Now more than ever we have extra care protocols in place to ensure our patients and staff continue feeling safe regarding the Covid-19 “new reality”.
However, it is crucial that the general public understands oral health is critical to overall health, as well as a healthy and robust immune system necessary to fight diseases like COVID-19. Dental diseases can progress to periodontal disease (gum disease), which is a major risk factor to heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and in particular pneumonia. All of these co-morbidities are major factors for COVID-19. Without regular dental care during this time, the progression of dental disease will likely worsen and lead to pain, infection, and tooth loss.
In addition to providing excellent dental treatment, we would like to communicate to our patients, that we are proving a safe environment in which you can receive that special care. Our leaders at ADA (American Dental Association), CDC (Center for Disease Control) and other health organizations have been working hard together to come up with many practical guidelines for dental offices to guide and help us minimize the risk of transmission of COVID-19.
We are reinforcing the following steps that will continue to help protect our patients and staff, and feel safe in our office:
Protocols for the Office & Staff
The first part of this process is to maximize our ability to minimize exposure to the coronavirus within our office.
- No employee will come to work if they are ill, exhibit symptoms of CV, or have a temperature over 100.4 degrees.
- Place at office entrance door alcohol (or equivalent) sterilizing agents, masks, paper towels, and a waste container.
- Every employee who enters the office will disinfect their hands immediately upon entering the office and put on a protective mask.
- An employee will then wipe down the office counters and all surfaces patient and staff came in contact.
- The dentist and assistant wear the protective KN95 masks and gown during all procedures and a protective face shield. (Note: KN95 masks will protect against coronavirus, along with other viruses and bacteria). The dentist, hygienist and assistant entering the operatory will wear gloves, a mask, a face shield and a surgical gown. An air purifier HEPA for viruses and bacteria has been placed in all office rooms.
- In between patients, our dental assistants will disinfect all surfaces that a patient or staff came in contact with and disinfected /wash his/her hands.
- At the end of the day, all surfaces that patients or staff have had contact with will be disinfected by wiping with alcohol and a have a deep cleaning to sterilize the entire office. This would include restrooms, all counters, chairs, etc. We want to make sure we have a sterile office to start the next day.
For the Patient
It is crucial to protect our patients, the dentists, and the staff from exposure to the coronavirus that anyone could bring to the office. Therefore, to accomplish this, the staff will employ the necessary protocols to protect the patients, the staff and the dentists while in the office. This will significantly minimize or remove any exposure to the virus.
Protocols for the Patient
(including call screening)
- When confirming the appointment, the front desk person will make sure to ask each patient if they now have any illness, especially any contagious ones and follow on screening protocol.
- The patient will be asked if have been tested for CV, have contracted it, or have antibodies to it and have been declared free of it.
- The staff will also ask the patient if have a temperature of over 100.4 degrees. If have any of the above the appointment will be postponed until that patient recovers.
- When a patient enters the office, we will take temperature, and will be required to utilize the sterilization protocol for their hands.
- Patients are required to wear a mask in the office.
- Patients will be required to fill out a COVID-19 form/questionnaire.
- An air purifier HEPA for viruses and bacteria has been placed in all office rooms.
- The waiting room will be limited to only the number of patients who can adequately be kept 6 feet apart. Mask is mandatory. The office will provide a mask.
- Thank you for complying with these guidelines when visiting our office to help us keep a healthy environment for all!
Be safe and healthy!
Dr. Bruno Sharp & Associates