Information & Procedures with COVID
When you come in for an appointment, we are asking you to follow certain procedures for the health and safety of everyone involved.
When You Come In
- Please come alone. Do not bring your spouse, children, or any other people, unless you need assistance.
- Please wear a mask or face covering if you have one.
- Please reschedule your appointment if you are feeling ill. Do not come in if you have a fever or cough, or have been exposed to someone who has COVID-19.
Steps We Are Taking
We have always complied with strict OSHA-mandated protocols to maintain a highly sterile environment within our dental office. These guidelines were created to safeguard against the spread of contagious diseases such as tuberculosis and measles, and they are equally effective in managing the spread of influenza and corona virus. Below is a summary of the steps currently in place as well as what we are adding to ensure patient and employee safety during this unprecedented time:
- Employee Health Screening: All employees undergo health history screenings before returning to work. In addition, we are strictly enforcing policies that require employees suffering from any symptoms including fever, cough, loss of taste or smell or just not felling 100% to stay home from work. At this time, employees are required to wear masks at all times, so unfortunately you wont be able to see our smiling faces for a while. Employees are also having their temperatures monitored daily prior to starting their shift. Clinical employees will be wearing N95 equivalent masks covered with a second surgical mask. We will also be utilizing facemasks, surgical gowns and hair covers.
- Patient Health Screening: Due to concerns about patient and employee safety patients experiencing flu-like symptoms (fever, cough, sore throat, nausea, vomiting and difficulty breathing) and patients who have returned from travel to another country in the past 14 days reschedule their appointments. We also ask that non-emergency patients with known health risks (65+, pregnancy, lung or heart condition, high blood pressure, diabetes and any other immunosuppressive conditions) contact us about reschedule their appointments. Patients will be asked to complete a COVID-19 screening interview via tx message, phone call or in person as well as temperature check prior to all visits. Patients will also be asked to swish and gargle hydrogen peroxide rinse before procedures.
- Sterilization Procedures: The foundation of our infection control procedures has always been based on requirements established by the CDC that state that all body fluids are treated as infectious. This includes body fluids in airborne droplets from coughs or sneezes. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) used in our office, which includes jackets/gowns, eye-protection or face shields, masks and gloves. These PPE are designed to ensure that no fluids can be passed between staff and patients. These items are discarded or disinfected between patients. Strict surface sterilization procedures are followed to disinfect all operatory surfaces after each patient. All dental instruments are cleaned in ultrasonic disinfection solution and then heat sterilized in steam autoclave machine in individual sterile pouches.
- Air Purification: In the operatories we are implementing the use of HEPA air purifiers with built in UV-C sanitizers used during treatment as well as after each patient to cycle the air in that room. We are also staggering patient appointments such that each room will have time for the air purifiers and the UV-C germicidal lights to sanitize the air in the operatories.
- Common Area Disinfecting: As a result of the current corona virus concern, we have taken added precautions in the common areas. All magazines, pamphlets and toys have been removed. Lobby surfaces and patient restrooms are disinfected every hour. This includes a thorough wipe down of all hard surfaces, such as door handles, doorknobs, tables, chairs and front office counters with Cavicide, a CDC-approved commercial sterilization agent. In addition, patients are being advised to practice social distancing in our lobby area or wait in their cars if preferred. In most circumstances we will be taking you directly to your room as we are spacing the patient appointments out to avoid anyone having to wait in the waiting room.