Safety Measures in our Dental Practice
To help prevent the transmission of all respiratory infections, including COVID-19, we adhere to standardized infection control measures, such as performing hand hygiene, providing tissues and no-touch receptacles to throw away used tissues, and offering facemasks. We follow routine cleaning and disinfection strategies, using cleaners and water to pre-clean surfaces prior to applying an EPA-registered, hospital-grade disinfectant, as well as appropriate sterilization of all tools and equipment. We also use facemasks and gloves for each patient per guidelines set by the FDA and CDC.
While our office already adheres to these standard precautions, there are several other recommended protocols we are implementing to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Training and Educating Our Team
One of the most important things we are doing during this time is to train and educate our staff.
- Our team has had refresher training in all safety protocols.
- They have practiced the appropriate use of personal protective equipment (PPE) prior to caring for a patient to prevent contamination.
- We encourage staff that is not feeling well to proactively stay home for two weeks
- We have everyone in the office take their temperature at the beginning of every day and we will immediately send home anyone with an elevated temperature (100.4 F and above).
- We have created a specific checklist of recommendations for our team to follow so that they arrive to work healthy and go home to their families without worry.
Patient Interviews and Social Distancing
Before patient arrival every effort is made to:
- Filter patients during the phone call when scheduling appointments for care using established and recommended screening checklists and scripts
- Reschedule patients who show any signs of a cough or fever or who describe having any concerning warning signs
- Instruct patients to call ahead and reschedule their appointment if they develop symptoms of a respiratory infection (e.g., cough, sore throat or fever) on the day they are scheduled to be seen.
To promote social distancing
- When scheduling patients, we are spreading out the schedule so there are less people crossing paths.
- If a patient is being accompanied, their escort should wait in the car to limit the number of people in the waiting room and promote social distancing
- Utilizing a “virtual” waiting room: patients should wait in their car or outside the office where they can be contacted by mobile phone when it is their turn to be treated.
Measures Upon Arrival
- Asked to put on mask and use hand sanitizer when entering building
- Asked about the presence of symptoms of a respiratory infection and history of travel or contact with possible COVID-19 patients.
- Assessed for respiratory symptoms and fever (with a non-contact digital infrared forehead thermometer).
- If fever temperature of 100.4 degrees F or higher or respiratory symptoms are present, they will be advised to seek medical treatment and their visit will be rescheduled.
- Escorted into an examination room with the door closed as quickly as possible upon arrival to avoid lingering in front office.
Measures Taken Upon Patient Entry to the Clinic
Facility Safety Measures
- “Sneeze guards” are installed at the front desk to limit exposure
- Air-handling systems (with appropriate filtration, exchange rate, etc.) have been placed in every room
- New high evacuation systems for procedures
- Dedicated staff member that wipes all frequently touched surfaces
Hand Hygiene is performed by our staff
- Before and after all patient contact, contact with potentially infectious material, and before putting on and after removing personal protective equipment (PPE), including gloves.
- After removing PPE in order to remove any pathogens that might have been transferred to bare hands during the removal process.
- Washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
Personal Protective Equipment
- We have changed our Personal protective equipment to ensure that we are doing everything possible to protect our patients and staff
- Isolation gowns are worn and changed after every aerosol generating procedure.
- Face shields are worn over glasses and masks
- Surgical caps
Protocols After Treatment
- All non-disposable medical equipment used for patient care will be cleaned and disinfected according to manufacturer’s instructions.
- Ensure that environmental cleaning and disinfection procedures are followed consistently and correctly.
We are confident that these guidelines will help to create a safe environment for all of our patients and team members and hope that you can feel secure in the knowledge that we are doing everything in our power to provide the safest clinical conditions in order to protect our patients, our team and our families.
For Your Protection