Although you might be aware of how important regular dental check-ups are, you may be wondering whether it’s even safe to visit the dentist in the midst of a pandemic. It’s understandable to be cautious these days, and we want to assure you that the dentist’s office is actually a pretty safe place to be. While we’ve always followed standard safety protocols recommended by the state dental board and American Dental Association, we’ve implemented several extra precautions to ensure the safety of our patients and team. Here are four important ways we’re keeping you and your child safe.
1. New Screening Measures
Prior to your appointment, you can expect to be asked the following screening questions:
- Has your child been sick in the past 3 weeks?
- Has your child had close contact with an individual diagnosed with COVID-19 or experiencing symptoms?
If you answer “yes” to either of these questions, we will ask you to reschedule your appointment.
In addition to these pre-screening questions, we will also take you and your child’s temperatures when you arrive for your appointment. If it is above 100.4 ०F, you will be asked to reschedule. Temperature screenings are not limited to patients; we also check the temperature of each of our team members daily. Anyone who is sick is required to stay home.
2. Social Distancing
We’ve also implemented a few measures to help us adhere to social distancing guidelines as much as possible. Wherever feasible, patients are asked to wait in their car as opposed to the welcome area. We’ve also decreased the number of chairs in our welcome area to ensure there is adequate space between patients. To minimize the number of individuals in the practice at one time, visitors are limited to patients and, if necessary, one parent, guardian or translator. We are also asking our team members to maintain a 6-foot distance from each other.
3. Personal Protective Equipment
You can rest assured that our entire clinical and non-clinical team will be wearing the appropriate personal protective equipment during your child’s visit. All clinical team members, such as doctors and hygienists, wear:
- N95 or KN95 mask, or a Level 3 surgical mask with a face shield
- Eyewear with side shields
- Gown or lab jacket
All non-clinical team members, such as front desk staff, also wear reusable or surgical masks. For additional safety, we encourage you to wear a mask to your appointment. Your child will also be given protective eyewear during his or her treatment.
4. Sterilization and Disinfection
While our standard protocols have always helped to protect our patients and team members from communicable diseases like the coronavirus, we have increased the frequency of our sterilization and disinfection practices in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition:
- All team members wash hands more frequently.
- Food items, magazines, books, toys and other clutter have been removed from common and clinical areas.
- Countertops, door knobs, tables, chairs and other common surfaces are wiped down often.
We’ve Missed You and Your Smile!
We hope this helps assure you that you and your child will be safe during your dental visit. If you need to schedule an appointment, please don’t hesitate to contact us. As always, your health is our number one priority. We can’t wait to see you again!