We’ve faced some harrowing months in our city, but our resilience is seeing us through. Since early Spring, we’ve seen cities close, open, and close again. The uncertainty has led many people to question the safety of seeing their dentist for regularly-scheduled appointments. Even now that medical and dental care facilities are resuming non-urgent services, there may be hesitation on your part. How is it safe to see the dentist when social distancing of at least 6 feet is not possible? We’ll discuss that here.
Social Distancing is Prioritized
Health experts agree that it is necessary to keep a distance of 6 feet between us as a way to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Studies have indicated that 6 feet is about how far droplets from a cough or sneeze can travel before dropping to the ground. By wearing masks when outside of the home and keeping this safe distance, the spread of the illness is believed to be largely prevented. How can this apply in the clinical setting, though?
Safety Protocols in the Dental Office
Obviously, your dentist or dental hygienist cannot examine, clean, or repair your teeth from a six-foot distance. However, we can accomplish distancing in our own way. One way that dental offices are minimizing contact is with strategic scheduling to maximize physical distancing with patients. What better way to maintain safety than to schedule visits for the whole family in the same window of time? Our current scheduling strategies may mean that, during your visit with us, you never see another patient. We move you from the waiting area to the treatment room as quickly as possible. On your way, you will see accessible hand sanitizing stations for easy use.
As the country has learned in recent months, sanitization is everything. Our office has been equipped with multiple modalities to clean the air and the surfaces we may touch. Examples include UVC light fixtures manufactured by American Ultraviolet in each of our operatories as well as our common areas. These light fixtures work 24/7 to safely and continuously destroy viruses and germs. Our treatment rooms are disinfected in between each patient using the same safe UVC light (this one a mobile unit), as well as our normal sterilization practices. Surfaces are cleaned with approved chemical disinfectants several times a day, and employees are expert hand-washers and sanitizers!