Our #1 concern is patient safety. Things look different and will be different. This page will describe some of the measures we are taking to protect our team, our patients, and do great dentistry.
Various Protocols are in place in our dental office to prevent cross-contamination of infectious diseases and bloodborne pathogens. We use appropriate disinfectants for the contact time that’s necessary in order to effectively reduce the bacteria present on surfaces. Our sterilization protocols have recently been reviewed including removing the debris, the use of internal and external indicators, and biological monitoring of our autoclave. Lastly, our dental water lines are disinfected and regularly tested to reduce transmitting diseases from patient to patient. The new dental units are specifically designed to help eliminate this phenomenon.
All patients will be contacted before their scheduled appointments and screened for symptoms of respiratory illness over the phone (e.g., fever3, cough, shortness of breath). If the patient reports signs or symptoms of fever or respiratory illness, they are encouraged to contact their medical care provider and start a 14-day quarantine.
All employees have temperatures taken upon arrival and are screened for symptoms of COVID-19. They are encouraged to stay home if they or anyone in their household are positive to COVID 19 symptoms. In addition, they are given regular reviews of infection control protocols to ensure everyone’s safety during this time.
PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT
At a minimum, the use of level 3 surgical masks with a face shield will be worn when treating patients. You may also see us wearing N95 masks, gowns, hair covers, and shoe covers.
Our state of the art sterilization implements biological monitoring and chemical indicators to meet three critical variables of time, temperature, and steam. This evaluates the sterilization ability of the autoclave directly through the killing of resistant organisms.
In addition to proper disinfection and sterilization, maintenance of equipment is also considered. Dental unit waterlines consist of long tubing with narrow lumens. This can prevent the development of bacteria within the water lines. Water lines are tested daily and are flushed at the beginning of the day end of the day and in between our patients.
A review of our infection control protocol has been performed. We will start to inquire about respiratory symptoms and reschedule our patients as needed to help prevent the spreading of infection.