I know what you're thinking... two blog posts in one week? How did I get so lucky?! I just love you, that's all.
Safety has always been a top priority within the dental community and specifically at our office. Our team is trained thoroughly and keeps up to date with all the current recommendations from the CDC and ADA pertaining to the latest sterilization and safety measures in place to keep you and our staff safe.
We have always had a Safety Team who are now our new Pandemic Response Team (Me and Holly, our hygienist – it’s small, I know, but there’s only 7 of us!) whose responsibilities include staying up to date on the latest guidelines from the CDC and ADA, informing the staff of changes and implementing the new safety standards.
Universal Precautions is what we are all trained in while in Dental/Hygiene/Assisting school. What this means to you is that when you enter our office we assume that you are infectious, and that you could make us sick or others around you sick (no, we don’t really think you are sick). That translates to a safe medical environment thoroughly equipped to treat any patient, sick or not.
While we have and will continue to practice Universal Precautions, we have enhanced some of the protocols we practice to respond to the current pandemic.
These enhanced protocols include (but are not limited to):
>We have a New Wellness Check-ins with a touch-free thermometer and Oxygen test with a Pulse Oximeter
>We will be conducting all treatment planning and scheduling by phone and email to eliminate the spread of aerosols to the waiting area when cleanings and/or treatment are completed.
>We have removed all of the magazines, toys, and 75% of seating from the reception area.
>The staff will be wearing NEW PPE or Personal Protective Equipment – including Face Shields, N95 and KN95 masks and full length gowns (also gloves – but that’s not new.)
>We have installed new HEPA filters in all three Operatories – After a procedure is completed, whether it is a cleaning or restorative procedure; Operatories are left alone for 15 minutes, prior to sterilization of the room, so the HEPA filter may clean the air.
>Prior to your cleaning or procedure you will be given a mouth rinse called IORINSE to help decrease the bacteria in your mouth while we work.
>All aerosol procedures are being limited at this time! That includes (but is not limited to) using air during exams, using the ultrasonic scaler during cleanings and only polishing teeth that are in true need of stain removal. (Scaling is where it’s really at anyway!)
>The Isolite retraction system (which we’ve used for years) with addition of a High Volume Evacuation system will reduce the number of aerosols produced during procedures.
>Our appointment availability has decreased by about 50% to allow for at least 30 minutes of time to elapse between the same rooms being used for patients. This allows us to have the HEPA filter clean the air before the team comes back in to completely disinfect all surfaces in the room prior to the arrival of the next patient.
This is a few of the changes that we are making at our practice to ensure your safety and the safety of our staff and community. If you have any questions, please give us a call! We are here for you.