COVID-19 Heightened Safety Protocols
The safety of our patients and staff is our highest priority. Our dental practice has always complied with and exceeded strict OSHA – mandated protocols to maintain a clean and remarkably sterile environment in our dental office.
These guidelines were created to safeguard against the spread of severely contagious diseases in order to protect your health and that of our employees.
In response to the current pandemic, we have augmented our safety protocols including CDC, American Dental Association, and State Dental Associations recommendations for COVID-19 safety. We have implemented these safety standards across a number of areas in our practice, including:
- Employee Health Screening,
- Patient Health Screening,
- Office Social Distancing,
- Scheduling to minimize interaction,
- Common Area Sterilization,
- Personal Protective Equipment,
- Treatment Area Protection,
- High-Capacity air purifies in every treatment room and common areas,
- Extra-oral suction to reduce the amount of aerosol spray during treatment.
What has changed in our Practice?
- Our office is now a “no forms & no pens” practice. You will receive e-mail and text communications from our dental office with links to fill out registration forms on your computer or mobile devices.
- We have new health and wellness questionnaires that must be filled out before you can be seen for an appointment.
- Upon arriving at our office we will check your temperature and ask you a few health questions. We will take you to your treatment room immediately.
- We require that you wear a mask when coming into our office. And we ask that you keep it until you are instructed to remove it.
- Upon arrival at our office, we ask that you call us to notify us that you are in the parking lot. We will let you know when it is safe to come up to our office.
Our office is now a “no forms & no pens” practice. You will receive email and text communications from our dental office with links to fill out registration forms on your computer or mobile devices.
And we appreciate your cooperation and understanding as we adhere to these strict safety protocols.
We are doing our part to minimize the spread of COVID-19 by implementing the following guidelines:
- Employees are regularly screened for COVID-19 risk factors (travel/illness) and those at risk are required to self-quarantine for 14 days prior to returning to work.
- All employees have their temperatures monitored daily.
- Patients are screened for COVID-19 risk factors and pre-existing conditions when scheduling and upon arrival and asked to reschedule if risk factors are present. Patient temperatures are taken at check-in as a further screening precaution, and they are required to sign a COVID-19 Treatment Consent Form.
- To facilitate patient social distancing in the office, scheduled are being staggered and patients are asked to wait for their appointment in their vehicles when there are others in the waiting area. After treatment is completed, the patient is guided to the check-out desk individually to avoid crowding. Patients are asked to wear masks at all times except while being treated.
- Employees are also practising social distancing by not congregating in common areas and maintaining a six-foot separation from each other outside the treatment areas.
- Common areas (lobby, door handles, break rooms, hallways) are cleaned with disinfecting wipes and aerosol spray several times per day. Pens and clipboards are wiped after each patient use, and all magazines and books have been removed from lobbies and operatories.
- All employees are utilizing additional layers of personal protective equipment (PPE):
- Providers and clinical staff wear clinical jackets, gloves, and surgical head covering for all patient interactions,
- Facial protection includes an N-95 mask overlaid by a standard surgical mask and or a face shield,
- Gloves and surgical mask are disposed of after each visit and face shields are cleaned with a disinfecting wipe,
- Non-clinical personnel wear clinical jackets, gloves, surgical masks, and face shields when disinfecting the common areas and interacting with patients,
- Patients are asked to wash their hands and pre-rinse for 60 seconds with a 1,5% hydrogen peroxide rinse to decrease the viral and bacterial load prior to treatment,
- Oral isolation and suction devices are utilized for all aerosol producing procedures,
- Treatment rooms are thoroughly disinfected with wipes and spray following each patient visit including wiping of all ancillary clinical equipment (loupes, headlamps, face shields, keyboards, etc.)
COVID 19 Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Is it safe to go to the dentist?
A: Yes. Due to COVID-19, there are additional safety precautions in place at our office. These guidelines have been recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Dental Association.
Q: How is Precious Smile Dental responding to the outbreak of COVID-19?
A: The health of our patients, employees and community is of utmost importance. This is why we take safety very seriously.
- Precious Smiles Dental access to the latest guidelines as outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Dental Association (ADA).
- Employees are trained in the use of personal protective equipment. And have been supplied with sufficient personal protective equipment to safely see patents.
Q: How can I practice social distancing while at the dentist?
A: Everyone must maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from each other unless they are giving or receiving direct patient care. This policy is supported with:
- Modified seating plans in waiting areas and common spaces.
- Patients are asked to wait in their vehicles for their appointments.
- This limits the number of people in the waiting area at one time.
- Offices will schedule patient visits at reduced capacity to avoid overcrowding and allow extra time for enhanced cleaning between each patient encounter.
Q: Can I bring a companion with me to the appointment?
A: We encourage patients to come alone to their dental appointments. In the cases where this may negative health impacts for the patient, some exceptions may be made.
- Pediatric patients – If under the age of 18, the patient is limited to one companion 18 or older.
- Patients required transportation home – The companion may be asked to wait in their vehicle, depending on the office size and capacity.
- Patients with disabilities – are limited to one companion that is 18 or older.
All patients and visitors will be screened for symptoms of COVID-19 or flu, including a temperature check. Visitors indicating or showing signs of illness during this screening process will not be allowed to accompany the patient in the office.
Q: Is Precious Smile Dental accepting new patients?
The blog is written by Precious Smiles dentist – Dr Isidoros Mereos