COVID-19 Protocols & Procedures
We want to assure you that we will be doing everything that we can, to create the safest experiences for you and your family. The dental field is no stranger to infection control. Seeing children means we are always at the forefront of infection control whether it is the common cold or the flu. We have ALWAYS made infection control and general cleanliness our number one priority.
We do everything possible to make dentistry as safe as possible for our patients. The challenge of the coronavirus or COVID-19 is not being taken lightly.
- PPE. PPE stands for personal protective equipment. You’ve seen our office wearing PPE in the past. Every provider has always worn gloves, protective gowns, and level 3 masks. The office will be adding face shields, head wraps, and the now famous N-95 masks.
- Disinfection. As always, we will continue to disinfect the office with very high-end products such as Sani-wipes and cavicide sprays. These products are broad spectrum disinfectant, germicidal wipes and sprays that are extremely effective against bacteria, fungus, and viruses. They can be used in NICU, operating rooms, and of course our dental office. We are also looking into things such as UV lights, fogging, and electrostatic cleaning.
- Sterilization Procedures. Our sterilization process has always been ahead of the curve. Our instruments are first cleaned in an ultrasonic bath and then autoclaved. While many offices place multiple instruments in bags, we have always used an instrument management system with cassettes. This cassette design permits optimal hospital quality sterilization. This is the highest level of sterilization and not commonly used in other dental offices due to higher costs. We have always used cassette systems. Additionally, our systems are tested via spore tests to ensure that the autoclave is working at peak performance.
- Air Filtration & Purification. Additionally, you will notice throughout all of our locations that we will be using air filtration systems. Each treatment room, each waiting room, and areas that staff or patients may congregate will have an air purifier. These HEPA filter machines will constantly be cleaning the air within our offices. These purifiers will be beneficial for removing harmful odors, airborne chemicals, germs and virus concerns. It will capture 99.9% of particles down to .1 microns.
- Cleanings. Our office has increased the number of cleanings of common areas and surfaces which are cleaned throughout the day on a standard schedule. As always, we have a nightly professional cleaning crew who has also increased their level of disinfection.
- Team Members. Team members are required to not work when feeling sick or fever and are screened at the beginning of each shift for fever or symptoms.
- Patients. We will be asking for families to limit the appointment to one parent and one child. Patients will be asked to rinse with disinfectant products prior to their appointments as per ADA guidelines. Furthermore, we will be using extra suction to reduce aerosol. The good news is that our standard high-speed suctions do a great job, however if necessary, we will also use other suction tools with our equipment and in some cases the extra-oral chair side suction units.
- Separation of Treatment Spaces. You will also notice that in areas like our orthodontic bays, we have installed plexiglass partitions to separate treatment spaces. This will help to reduce any aerosol from one chair to the other. It will also help to maintain social distancing. We will also need to limit the number of people in the treatment areas.
- Separation at Front Desk. You will also notice that we have placed plexiglass partitions by our check in and check out desks as well. We will do our best to reduce contact between our front desk workers and your families. They will also be wearing masks to limit the potential spread between families. For the time being, our amazing waiting rooms will have our games, and coffee makers turned off and we will separate our chairs. We will also hand out toys rather than have the children reaching into the treasure chests.
- Additional Precautions. The flow of patients from your car to the dental chair and back to the car will also change. You will be asked to wait in your car rather than the office. You will be asked very specific questions about coronavirus, you will have your temperature taken, and you will be asked to wear a mask to the office, and we will have hand sanitizer at the entry to our offices. Additionally, we will do our best to create digital forms, appointments, and payments to again reduce human interaction and thus make it as safe as possible. While at times, it may appear impersonal we will continue to enforce social distancing by using technology to the best of our availability.
We can’t wait to see your families and their smiling faces real soon. We have always been open for emergencies, which includes infections, trauma, pain, infant tongue ties that limit feeding and emergency sedations. Soon, we will be open for more urgent care which will include many of the services that we are known for. And eventually elective procedures will be scheduled too. While the office might appear slightly different when you come back, we can assure you that the level of care will still be the best in the area. Our amazing team will start re-scheduling your families as soon as possible. We will be adding additional hours and creating financial solutions for those who will need it. Thank you for making us such an essential and important part of the community. See you soon. We wish you good health and a beautiful smile. God bless you and your families.