Safety is Our Top Priority
Our community as been through a lot over the last few months, and all of us are looking forward to resuming our normal habits and routines. While many things have changed, one thing has remained the same: our commitment to your safety.
Of all the healthcare professions, dentistry is among the best at implementing infection control. Consider our use of gloves, masks, eye protection, use of disposables and the sterilization protocols that you have always observed that are practiced in our office on a daily basis. Our infection control processes have been and will remain our standard of care with additional enhancements so that when your child receives care, its both safe and comfortable. We want you to feel comfortable and trust that we are going above and beyond to keep you and your child safe during your time in the office.
Please note below the safety protocols we have in place as well as the enhancements we have instituted. We request your partnership and cooperation as we strive to continue to provide a safe and nurturing environment for our patients and family members. Our office follows infection control recommendations made by the American Dental Association (ADA), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). We follow the activities of these agencies so that we are up-to-date on any new rulings or guidance that may be issued. We do this to make sure that our infection control procedures are current and adhere to each agencies’ recommendations. The following outlines some of the infection control guidelines that we observe as well as changes we have made to our physical space and some of our policies and procedures to ensure the safety of our patients, their families as well as our staff.
We have made the following changes to our physical space to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19.
- Spaced out our reception room chairs to allow for social distancing between families
- Placed acrylic barriers at the reception check-in and check-out areas
- Removed all magazines, books and toys from the office
- Propped open inner office doors to limit the touching of door handles
- Our chairs in the open bay have always been more than 6 feet apart. However, we have placed curtain barriers to allow for separation of families between the chairs in the open bay
- Hand sanitizer has been placed throughout the office for you to use as needed
- Moved the prize machine behind the reception desk (our staff will assist your child in retrieving a prize)
- We will be disinfecting pens between uses, but consider bringing your own pen to complete paperwork
- We will be cleaning and disinfecting all touchable surface areas such as chair arms, door knobs, light switches, faucets etc. on a regular basis
- The office will be kept colder than usual due to the amount of PPE our staff has to wear. Please come prepared with a sweater or sweatshirt for you and your child.
Policies and Procedures
- Our office will communicate with you prior to your childs appointment to ask some screening questions. You’ll be asked those same questions again when you are in the office. Depending on your answers to these questions you may be required to re-schedule your childs appointment.
- All parents and children will have their temperature taken with a thermal scan thermometer upon entering the office. Anyone with a temperature over 100.4 will not be permitted into the office.
- All persons entering the office will be required to wear a face mask (cloth face mask is acceptable)
- Only one parent will be allowed to accompany their child/children in the office.
- Siblings not being seen will not be permitted to wait in the office
- Parents and siblings not being seen for an appointment will be permitted to wait in their cars
- We ask that you first come into the office to check in and complete necessary paperwork and have you and your childs temperature taken.
- If we are not ready to take your child into the operatory, you may wait with your child/children in the car and our staff will come out to get them.
- YOU ARE NOT PERMITTED TO GO TO WALMART OR RUN OTHER ERRANDS WHILE YOUR CHILD IS BEING SEEN. YOU MUST WAIT IN YOUR CAR OR NEARBY OUTSIDE OF THE OFFICE
- No one over the age of 60 will be permitted in the office. (We will allow them to come in to complete the check in procedures but then must wait in the car or outside of the office for the duration of the childs appointment)
- For parents with jobs that put them in contact with COVID-19 positive patients ex. healthcare workers, first responders, etc. we may require you to schedule your child at the end of the day.
- Children with heart disease, lung disease, kidney disease diabetes or other immune deficiency or auto-immune disorders may be required to be scheduled at the start of the day.
- Appointments will be managed to allow for social distancing between patients. That might mean that you’re offered fewer options for scheduling your appointments
One of the concerns with regard to dentistry is the production of aerosols produced by dental instrumentation such as air/water syringe spray, ultrasonic scaling, rubber cup prophy polishing, and high-speed dental handpieces (drills). While we know these procedures produce aerosols, there is not yet enough information to know to what extent COVID virus particles may be contained in these aerosols. Until we have more information, out of an abundance of caution we have made the following modifications to our dental procedures to minimize the exposure to aerosols.
For Recare Appointments
- Dental cleanings will be performed with hand instruments only.
- Exams, fluoride treatments, and any recommended x-rays will be performed as usual
- No dental cleanings requiring the cavitron (ultrasonic scaler) will be performed at this time
- If your child comes in for a recare appointment and additional treatment is recommended, we will do our best to offer same day treatment to avoid having to come back to the office again.
For treatment appointments
- All aerosol generating procedures will be done in the treatment room with the door closed.
- We will attempt to preform as much treatment as can be safely administered and as your child can tolerate to minimize the number of visits your child has to return to the office.
- We will encourage you to get all your childs urgent dental care treated as quickly as possible to avoid foreseeable dental emergencies from untreated dental disease.
- Upon reporting to work all staff members will have their temperature taken and be screened for COVID symptoms such as cough and shortness of breath.
- Staff members will be performing appropriate hand hygiene upon entry into the workplace, before and after contact with patients and after contact with contaminated surfaces or equipment.
- Our staff will be donning additional PPE (personal protective equipment) appropriate to the procedures being performed. For example, cover gowns, N95 or similar masks, face shields, and hair coverings. Please try to prepare young children at home that may be frightened by the additional garb.
These changes are not all inclusive but we wanted to give you an idea of what to expect in our office for the foreseeable future. We continually look to the ADA, the CDC and OSHA for guidance and re-evaluate and update our policies and procedures as more is understood about COVID-19 and more information becomes available.
What does not change is our commitment to providing your children with the highest quality dental care in a manner that is safe for your children, your families as well as our staff and their families.
Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns.
We look forward to seeing you at your next appointment.