Even though dental offices throughout the United States have reopened as the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak slows down, you may feel a bit nervous or uncomfortable about seeing the dentist. Is it really safe to see the dentist during coronavirus?
In this blog from Oak Creek Dental Care, we’ll be taking a look at a few of the steps and precautions we’re taking to protect you and our staff members, and ensure that you can get the dental care you need in a safe, clean environment.
First, we’ll be asking all of our patients to fill out a brief questionnaire about their recent travels, whether they have been exposed to someone who developed COVID-19, and any symptoms of illness they have experienced in the past 14 days.
In addition, we have reconfigured our waiting area to ensure 6 feet of distance can be maintained between patients. If possible, we ask that you come alone to your appointment with Dr. Saleki, unless you require the assistance of a caregiver. If possible, we also recommend that you wear a face covering.
We are also spreading out patient appointments and reducing the number of patients we see each day to reduce the number of people who are in our office at any given time.
As a method of infection control, we ensure that our staff members follow all mandated guidelines for hand washing. Hands are washed before and after putting on gloves, after treating a patient, and after touching any potentially-contaminated surface.
In addition, our team members are trained in proper respiratory etiquette, such as coughing or sneezing into the elbow, disposing of used tissues properly, and washing hands after touching any respiratory secretions.
Depending on the patient and the procedure, we will use PPE including glasses, N95 masks, face shields, head and shoe coverings, and gowns. All used PPE is left in the operatory where it was used to be sanitized and reused, or to be thrown away and disposed of safely. This dramatically reduces the risk of cross-contamination between patients.
We have always followed all applicable CDC, OSHA and ADA standards for cleaning and disinfecting our patient operatories, including the use of protective barriers on hard-to-clean surfaces, disinfection of hard and nonporous surfaces, and using EPA-registered disinfectants for maximum effectiveness.
However, we are redoubling our efforts and ensuring that we clean each operatory even more thoroughly. We are also cleaning common areas and frequently-touched surfaces like door knobs, counters, chairs, tables, and other such surfaces several times per day to reduce the risk of virus spread.
The above steps are just a few of the precautions we’re taking for the safety of our patients and staff members. You can rest assured that we are doing everything we can to give you a worry-free dentistry experience in Oak Creek. For more information about our safety precautions or to schedule a consultation, just contact us online or give us a call at (414) 762-9010.