For the Safety of Our Patients & Staff
We have adopted new procedures to ensure that the safety of our patients and staff remain at the top of our priorities. In addition to using personal protective equipment (PPE) such as face masks, face shields, gowns, and gloves, we are also using air filtering/purifying equipment. Below are some additional guidelines that we are following to ensure we do our best to reduce the transmission of COVID-19.
Education & Screening
- We have put into place a policy to ask questions about COVID-19 symptoms for patients at our front desk before providing treatment. (Examples: Do you have a fever? Do you have a cough? Are you experiencing shortness of breath? Have you had any of these within the past 14 days? Have you been diagnosed with COVID-19? If so, how long ago?)
- We are using a no-contact device to measure the temperature of all employees and patients when they first arrive.
- We are ensuring that anyone who is experiencing flu-like illnesses and not requiring emergency dental care, including employees, leaves the premises.
- We are ensuring that anyone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 or previously displayed symptoms has fully recovered before working or being seen at our office.
- If a patient is experiencing flu-like illness but requires emergency care, we are following appropriate protocols and using proper PPE.
- Our employees have been fully educated on COVID-19 and policies related to reducing the risk of spreading this virus.
Operation & Office Adjustments
- We have a hand-sanitizing station available for patients and require patients to use it.
- We have no-touch trash receptacles available for patient use at various locations in your office.
- Chairs in our reception area have been placed at least six feet apart.
- Patients are instructed to not bring companions to appointments, except as may be absolutely necessary.
- We have removed items from our office that are touched by multiple people and may not be easily disinfected, such as magazines and toys.
- We have removed pens and paper from all operatories. (All consent forms should be signed at the front desk.)
- For safety, we are not shaking hands with patients.
PPE (Personal Protective Equipment)
- We have sufficient inventory of PPE supplies (e.g., surgical masks, face shields, disposable surgical gowns, surgical gloves)
- Our staff wear respiratory protection masks (e.g., N95 or KN95) or surgical masks at all times.
- Masks are changed with each patient.
- Soiled or damaged masks are replaced immediately.
- We are using eye protection with solid side shields or a face shield to protect mucous membranes of the eyes, nose and mouth during procedures likely to generate splashing or spattering of blood or other body fluids.
- We change gloves in between patients.
- We are adhering to the standard sequence of the donning and doffing of PPE, including washing hands after each removal.
- Staff wash hands for at least 20 seconds before putting on gloves.
- Our staff wipe down and properly disinfecting (with EPA-registered disinfectants) countertops, door handles, chairs, pens, bathrooms, etc. routinely throughout the day,
- We clean reusable PPE with soap and water, or if visibly soiled, clean and disinfect reusable facial protective equipment (e.g., dentist and patient protective eyewear or face shields) between patients,
- We are sterilizing all instruments pursuant to standard precautions.
- We disinfect non-dedicated and reusable equipment (e.g., handpieces, dental chair and light) according to instructions from the manufacturer.
- We use barrier plastic wrap on x-ray, light handles, chair switches, computer keyboard and mouse, etc. and changing them between each patient.
- We have hand sanitizer throughout the office with at least 60% vol alcohol
- We have implemented a policy requiring employees to groom and dress in a way that helps reduce the risk of spreading the virus, including proper grooming of facial hair, trimmed nails and no jewelry.
- We have patients use 1.5% hydrogen peroxide or 0.2% povidone for two 30-second rinses or one minute as a mouth rinse before procedures
- If an aerosol-producing procedure is being performed, we are using rubber dams or an ISOLATE type device to help minimize aerosol or spatter.
- We follow CDC recommendations in the event of suspected unintentional exposure.