COVID-19 Updates and Safety Measures
YES…It’s SAFE to go to the Dentist!
As the world begins to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, one question that I’m often asked is “Do you think it’s safe to go to the Dentist?” My immediate answer is an overwhelming, “YES!”
Dental offices are one of the SAFEST places you can be. Dentistry is a profession of obsessive-compulsive cleaners. Dental treatment rooms are cleaned with bactericidal and viricidal cleaners before & after each patient visit. We utilize barrier protection to prevent germs from spreading when we touch things. All instruments are heat sterilized and used only on you before they are sterilized again. In addition to utilizing many disposable products, we wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for the safety of our patients
Recently, you may have heard about aerosols and their potential danger, especially as it relates to COVID-19. Aerosols are a part of our daily lives. When you speak, cough, sneeze, laugh and breathe, you generate aerosols from your body into the surrounding environment. Our human bodies have a well-developed immune system to protect us from any potential dangers that we may be exposed to from aerosols. As it specifically relates to aerosols generated in a dental office, the American Dental Association (ADA) and our local California Dental Association (CDA) have been leaders in helping dental offices remain safe before, during and after the pandemic. With guidelines that have been developed through science and fact, this includes improved safety measures which were developed with both the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA). Dentistry was safe before the COVID-19 outbreak and it remains safe after. To date, there has not been one instance of a major COVID-19 outbreak from a dental office, throughout the entire world.
You may not realize that our office has been open during the entire shutdown period seeing patients for emergency dental care. Those patients who have been here, as well as our dental team members, felt safe the entire time. In fact, the patients who came in all felt extremely comfortable receiving care at our office.
Since the pandemic began, dental offices (including ours) have been taking additional safety measures to protect our patients and our team. These include:
- Continued commitment to our already spotless waiting area now w/ deep cleaned patient reception area complete with Plexiglass shields at check-in/check-out for patient safety
- Social distancing
- COVID-19 screening before each patient visit including taking temperatures
- Limiting the number of people who are in the office at all times
- Sanitization of patient hands & devices
- Increased PPE for both patients and the dental team
- Limiting of aerosol generating procedures
- Each patient operatory room will be complete with sterilizing UV-C lights & Aegis Aerosol VacStations.
- Installation of Air-scrubbing Hepa Filtration aerosol central vacuum and HVAC systems for every room
- Use of ozone water in every unit and ozone gas treatment for complete sterility
Our office is even going above and beyond by utilization of both intraoral & extraoral aerosol removal devices and improving our air filtration with air purification devices & UV light sterilization.
These additional measures in addition to our regular infection control procedures make our office one of the safest places you can be.
WE WANT YOU TO ALWAYS FEEL COMFORTABLE & SAFE AT OUR OFFICE. In addition, we want our team members to feel safe in our work environment.
As we begin performing routine dental care, you can be assured that our entire team has been in constant communication during the shutdown period, we have studied the latest information & research on how to best care for our patients, and we have implemented additional protocols to keep you, and us, safe during your visit.
There’s a lot of uncertainty when it comes to COVID-19. One thing you can be certain of is that going to the Dentist is, and always has been, safe.
We look forward to seeing you soon here at Sonoma Smiles. 🙂