COVID-19 SAFE PRACTICE protocols
In an effort to support the national efforts to fight the COVID- 19 pandemic, our Orthodontic practice is taking the following steps to help assure your health and well-being and that of our community.
We are following the directives from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) using additional infection prevention and control practices during the COVID-19 pandemic, along with standard practices recommended as a part of routine dental healthcare delivery to all patients as a way to limit patient and staff exposure to this virus. Your health, and the health of our dedicated staff, matters to us.
SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, is thought to spread primarily between people who are in close contact with one another (within 6 feet) through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks.
The practice of dentistry involves the use of rotary dental instruments, such as handpieces or air-water syringes in an Orthodontic Office. These instruments create a visible spray that can contain particle droplets of water, saliva, blood, microorganisms, and other debris.
Pre-Screening and Triage of All Patients and Visitors
Everyone Entering our Healthcare Facility undergo Pre-screening for Signs and Symptoms of COVID-19. We contact all patients prior to the Orthodontic appointments and pre-screen patients and anyone accompanying the patient for any symptoms consistent with COVID-19. We have implemented online questionnaire and dedicate text and secured email communications to implement the pre-screening process before arrival at our office.
Visitor Access Restrictions
We request that the patient limit the number of visitors accompanying him or her to the orthodontic appointment to only those people who are necessary. We advise patients that they, and anyone accompanying them to the appointment, will be requested to wear a cloth face covering or facemask when entering the facility and will undergo pre-screening for fever and symptoms consistent with COVID-19. Our reception room is sealed and closed for any visitors or patients or delivery personnel.
Special Isolation Entrance
All patients and anyone accompanying the patient undergo a secondary screening for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 BEFORE access to the special isolation office entrance. We screen and document, everyone entering the dental healthcare facility for fever and symptoms consistent with COVID-19 or exposure to others with SARS-CoV-2 infection. We document absence of symptoms consistent with COVID-19. We actively take their temperature with CONTACTLESS THERMOMETER. We ask patients and accompanying visitors, if they have been advised to self-quarantine because of exposure to someone with SARS-CoV-2 infection. Single use Pen is provided for any document signatures after the Hand Hygiene is performed.
It’s TOUCHLESS! It’s TOUCHLESS! It’s TOUCHLESS!
- PURELL Touch-free Hand Sanitizer Dispensers
- PURELL Touch-free Hand Soap Dispensers with Professional Healthcare Antimicrobial Soap
- Touchless Sensor activated Sink Faucets
- No-Touch Trash Receptacles
- No-Touch Auto-Lighting and Touch-free Exhaust Fans in Restrooms
- Touch-Free Hands Free Sensor Activated Flushometers
- Our Dental Chairs are One Piece Ultra-Plush Leather seating with touchless lighting
Implementation of Universal Source Control Measures
We strictly adhere to respiratory hygiene and cough etiquette and hand hygiene while entering our special isolation entrance to our facility. Patients and visitors should, ideally, wear their own FACEMASK or cloth facemask covering (if tolerated) upon arrival to and throughout their stay in the facility. If they do not have a facemask covering, we offer a facemask.
Upon entry, patients/visitors are provided an PURELL BRAND atleast 70% alcohol-based hand rub (ABHR). We have Purell Brand ABHR throughout the office and no-touch receptacles for disposal, at our healthcare facility entrances and patient check-ins and in strategic places throughout the office.
Patients may remove their facemask or cloth facemask covering when in their rooms or patient care area but should put it back on when leaving at the end of the dental treatment.
We educate patients, visitors, and DHCP about the importance of performing hand hygiene immediately before and after any contact with their facemask or cloth face covering.
We have posted visual alerts (e.g., signs, posters) at the entrance and in strategic places to provide instructions about hand hygiene and respiratory hygiene and cough etiquette.
We have removed magazines and other frequently touched objects from reception room that cannot be regularly cleaned and dis-infected and we have currently restricted access to our complementary beverage bar service for the duration of the current Pandemic.
Dental Health Care Provider (DHCP)
Our Dental Health Care Provider (DHCP) wears N95 face mask when PPE is required at all times while they are in the dental care setting. DHCP whose job duties do not require PPE (such as clerical personnel) continue to wear their Surgical Masks for source control while in the dental-care setting.
Encouraging Physical Distancing
Dental healthcare delivery requires close physical contact between patients and DHCP. However, when possible, physical distancing (maintaining 6 feet between people) is an important strategy to prevent SARS-CoV-2 transmission. Examples of how physical distancing is implemented in our office for patients include:
Limiting visitors to the facility to those essential for the patient’s physical or emotional well-being and care (e.g., care partner, parent). We Encourage use of alternative mechanisms for patient and visitor interactions such as video-call applications on cell phones or tablets.
