Is it safe to come in for an appointment?
Safety is a personal decision. Below is what we’re doing to protect you and ourselves. Our protocols have been highly praised by immunocompromised patients.
How we’re minimizing the risk of transmission of COVID-19 and other viruses
- The most effective way to reduce aerosols capable of transmitting the COVID-19, flu, and RSV viruses is for everyone to wash their hands frequently and to cover their mouth and nose. In our treatment room, all of our clinicians have their mouths and noses double covered (N95 fitted mask, surgical mask) and some additionally wear a face shield. Our clerical team members and patient companions must wear masks at all times. Thus, the patients being treated are the only source of potentially contaminated aerosols inside our office.
- Each treatment room has doors or shower curtains protecting the entrance to our treatment rooms, which function as physical barriers to reduce the spread of aerosols.
- At the end of each appointment, the patient puts on their mask and is escorted to the checkout area, where physical distancing measures are enforced.
- Each treatment room is thoroughly cleaned between patients. The treatment room is fogged with hypochlorous acid (HOCl). HOCl is known to eradicate the coronavirus, other viruses, bacteria, mycobacteria, spores, and fungi within 15 seconds. We use an ultra-low fogger, which disperses the HOCl into the air and acts on all surfaces. According to a 2018 article in the British Dental Journal: “Hypochlorous acid is one of the most natural and effective known biocides known to man. It disinfects 200 to 300 times better than bleach and is 100% safe.” It is so safe that it is used to clean wounds on premature infants with no ill effects.
- An extraoral high speed evacuation machine is now available upon request for use during your dental procedure that generates a vast amount of aerosols. Alternatively, Zyris (formerly known as Isolite, a suctioning mouthpiece) can be used inside the mouth to capture aerosol particles.
- Patients wear their own mask while in our office until a clinician asks them to remove it.
- Patients are asked health pre-screening questions upon arrival in our parking lot. Before entering our office, the patient’s body temperature is taken. If a patient’s answers or reading are indicative of a possible infection, their appointment is rescheduled to at least two weeks in the future.
- In the treatment room, patients wash their hands for 20 seconds, or use hand sanitizer upon entry into the office.
- While waiting in line to check out, patients stand in designated spots marked with a footprint.
Doctors and Team Members:
- Doctors and team members enter our office wearing masks, check their body temperatures, and complete a health pre-screening at the beginning of each workday.
- All clinicians – doctors, dental assistants and hygienists – wear full PPE when in contact with our patients:
- 2 masks (a fitted N95 mask, a surgical/Type 3 mask on top the N95). The surgical mask is disposed of after each patient. The N95 is used for an entire day and then thrown away.
- Goggles (cleaned after each patient)
- Gown (fogged after each patient and disposed of when soiled or at the end of the day).
- All clerical team members wear masks and interact with patients through a plexiglass window.
Social Distancing Controls:
- When inside our office, everyone wears a mask unless they’re being treated.
- Patients follow strict pathways around the office to reduce the likelihood of contact with other patients.
- Environmental Controls:
- We’ve eliminated paper materials in most parts of our office.
- We offer touchless credit card payment
- Patients are encouraged to complete forms electronically online in advance of their appointment.
COVID-19 Testing and Vaccines:
Our practice does NOT rely on testing or vaccines to assume that anyone is virus-free. For our collective safety, we treat everyone — team members, patients, and everybody who enters our office — as if they are potentially infectious.
We DO assume that those who test positive for the virus are actually infected, and don’t allow them into our office until they’ve completed quarantine following the current CDC guidelines.