We are open and so happy to be back! We are moving forward, slowly (and cautiously) but surely, as we actualize systems that we have been learning, customizing and discussing for the last two months.
Here’s a list of some of the changes made to our office facility and other “patient engineering” changes that have been adopted, as more or less permanent methodology for taking care of patients and protecting our amazing team members:
- Retrofitted our heating and cooling system with hospital grade filtration and UV-C air decontamination for clear air throughout the office.
- Waiting room is empty except for checkout process. Clinical staff checks with front desk to assure no on else is in the waiting area before bringing patients forward to the desk.
- Lexan partitions for added protection at the front desk.
- Bathrooms are cleaned and disinfected after each use. (Don’t forget to tell us if you tinkle…it’s not very dignified, but we need to know so we can clean.)
- Traffic areas including door handles, switches, and desks are disinfected regularly throughout the day.
- Essential oil diffusers deploy Thieves’ Oil: it’s thought to have antiviral properties and may help.
- Treatment Rooms after Patient Treatment:
- Room is cordoned off for 15 minutes after patient dismissal. This allows any airborne particulate to settle or be cleared through filtration.
- After 15 minutes, staff enters and takes all instruments to the sterile processing area, discarding waste and sharps in the treatment room. All “dirty” instruments are immediately moved to an ultrasonic cleaner or an enzyme soak in the sterilizing area. Nothing that has had patient contact ever sits out waiting until we “get to it”.
- With instruments and disposables removed, all surfaces in room and all dental equipment is soaked with disinfectant. This is left, as recommended, for 3 full minutes.
- Staff reenters room with clean gloves, new disinfectant and wipes all surfaces a second time. (1st application is “kill”, second application is “clean”)
- During wait time for 2nd disinfectant application to dry, floor and cabinet fronts are sprayed with disinfectant, then damp mopped and left to dry again.
- Room is reset with clean barriers and readied for the next patient.
- Staff changes caps, gowns, masks, and gloves after every patient. Face shields are disinfected then washed and dried. We’re trying to minimize the (more-disposables-than-ever) trash by using fluid resistant gowns and doing our own laundry onsite.
- Clinical staff utilize face shields and 3D printed custom “mask fitters” that provide additional protection.
- All non-clinical staff wear surgical (or equivalent) masks.
- We have separate and dedicated donning (for putting on clean PPE) and doffing (removing the soiled) areas for changing.
- Patients are asked to wait in their car or outside and call the office when they arrive. We will meet you outside and take your temperature, then conduct you directly to the treatment area.
- No one enters without a mask. They are kept on until they enter the treatment room.
- All patients are asked to “swish” with a safe but effective hydrogen peroxide rinse before beginning treatment.
- Our two large capacity steam sterilizers are meticulously maintained daily with additional weekly full cleaning, sterilization monitoring on every load and regular spore testing. (We were doing this, and many of the other points, way before COVID if it helps to know.)
If you have gotten this far, you have some idea of how much change has happened. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have further questions. We look forward to seeing you again soon!!