We schedule appointments to minimize the number of people in the treatment rooms.
Patients may opt to wait in a personal vehicle or outside the dental facility where they can be contacted by mobile phone when it is their turn for dental care.
We minimize overlapping dental appointments.
We have posted signs and floor decals, so patients are at least 6 feet apart with directional traffic flow pattern.
Administrative Controls and Work Practices
We limit clinical care to one patient at a time, whenever possible.
We set up operatories so that only the clean or sterile supplies and instruments needed for the dental procedure are readily accessible. All other supplies and instruments are in covered storage, such as drawers and cabinets, and away from potential contamination.
If aerosol generating procedures are necessary for dental care, we use four-handed dentistry, high evacuation suction and UVC EXTRA-ORAL SUCTION (EOS)* Units to minimize droplet spatter and aerosols. The number of DHCP present during the procedure is limited to only those essential for patient care and procedural support.
About our UV-C Extra-Oral Suction Systems used a Chairside (EOS-UVC)*
The remote controlled EOS-UVC system uses the most advanced Quattro layer filtration system to kill virus and bacteria absorbed with over 99.9% efficiency and includes a 4-layer filtration system including HEPA (0.3 µm 99.97%) filtration plus germicidal UV-C.
During treatments, high volume of droplets and aerosols are produced by high-speed handpieces and air water syringe that can linger in the air for up to two hours or longer. The supplemental use of the Extraoral Suction System effectively removes these droplets and aerosols from the immediate treatment site thereby reducing the potential danger from dental aerosols and keep the air in your office safe and clean.
Pre-Procedural mouth rinses (PPMR)
There is no published evidence regarding the clinical effectiveness of PPMRs to reduce SARS-CoV-2 viral loads or to prevent transmission. Although SARS-CoV-2 was not studied, PPMRs with an antimicrobial product is used to reduce the level of oral microorganisms in aerosols and spatter generated during dental procedures. Our office uses Pre-Procedural Mouth Rinse before orthodontic procedures.
Universal Use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
During aerosol generating procedures our DHCP routinely use an N95 respirator; eye protection (a face shield); Bouffant Head Caps; Isolation gown and gloves during procedures likely to generate splashing or spattering of blood or other body fluids.
Hand Hygiene is performed before and after all patient contact, contact with potentially infectious material, and before putting on and after removing personal protective equipment (PPE), including gloves. Use ABHR with at least 70% alcohol or washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- PURELL Touch-free Hand Sanitizer Dispensers
- PURELL Healthcare Touchless Soap Dispensers
- Touchless Sensor activated Sink Faucets
Use of Engineering Controls
CDC provides the following recommendations for proper maintenance of ventilation systems and patient placement and volume strategies in dental settings.
Ventilation systems that provide air movement in a clean-to-less-clean flow direction to reduce the distribution of contaminants and are better at protecting staff and patients. Our return-air vents are in the rear of the patient operatories that pull the air out of the room.
All our Return-Air-Vents (Air Returns) have HEPA Filters thereby increasing filtration efficiency to the highest level compatible with the HVAC System.
We use healthcare and industrial grade high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) air filtration unit with UVC* while the patient is undergoing, and immediately following, an aerosol generating procedure. Our UVC HEPA air filtration units are based on its Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) to remove aerosols from the air.
HEPA AIR PURIFIERS WITH UV-C*
- This purifier is the most advanced and complete chemical and VOC filtration system on the market today.
- The powerful TitanClean™ Photocatalytic Oxidizer significantly increases the range of dangerous airborne chemicals that can be safely and effectively neutralized.
- UV germicidal lamp sterilizes microorganisms preventing them from being released back into the air.
- The powerful HEPA filter captures 99.97% of airborne particles, as small as 0.3 microns.
- 360° air distribution allows for purification for up to 2000 sq. ft with 2 air exchanges an hour.
- Non-ozone emitting
Environmental Infection Control
Our office ensures that environmental cleaning and disinfection procedures are followed consistently and correctly after each patient according to CDC Guidelines
Our office only uses Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered, hospital-grade disinfectant to frequently touched surfaces or objects appropriate for SARS-CoV-2 in healthcare settings, including those patient-care areas in which aerosol generating procedures are performed with the shortest Contact kill time.
We are constantly updating and acquiring new products related to infection control for your safety and the safety of our staff members. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel to contact us anytime.
Your health, safety and well-being matters to us!
STAY SAFE | STAY WELL