Different times call for different measures. Here at Advanced Dentistry by Design, we have always taken our patients’ health seriously, both dental and overall, and have therefore taken the utmost care in maintaining a clean and healthy environment. However, now is the time to exercise extra caution. As the world around us changes, it is up to us to adapt with it to ensure our patients' health remains a priority.
What We've Already Been Doing
As mentioned before, our office has always been very meticulous about complying with OSHA standards for infection control. Below are examples of some of the things we normally do to protect patients and staff from contamination:
- Treatment rooms are completely wiped down twice over with hospital-grade disinfectant wipes between each patient, including, but not limited to, faucet handles, countertops, lamps, shelves, and anything we or a patient may have touched
- Instruments are disinfected and then heat sterilized after each use following the protocol laid out by OSHA. Even if a pouch of instruments is opened but unused, we run it through the sterilizer again. We conduct weekly tests on our autoclave (the sterilization machine) to make sure that it is continuing to function properly.
- The countertops up front are wiped down with disinfectant regularly, as are the chairs, tables, and Keurig machine located in the waiting room
- All doctors and staff wash or sanitize their hands between patients and don the proper PPE during treatment (masks, gloves, goggles/face shields)
New Protocols During the Pandemic
However, with the current pandemic, we know that extra precautions must be put into place to ensure the maximum safety for our patients. As a result, our office will be implementing the following rules to create an even safer and healthier environment for our patients and ourselves:
- Hand sanitizer is available for patients to use upon arrival and before and after using our pens to sign anything
- Sneeze guards have been erected around the desks up front to protect both the patients and staff from aerosols while communicating
- A contact-free forehead thermometer will be used to take staff temperatures at the beginning of the day
- Patients will be screened and their temperatures taken to ensure there are no signs of possible COVID infection. Patients exhibiting symptoms or with a fever will have their appointments rescheduled.
- After checking in, we will ask that patients wait outside or in their cars until we call them to come in to avoid a crowded waiting room.
- We will limit the number of patients we see during the day to avoid patient-to-patient interaction
- All door handles will be wiped down hourly and in between patients
- An air scrubber and extraoral aerosol suction units will be installed in the office to remove any contaminants in the air
- All staff will be wearing masks at all times. The doctors and assistants in the back will be wearing masks, gloves, and disposable gowns, which will be changed out between patients, as well as goggles and face shields, which will be wiped down with hospital-grade disinfectant wipes between patients as well.
We will continue to update and improve our protocols as needed moving forward. We are grateful to all of you for your patience during this time and for continuing to trust us with your dental care and health. We understand that this is a difficult time for all, but we are optimistic that as long as we work together, we will be able to get through it. We look forward to reuniting with you very soon, and we hope you are too! Don't forget to call in to our office at (408)258-5054 to schedule your appointment today, or click the "Request an Appointment" button at the top right to submit and email request!