Since our team works in the healthcare field, wiping down and sanitizing surfaces isn’t anything new for us. We perform oral surgeries in our office every day which means we systematically create sterile environments in order to keep our patients safe from infection. The threat of COVID-19 obviously encourages us to be extra careful when wiping down things like keyboards and door handles, but the truth is we’ve always taken the spread of disease seriously. We already understand how viruses spread and how to prevent them to the best of our capabilities. Our office has wipes and sanitizer stocked up because, even before the coronavirus, we used them to continuously clean patient rooms and common areas. I don’t have to train my team on how to keep our office safe and clean because they already know how to.
Places like airports, movie theaters, and grocery stores are panicking in response to COVID-19 because they aren’t used to taking disease-prevention precautions (since, under typical circumstances, they don’t need to). This is leading to a mass hysteria that’s actually supporting the spread of the virus instead of halting it. Panicking never helps. Preparing and educating yourself and the people around you on practical methods of sanitation are the only ways to slow the spread.
We are calling all patients in advance to confirm their low-risk status and offering to reschedule non-urgent appointments, if preferred. If you have travelled internationally to any area of concern or been in contact with anyone who has travelled to those areas in the past 21 days, or you have any reason to believe you are at elevated risk of having or carrying the COVID-19 virus, and your appointment is non-urgent, we ask that you postpone your appointment until you are no longer concerned of being at risk to spread this disease.
To minimize social gathering contact, we are requesting patient’s text our office upon arrival in the parking lot and wait in their car until we are ready to begin their appointment. At that time, we will text the patient, who can then come into the office and go directly to the patient treatment area. We will also request patients make a quick stop by the restroom to wash their hands prior to their appointment. Your hygienist or dental assistant will also provide you with a pre-dental 1% peroxide mouth rinse prior to your appointment, as an additional precaution against COVID-19.
We’ve always had hand sanitizer and tissues in the patient rooms and the common areas. Please feel free to use these while you are in the office. Other items such as individual one-time-use toothbrushes and drink station items have been removed from the reception countertops but are available by request. If you have any questions, just ask a member of our team; they will be happy to help!
We will continue to monitor the situation closely, and keep you posted of any further changes, via our office website and Facebook page. Feel free to call or text our office if you have any questions.
If you have any questions about COVID-19 and how to protect yourself from it, please consult the CDC’s guidelines.
Tina Goodall, DDS