Is It Safe To Go To The Dentist During The COVID-19 Pandemic?

September, 2, 2020

Dental Office Safety During the COVID-19 Crisis

With the arrival of COVID-19, we all are being forced to alter our lives. Shopping for food, going to school, and work, all of which was once taken for granted, now is potentially life-threatening.

Going to the Dentist has often been loathsome to many, but safety in the world of COVID-19, makes the experience, that much more difficult. Taking this into consideration, my office has gone to extreme measures to protect the safety of our staff and patients.

First and foremost, we have spared no expense to purchase a highly efficient, Medical Grade Air Filtration system from Switzerland. Multiple filtration units have been placed in all areas throughout our office, including the hallway. As a major component, we have further installed a Health Pro Plus with Flex Vac in all of our treatment rooms. These units are designed to capture airborne particles when a patient’s mask is removed during a dental procedure.  The long funnel-like extension is placed close to a patient’s face and sucks in the aerosol coming from a patient’s mouth. This minimizes the amount of potentially dangerous airborne debris, which can cause infection. Keep in mind that all of these units are designed to filter out particles as small as .003 microns. The COVID-19 virus particle size is .125 microns.  Why is this important? Most typical HEPA filters only capture air particles the size of .3 microns and larger, which numerically offers no protection against Covid-19.  Although no system has been proven to be 100% effective against COVID-19, this system offers the highest level of protection that we have found.

Our clinical staff, have been equipped with N95 masks and Face Shields. We will add a disposable second mask over our N95 and under our Face Shield to ensure cleanliness. Additionally, our clinical staff, wear a freshly cleaned lab coat over a fluid-resistant isolation gown. These double layers are for the protection of our staff and patients. In our treatment rooms, you will see replaceable plastic draped over just about everything that could be exposed to any airborne particles. We do this, in addition to our continual and routine treatment room cleaning and instrument sterilization procedures. We have adjusted our daily scheduling of patients, to allow for sufficient time to properly disinfect each room after every procedure.

All patients have their temperature taken upon entry to the office, and a series of screening questions are asked in an effort to verify that it is safe to treat that patient. Patients have openly available and/or are offered hand sanitizer before and after their dental appointment.

Our clinical and non-clinical staff, also have their temperature checked daily and will be sent home if any possible COVID-19 symptoms are present upon arrival.

Patients wait for their appointments in their car. Upon arrival to our parking lot, patients call our front desk, to check-in and review the screening questions.  This minimizes the number of patients in our waiting room at the same time. If patients do need to wait in our waiting room for any reason, they must wear a mask and sit or stand within 6 feet of another. Our waiting room seating has been reduced for social distancing and is regularly sanitized.

It is our goal to reduce the added fear of COVID-19, from the equation, by our staff creating an environment that offers reassurance, with what we believe is a superior response to COVID-19 protocols.

We welcome any questions from current patients or potential patients of our Family Dental Practice, in regard to our office COVID-19 practices.

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