates and policy information about Gentle Dental and SmileKeepers offices. For more information about the virus, please visit the CDC website. The content below is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

Service Updates:

March 24: Expanded Administrative Support

InterDent expands support to Gentle Dental and SmileKeepers patients for administration and non-urgent concerns. Click SUPPORT to request contact.

March 23: Offices Open for Urgent Dental Care

List of offices open for urgent dental care. Please click OPEN OFFICES for list and further information. 

March 18:  Modified Hours & Services

Due to COVID-19 our office hours and services have been modified. Please click here for further details. 

March 11: COVID-19 Policies & Protections

Steps we are taking to help keep you, our team members, and our communities safe. Please click PROTECTION for further details. 

FAQs: Dental & InterDent

What Are Gentle Dental and SmileKeepers Offices Doing To Protect Patients?

Here are some details on how we are protecting our patients, clinicians, and other team members; and why you can continue to visit Gentle Dental with the utmost confidence:

  • In partnership with our suppliers and service partners, we have reinforced our material handling and our multi-step sterilization policies for all <Brand Name> offices.  As always, we are disinfecting our facilities with hospital-grade solution, and all items are heat sterilized, disinfected, or disposed of between each use.
  • We are re-emphasizing to our team members handwashing procedures in accordance with CDC recommendations.
  • We have ensured that our team members have the necessary information to stay healthy or to stay home if they are not feeling well.
  • We are publishing additional company-wide protocols for extra vigilant hygienic practices.

What Can Patients Do To Protect Themselves and Others?

To help keep us all safe in light of the situation, here are some additional guidelines for you and your loved ones:

If you or someone in your household is sick or has been exposed to COVID-19, please stay home per CDC guidelines. We are happy to reschedule any appointments you have with us.
If you have traveled to any of the countries identified by the CDC as having widespread sustained (ongoing) transmission of COVID-19, please contact us to determine if it is best to reschedule an appointment.
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the restroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, and face.
Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash, followed by washing your hands

What is Considered an Urgent or Emergency Dental Concern?

Most Gentle Dental and SmileKeepers offices remain open to patients with emergency/urgent concerns or patients who require completion of care to prevent worsening of conditions. These can include the following.  If you are not sure whether your concern is “urgent,” please contact the office for advise. You can find your office’s contact information here  or call 1-800-900-7923.

  • Swelling, infection, bleeding, odontogenic or non-odontogenic pain, trauma, acute injury, fractured tooth, loose tooth, etc.
  • Tooth sensitivity; loose or broken fillings, crowns or bridges
  • Gum or soft tissue abscess or lesions including food impaction
  • Jaw pain or issues
  • Denture issues, denture repairs
  • Loose/irritating orthodontic braces
  • Patient requiring completion of care already in progress


What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is an infection caused by a new coronavirus. Coronaviruses are a group of viruses that can cause a range of symptoms. Some usually cause mild illness. Some, like this one, can also cause more severe symptoms.

What are the Symptoms of COVID-19?

COVID-19 infection often causes fever, cough, and some trouble breathing. Some people have mild symptoms. Other people can get quite sick. Rarely, people dię.

How is COVID-19 spread?

COVID-19 is spread when people touch or breathe in droplets made when ill people cough, sneeze or talk. This can happen when someone is close to a sick person, within six feet. Rarely, people might catch COVID-19 by touching a surface that a person with the infection coughed or sneezed on, and then touching their own mouth, nose or eyes. Coronaviruses cant survive for long on surfaces, though, so this isn’t common.

What is the difference between COVID-19 and influenza (the flu)?

COVID-19 and influenza have similar symptoms. Right now, influenza is still circulating in the US. It is a much more likely cause of cough and fever than coronavirus. The symptoms of novel coronavirus are similar to flu and other respiratory viral illnesses. Symptoms can include fever, cough and shortness of breath. Illness can range from mild to severe. 

What is my risk of getting COVID-19?

Your risk of getting COVID-19 relates to your exposure to the virus. 

Most people in the United States: 

  • Have not traveled to locations where the virus is active
  • Have not had close contact with someone who has СOVID-19. 

Therefore, most people in the US have not had exposure to the virus.

Should I wear a mask to protect myself from COVID-19?

There is little evidence that masks limit exposure or decrease the risk of illness when used in the public setting. They might lead to a false sense of security and make people less likely to take other, more effective measures to decrease the risk of infection. 

Masks do appear to be useful when they are worn by people who are ill to limit the spread of the virus when the ill person coughs or sneezes

I have tested positive for a coronavirus. Is this the same as COVID-19?

There are several different kinds of coronaviruses. Health centers can test for common coronaviruses when people come in with cough or cold-like symptoms. They are not the same as COVID19. At this time, only public health laboratories can test for COVID-19. At this point, COVID-19 testing is recommended for people with symptoms consistent with COVID-19 who

  • Have been in areas with community spread.
  • Have been in close, prolonged contact with someone known to have COVID-19.
  • Have serious illness requiring hospitalization that appears to be pneumonia caused by a virus, but no other cause can be identified.

How can I keep myself from getting sick with COVID-19?

There are simple steps you can take to protect yourself and your family from COVID-19 as well as influenza and other illnesses

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with sick people or animals.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw it away. If you don’t have a tissue, cough into your elbow.
  • Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces that you frequently touch.
  • Avoid non-essential travel to regions listed in CDC travel advisories.

We expect this to remain the case in the near future. Returning travelers are taking steps to protect others. Recently, there have been people diagnosed with COVID-19 in the US. We expect that more people will be exposed to COVID-19. For that reason, it is a good idea to take the steps outlined below to decrease your risk of infection

Additional Resources

A good resource for additional information and to check for updates as the situation continues to evolve is the CDC website

We will remain in close contact with the CDC, and state and county health departments for updates, resources, and information, and we will continue to communicate as the situation evolves. Based on the guidance of various health agencies, our own preparedness, and the strength of our operations, we are confident that our dental practices continue to be safe so that you can feel comfortable visiting us for high-quality dental care.