It’s now been about 3 months since we initially closed our practice to all but urgent emergencies. Since then, we have been slowly bringing patients in for not-quite-as-urgent procedures.
We are currently preparing for a full reopening, meaning welcoming patients back for cleanings and routine care. We’ve made many changes in the office to help keep patients and staff safe during this uncertain time. Here’s a guide for what to expect from start to finish at your visits.
1. Thorough patient screening
Prior to entering our treatment area, all patients will now be required to sign a form confirming that in the past 14 days they haven’t:
– experienced any COVID19 symptoms such as fever, cough, muscle aches, etc.
– been in contact with anyone is suspected or confirmed positive for COVID19
– traveled by commercial bus, train, or plane
2. Contactless check-in
Patients are now asked to alert us by phone or text upon arrival. When their treatment room is ready, we will notify by phone. We are also asking all patients to refrain from bringing anyone else to their appointments.
3. No visitors
Aside from patients and direct caregivers/guardians of patients, we are not permitting any other visitors/significant others/friends to accompany patients to the clinics. Our goal is to keep as few people as possible in our reception area and treatment rooms.
4. Temperature checks
All patients will have a temperature check via infrared thermometer prior to entering the clinical area. Patients with temperatures above 100o F will be asked to leave and return after quarantining for at least 14 days.
5. Masks for all in the building
All patients and staff will be asked to wear a mask/face covering with the exception of when a patient is receiving direct dental care.
6. Thorough and frequent handwashing
Hand sanitizer and soap are readily available for staff and patient use throughout the office. All staff are washing hands frequently before and after patient encounters. Prior to entering the clinical area, patients are asked to use hand sanitizer or wash their hands with soap.
7. Hydrogen peroxide antimicrobial mouthrinse prior to procedures
SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID19, is thought to be vulnerable to oxidation. For this reason, we are asking all patients to rinse with a hydrogen peroxide rinse for at least 30 seconds prior to all procedures.
8. Medify H13 HEPA air purifiers in every room
These filtration devices use a patented 3-step methodology to remove 99.97% of airborne particles. The filter size of the HEPA filter included in these devices is small enough to trap SARS-CoV-2 particles present in the air before they can land on a surface or potentially infect another person.
9. High Volume Evacuation (HVE) suction
If you’ve had a filling or crown you’ve probably experienced the “fat suction;” we will also be using it to remove water spray from cleanings and capture any potentially infectious aerosols.
10. CDC-approved PPE for all staff
All staff will be attired with these personal protective equipment (PPE) in conjuction with CDC guidelinse:
- ASTM level 3 surgical masks for all clinical and non-clinical staff
- Full face shields for all clinical staff
- Eye protection
- Disposable gowns
To help defray the extensive costs of these measures, all patients will now be charged a $10 infection control fee. We do this in lieu of raising our prices across the board and hope that it’s a small price to pay for peace of mind.
We look forward to seeing you soon!