When the Coronavirus first obtained news coverage, few were aware of the monumental impact it would have on our lives. Between social distancing guidelines, stay-at-home orders, and face coverings, our world has completely changed to adhere to infection control measures put forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Although communities are starting to transition out of quarantine, patients are still uncertain of whether attending a routine dental checkup is safe in light of the current pandemic. If you find yourself experiencing similar concerns, your dentist in Merrimack is here to share four safety measures your dental team is putting in place at your visit during COVID-19.
Extensive Sanitation Measures
Although research is being conducted on this novel virus, the CDC and World Health Organization (WHO) have remained firm in their stance that even simple sanitation measures could play a vital role in flattening the curve. Fortunately, your dentist has practiced proper infection control long before 2020, which gives them an advantage in preventing cross-contamination and creating a sterile environment. In fact, both the CDC and the WHO have reported that there are no cases of COVID-19 being transmitted at a dental office! They are continuing to prevent the spread by:
- Placing hospital-grade hand sanitizing stations throughout the office.
- Cleaning after each appointment.
- Deep cleaning the practice every evening.
- Using CDC-approved instrument sterilization.
- Enforcing personal hygiene standards (i.e., hair must be tied back, no non-essential jewelry, etc.).
- Asking patients to rinse with an anti-microbial mouthwash before their appointment.
- Using HEPA air filtration.
New Appointment Protocol
To control foot traffic and prevent patients from leaving their house repeatedly, dental teams are introducing a new appointment protocol. Therefore, you can expect:
- Family-friendly scheduling that allows each member of your family to be seen in one visit.
- Sequenced patient scheduling that provides ample cleaning time between each patient.
- Expanded patient appointments that result in more dentistry in the same visit.
- At-risk patient hours for mature or medically compromised patients.
Additional Personal Protective Equipment
Pre-COVID-19, dental teams wore a face mask and a fresh set of gloves before each appointment. While those measures continue to play a vital role in preventing the transmission of viruses through blood and saliva, the CDC is advising that additional personal protective equipment be worn. So, don’t be surprised to see your dentist in a face shield, protective coats, and even shoe coverings!
Social Distancing Protocols
Did you know that social distancing measures may have prevented up to 4.8 million cases of the Coronavirus? The CDC and WHO continue to reinforce the importance of maintaining a 6-foot distance from others. While you and your dental team will breach this guideline in the treatment chair, they are making social distancing a practical reality in other areas of their office by using virtual waiting rooms, teledentistry, and contactless greetings.
Keeping your oral health in tip-top shape is crucial, especially during a pandemic. Fortunately, you can get the treatment you need without compromising your peace-of-mind because dental teams across the U.S. are taking extensive measures to ensure your safety!
About the Practice
At Dental Designs of New England, each member of their team is united by their mission of providing modern dentistry with a gentle touch. Backed by their talented staff, Dr. Sajini Shetty and Dr. Charles R. Braga are dedicated to providing comfort-focused care, world-class customer service, and a comprehensive array of dentistry all at their state-of-the-art office. If you would like to speak with them about how they are using their extensive experience to practice dental safety protocol, visit their website or give them a call at 603-429-2199.