We have always complied with strict OSHA-mandated protocols to maintain a highly sterile environment within our dental practice. These guidelines were created to safeguard against the spread of severely contagious diseases such as tuberculosis and measles, and they are equally effective in managing the spread of influenza and the coronavirus. In response to the current pandemic, we have enhanced our safety procedures and protocols in the following areas:
- Employee Health Screening
- Patient Health Screening
- Office Social Distancing
- Common Area Sterilization
- Personal Protective Equipment
- Treatment Area Protection
The safety of our patients and staff is our highest priority. The added protections described below have been vetted with representatives from the CDC, American Dental Association, and State Dental Associations.
Enhanced Safety Protocols as of April 29, 2020:
- Employees are regularly screened for COVID-19 risk factors (travel/illness) and those at risk are required to self-quarantine for 14 days prior to returning to work.
- All employees have their temperatures monitored daily.
- Patients are screened for COVID-19 risk factors and pre-existing conditions when scheduling and upon arrival and asked to reschedule if risk factors are present. Patient temperatures are taken at check-in as a further screening precaution, and they are required to sign a COVID-19 Treatment Consent Form.
- To facilitate patient social distancing in the office, schedules are being staggered and patients are asked to wait for their appointments in their vehicles when there are others in the waiting area. After treatment is completed, patients are guided to the check-out desk individually to avoid crowding. Patients are required to wear masks at all times, except while being treated.
- Employees are also practicing social distancing by not congregating in common areas and maintaining a six-foot separation from each other outside the treatment areas.
- Common areas (lobby, restrooms, door handles, break rooms, hallways) are cleaned with disinfecting wipes and aerosol spray. Pens and clipboards are wiped after each patient use.
All employees are utilizing additional layers of personal protective equipment (PPE).
- Provides and clinical staff are asked to arrive at the office in street clothes before changing into scrubs for the day. Shoes are disinfected each evening and left in the office to avoid external contamination.
- Providers and clinical staff will wear clinical jackets, gloves and surgical head covering for all patient interactions.
- Gloves and surgical masks are disposed after each visit and face shields are cleaned with a disinfecting wipe.
- Patients are asked to wash their hands and pre-rinse for 60 seconds with a 1.5% hydrogen peroxide rinse to decrease the viral and bacterial load prior to treatment.
- Oral isolation and suction devices are utilized for all aerosol producing procedures.
- All paper charts are left outside the operatory as viruses can remain on surfaces for up to 72 hours.
- Treatment rooms are thoroughly disinfected with wipes and spray following each patient visit including wiping of all ancillary clinical equipment (loupes, headlamps, face shields, keyboards, etc.)
We appreciate our patients’ cooperation and understanding as we adhere to these strict safety protocols.