“Is it safe?”
Absolutely, it’s safe to come to your dentist! We are cleaning, scrubbing, sanitizing, and disinfecting like never before!
- Dr. Ted Reese
I think many people are asking themselves this question, so I just want to be transparent and open in addressing concerns and answering this question if it is lingering in your mind.
Prior to our ‘reopening’ on May 4th we had been busy preparing our office, changing our protocols, and instituting new procedures and methods to ensure safety for your dental needs.
Only time will tell of any lingering threats that may persist from the corona virus. Regardless, I’ve done considerable research and attended several webinars to ensure safety to you, your family and my team and to ensure the office is a healthy environment for all. As you probably know, aerosols generated from dental procedures are of particular concern for us and most of the significant changes are focused on that issue and the ongoing threat of person to person spread.
Allow me to briefly update you about the changes we have made to make your dental visit safe and comfortable.
- All required Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) will continue to be used as normal but now include KN95 masks and face-shields are used during aerosol-generating procedures.
- We will be changing gowns, jackets or scrubs after any aerosol-generating procedure. This protects both patient and provider during procedures and helps contain cross-contamination.
- Our usual intra-oral suction and rubber dam will now be supplemented by extra-oral suction to reduce aerosols as well. With these changes, our office meets or exceeds the infection control recommendations made by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the American Dental Association (ADA), and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). We will continue to follow the activities of these agencies to make sure we stay current on new rulings or guidelines issued.
- Even prior to the quarantine period, I had employed a “state of the art: air filtration system being concerned about toxic airborne particulates more so than biologic threats at that time. This 6 stage filtration unit, including a HEPA and carbon filtration, that not only removes particulate contaminants but also has a UV-C light that effectively kills bacteria, and viruses. This unit is located in the waiting room, while we have smaller units that are also ionizing the air to produce a sterile air source in the treatment areas.
- The entire office and treatment areas are being ‘sanitized’ in the evening with hypochlorous acid misting which is safe and extremely effective against virus and bacteria contamination.
- I’ve also installed an additional ozone sanitization that is run through the duct work in the evenings to essentially disinfect the entire office in the evening when we are gone.
In addition to the above, we will also follow some other guidelines when it’s time for your appointment.
- Our office will communicate with you beforehand to ask some screening questions to be sure you aren’t unknowingly carrying the covid-19 virus. You'll be asked those same questions again when you are in the office. Your temperature will also be taken.
- We ask that you wear a mask into the building and use a hand sanitizer that we will provide for you. You will find some in the reception area and other places in the office for you to use as needed.
- You will see that our waiting room will no longer offer magazines, children's toys, and so forth since those items are difficult to clean and disinfect.
- Appointments will be managed to allow for social distancing between patients. That might mean that you're offered fewer options for scheduling your appointment
- We will do our best to allow greater time between patients to reduce waiting times, as well as to reduce the number of patients in the reception area at any one time.
- For the time being, we will ask that you notify us from your car when you arrive and wait there until we are ready to bring you into the building and seat you/
- We are attempting to handle as little paper as possible and may ask that the payment process be started before you are seated in the treatment area to allow checkout to be smoother and with less waiting.
- After you are seated and before we start, we will have you complete an antimicrobial rinse to decrease the aerosol effect in the room.
I can't tell you how much we all appreciate your patience and loyalty to us during these past months. Life will always present challenges and I see this as one more event to make us stronger. We are so honored and really blessed by the relationships we have with each of you and look forward to seeing you again soon. God Bless you all with health and wellness during this post pandemic environment.
Ted Reese, DDS, MAGD, NMD