Updates and Procedures for Covid 19
As most of you know, the dental offices in Ohio have been permitted to open on May 1, 2020 to provide dental services. We have been asked to exercise utmost caution and adhere to strict infection control protocols and guidelines that have been outlined by the ADA (American Dental Association) and CDC. We are all about it!
I appreciated Dr. Amy Acton's explanation in describing how when we use different strategies concurrently we create an effect similar to the layering of Swiss cheese on top of each other. When we do this we "cover up the holes". When we employ a multitude of meaningful strategies in our office we are attempting to minimize the risk for our patients and staff. Hopefully, the description of these changes beforehand will make you feel comfortable and safe in our office.
1. Every patient will be pre-screened via telephone or by e-mail for COVID-19 risk factors using a comprehensive questionnaire. We will try to contact you a couple of days ahead of time to get this step completed so you can keep your appointment. We ask you to please return phone calls or e-mails. Also if something changes with your health or exposure after the communication PLEASE let us know and we will assess if we need to reschedule.
2. Patient appointments will be staggered to minimize pt-to-pt contact. Our aim is to have a minimum (preferably 0) patients in our waiting room. If we are running behind we will attempt to reach you by phone and have you wait in your car if necessary. Social distancing will be practiced in the dental office outside of the operatory.
3. Patients should come alone for appointments if possible. ( Exceptions for guardians of minors, patients needing assistance, or interpreters)
4. Every patient will have their body temperatures taken ( no-touch forehead thermometer) and a record will be maintained at our office. All staff members will also have their temperatures taken upon arrival for work and will be recorded and maintained at the office.
5. All patients will be asked to use a pre-procedural mouth rinse. This rinse is different than our normal Listerine rinse- it is peroxyl-based and evidence points to it being more effective in destroying the COVID virus.
6. Our staff will be fully decked out with appropriate PPE ( personal protective equipment) consistent with guidelines from the CDC. No pictures, please.
7. Enough time will be allotted to ensure the rooms will be disinfected between patients to the ADA standards.
8. Special care will be taken with higher risk or immuno-compromised individuals. We will certainly take care of emergencies and emerging dental problems with these individuals but ask to hold off on any cosmetic procedures at this time.
9. You will notice the installation of some plexiglass at the front check-out counter. You have become accustomed to this by now and we felt just another layer of protection.
10. You are welcome to wear a mask into our office and when leaving but not required.
11. These guidelines will continue to update as needed.
As I mentioned in my previous email, infection control and disinfection is nothing new to the dental office- we do it ALL the time and for EVERY patient. But as you can see we are tweaking things a little bit just to minimize the risk to you and our staff with this unusual virus. However, as I also mentioned before if you don't feel comfortable coming into the office just yet and have an appointment please just call and reschedule it.
As you probably can guess we will not be able to see as many patients in a day as we did previously. We are asking for your patience and understanding when scheduling- we are doing our best.
By the phone calls I have fielded I know many of you are very interested in getting back on track with your dental health or getting a problem addressed. We will work hard at getting everyone caught up. Please do try to return calls to our office so we can get you set up properly for your appointment and allow us to do our jobs.
Look forward to seeing you all soon. Stay safe and stay healthy!!!
Linda Rak Canepa DDS