6/10/2020 - WELCOME BACK! We Are Reopening with Better Dentistry- Cleaner Air to Keep you Healthy
Updated: Jun 11, 2020
Since our office closed on March 16, 2020, we have been working hard ensure a safe environment for our patients and employees.
Our office is finally reopening, but there are so many changes that you must know before you come in. Here is a quick video that summarizes these changes really well.
While we cannot wait to reopen, there has been a ton of effort by our team to welcome you back.
Many patients are asking, when can we make appointments? Our answer was when it is safe. Now, with addition of HEPA air filters and new safety protocols, we feel confident that our office is doing everything we can to protect our patients from infectious harm.
Our new equipment and safety protocols are outlined below:
Addition of 5 Medical Grade HEPA air filters
Extraoral Vacuum that collects aerosols at the source
Dry Shield Intraoral suction
Curbside Waiting - Socially Distanced Check In
Socially Distanced Check Out
Detailed screening for COVID on phone prior to appointment
Plastic bags covering all dental chairs and units, clearing of countertops
Enforcement of Hand Hygiene and Mouth Disinfection with Hydrogen Peroxide
1. Addition of 5 Medical Grade HEPA air filter
Our office is adding 5 Medical Grade HEPA air filters. The HEPA filters will deliver superior air changes/ hour (ACH) of 15 (300 cubic feet per minute). In translation, you will have very clean air, and get new air about every 4 minutes.
The virus that causes COVID-19 is approximately 0.125 microns. The filter will clear 99.97% up to .3 microns and 99.5% up to 0.003 microns.
The HEPA filter will provide 15 air exchanges per hour. This is comparable to the same air exchange rate inside of an Operating Room. In a normal setting, without air filters, the ACH is 8-12 per minute.
2. Extraoral Vacuum that collects aerosols at the source
The second adjustment is that for all dental procedures that will create aerosols, we will use Rubber Dam AND have an Extraoral Vacuum System. This also reduces aerosols. Aerosols are the reason why dental offices have have to take extreme measures.
3. Dry Shield Intraoral suction
All hygiene procedures in the future will be completed using an intraoral suction called Dry Shield. This is in addition to the extraoral suction to ensure aerosols are taken away at the source!
4. Curbside Waiting - Socially Distanced Check In
Patients will stay in their car until the office is ready to see them.
You may text us or call us when you arrive. We will ask family members to wait in their car.
We will not have patients in the waiting room unless it is absolutely necessary.
Checking Out will be contactless. We will provide patients with a payment option sent directly to them via text message or email. Appointment reminders will be provided via text message or email as well.
5. Socially Distanced Check Out
We have implemented new payment methods so that you can make payment from your phone via text message. Our reminder system will allow you to get text messages about your appointment.
We will be calling patients 2 days before their appointment and screen them. We will ensure that patients who do show symptoms related to COVID-19 get tested first instead of coming to the office. We hope to keep everyone safe and healthy.
6. Detailed screening for COVID-19 on phone prior to appointment
Before you come in, there will be several screening questions. Although the nature of COVID-19 is very sneaky, we hope to keep patients who do display pre-symptomatic signs out of the office. We call every patient and screen them before their appointment.
When the technology is more available, we will ask our patients to allow contact tracing on their cell phone to help our office improve detection of exposure more quickly.
Our office has always had thorough disinfection policies. However, due to COVID-19, we are adhering to new strict CDC and national guidelines for infection control. We are adding 30 minutes between each appointment for additional steps required for disinfection. We added more plastic barriers so that the patient can sit on a dental chair with fresh covering. Our infection control practices remain the same as this was always intended to protect patients from pathogens.
7. Plastic bags covering all dental chairs and units, clearing of countertops
Unlike before, all dental chairs and working surfaces will be covered with plastic bags. Although this will cause a lot of plastic waste, the surfaces that the patient touches will be clean every time because it is untouched.
We have cleared our countertops so that aerosols cannot sit on materials that we use for different patients.
8. Enforcement of Hand Hygiene and Mouth Disinfection with Hydrogen Peroxide
Once the patient arrives, they will be asked to get their temperature taken. Afterwards, they will be asked to wash their hands for 20 seconds and then rinse their mouth with Hydrogen Peroxide for 1 minute.
There has been published evidence that states that Hydrogen Peroxide can oxidize the virus and effectively kill it.
Look out for updates soon
Our dental office is here to protect our patients. As this is new to all of us, we are going to continue monitoring this situation.
Our office is adhering to strict guidelines to make sure that the environment is as safe as possible for everyone. We have all equipment necessary and will be ready to start seeing new patients starting from June.
We will be posting a video update that details all the new steps patients must follow.