April 17, 2020

Seeing the dentist during the coronavirus outbreak

We know these are unprecedented times. As health care providers we’ve been monitoring the situation over the past few months closely, and we’ll continue to do so. We believe in being alert and not anxious.

So you can rest assured that we’re taking extra precautions. However, over the years dentists have been practicing with the assumption that patients may be infectious with a plethora of pathogens such as HIV, Hep C, Hep B, Tuberculosis, MRSA, Herpes, HPV, and other flu viruses. Thus, we had to become experts in sterile protocol and infection control.

Keep Yourself Healthy

COVID19 enters your body through your eyes, nose, and mouth. So the #1 line of defense is not touching your face.

The second best thing that you can do is wash your hands regularly for a minimum of 20 seconds or if soap & water aren’t available you can use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

It’s also imperative that you practice good respiratory hygiene. Meaning, if you cough or sneeze use a bent elbow or a tissue that is discarded immediately after.

When in public you may want to use a face covering to further ensure that you do not touch your face. Since there is a shortage of masks for health care professionals we found instructions from the CDC showing you how to make your own. You can simply visit their website to find sewing and no-sew instructions.

Oral Health: How To Stay Out of The Emergency Room

We all should know by now that oral health is linked to your overall health. Periodontal disease is connected to a number of systemic diseases including respiratory disease, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, rheumatoid arthritis, cognitive impairment, cancer, metabolic syndrome and more.

So now is an imperative time to be taking care of your oral health so that you do not find yourself needing to go to the hospital or emergency room (whether that be from health issues or a dental emergency like a severe tooth ache.)

Not to mention chronic diseases can have a negative impact on your immune system and your body’s natural ability to fight against foreign invaders.

The good news is our instructions have not changed for the impact that you can have on your health:

  • Establish good oral hygiene habits at-home.
  • Use tools that will significantly improve what you’re able to do at-home (such as a Sonicare toothbrush and a Hydrofloss — for your convenience, we still have these available for you to purchase at our office).
  • Fix dental problems when found. Don’t wait for cavities to get worse, old fillings to crack your teeth, or periodontal disease to wreak havoc on your mouth & health.
  • Visit the dentist when you’ve been told to do so. There’s a reason for those yearly exams and teeth cleaning frequencies — which is to catch things early and prevent things from costing you in time, money, & pain.

If you’re experiencing a dental concern or simply want to improve your smile, we’re still offering virtual consultations! We are working hard to make sure that your dental needs don’t have to wait!

Coronavirus: Dental Office Precautions

As we’ve already mentioned, working in close quarters with patients over so many years, we’ve developed heightened measures for sterilization and disinfection. We’ve always followed strict rules about infection control as put forth by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Patient safety has always been and will always remain a top priority.

In fact, both the World Health Organization and the CDC say there have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 transmitted in a dental office so far. And it’s likely due to the extensive training the dental profession has with infectious diseases.

Before you even enter a treatment suite, ALL surfaces (such as the dental chair, dental light, drawer handles, counter tops, etc.) have been cleaned and disinfected with medical-grade cleaning agents. We cover equipment with protective covers, which we replace after each patient.

Non-disposable tools are first cleaned and then put into our autoclave (aka sort of like an intense oven that gets really hot). Disposable items are never reused, nor is the protective equipment that our team wears (like gloves).

Our team members will have their temperatures taken on arrival and they will also be answering a brief health questionnaire daily.

We will be using our Isolite system to minimize aerosols as well as an electrostatic air filtration system. We have HEPA air filters, and we run Ozone filters at night.

 The Extra Precautions We’re Taking During This Time

While many things are staying the same, we have initiated some extra precautions in light of the current situation:

  • We’re asking that ALL patients arrive 10 mins early and wear a face cloth covering.
  • We will greet you at your car to take your temperature & ask you a few brief health questions. We are asking that you remain in your car (or outside) until we are ready to bring you into the office.
  • Upon entry, we will have you wash your hands with soap and water. And use a anti-viral mouth rinse.
  • We will be seating patients immediately so that there are not people sitting together in the patient lounge area.
  • Common areas and objects (such as the restrooms, door knobs, front counters) are being disinfected after each use.
  • Only the patient being treated and our team will be allowed in the treatment suite.

We are requesting that any patient showing any sort of cold or flu-like symptom stay home and reschedule their visit. Also if you have traveled out of the country in the last 14 days, please call us to reschedule your dental visit.

Hours of Operation

At this time, we are open for business. We will keep you updated on any changes to our hours of operation via email and social media. We are seeing the schedule fill up quickly, so do call to request your next reservation.  Otherwise, you can always request a virtual consultation.

Other questions? Click the green chat bubble and we’ll get to you as soon as possible.