Our community has 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 very important thing has remained the same: dental offices here and around the world remain committed to the safety of our patients!
Infection control has always been a top priority for dental practices and hopefully, you have recognized this during your visits to your dental office. Infection control processes are designed so that when you receive care, it is both safe and comfortable. And now, new infection control procedures have been implemented to keep you, our patients, and our dental teams safe during this unprecedented time.
Dental offices will be following the infection control standards recommended by the American Dental Association (ADA), the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Dental teams are continuously monitoring these agencies to keep up to date on any new guidelines and rulings that are issued. This needs to be done daily to make sure our infection control protocols are current and adhere to each agency’s recommendations.
You will see some changes when it is time for your next appointment. Dental offices have made these changes to protect you, our patients and our Team.
SOME OF THE THINGS YOU WILL SEE:
- Your office will communicate with you beforehand to ask some screening questions. You will be asked these or similar questions when you arrive at the office. Questions include, but not limited to: Do you have a fever? Are you having shortness of breath? Do you have a cough? Do you have any other flu-like symptoms? Have you experienced recent loss of taste or smell? Are you in contact with any confirmed COVID-19 positive patients? When you arrive in the parking lot at the office you may be asked to text or call the office to notify them that you have arrived. We will communicate with you the next steps to proceed.
Several offices are asking patients to wait in their car until your room is completely sanitized and ready for you to enter.
- Your temperature will be taken with a contactless thermometer before you enter the office reception area.
- Hand sanitizer will be required for you to use when you enter the office. For your convenience and safety, you will also find hand sanitizer in the reception and check out areas, as well as other places throughout the office.
- Some front office counters now have plexiglass barriers, much like you have seen at the grocery store.
- The front office team will be wearing masks and probably protective eyewear.
- You will be required to wear your own face mask that completely covers your mouth and nose at all times while you are in the office, when you are not being treated.
- Some offices have been equipped with air purification units that electrostatically clean the air.
- The back office dental assistant and hygiene teams will be wearing full face shields and disposable gowns, in addition to our facial masks, eye glasses and gloves.
- Most offices will schedule appointments to manage and allow for social distancing between patients. This may mean you will be offered fewer options for scheduling your appointments.
- Every treatment room will be completely sanitized between patients
Dental offices are looking forward to serving you again, and are happy to answer any questions you may have about the steps they are taking to keep you and every patient safe in every dental office.
Staying ahead of the curve, warmest regards, – Dr. Susan Dennis, DDS