Oak Family Dental has been at the forefront of hygiene and safety precautions since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Troy Patterson researched effective preventative measures used in Asian countries during SARS. These precautions were equally utilized and effective against the Coronavirus. Oak Family Dental was the first dental office in the state to use these precautions, which are now the recommended guidelines of the American Dental Association.
Oak Family Dental’s top priority is to keep employees and patients healthy and protected. For the safety of our patients and our staff, Oak Family Dental implements daily employee screenings. Our office takes temperatures daily and uses a checklist to capture screening information. These screenings are considered medical examinations and are conducted by Oak Family Dental management or owners to ensure a thorough examination.
Dental services are essential in order to keep our patient’s smiles healthy and happy. Oak Family Dental’s COVID-19 prevention procedures are designed to balance essential procedures while minimizing risk to personnel and patients. Patient and staff safety are Oak Family Dental’s top priority, which is why our extensive patient screening starts before they step foot through the door.
- Patients Screened Prior to Appointment. Our office calls each patient and asks a series of screening questions about COVID exposure and possible symptoms.
- Patients Socially Distanced. Our office is mindful of lobby overflow while scheduling appointments. There is room for each patient to socially distance with at least 6’ of room.
- Temperature Check. Upon entering the buildings, the patient’s temperature is immediately checked.
- Patient Survey. Our patients are required to complete a written COVID-19 exposure survey.
- Patient Screening Area. Patients are directed to a patient screening area, which is then sanitized after every patient departure from the area.
Techniques to Reduce COVID-19 Exposure
There are three primary areas a dental office must focus on in order to effectively reduce exposure. The offices of Oak Family Dental use these cleaning protocols to ensure surgically clean air. These protocols are based upon the three primary ways the virus is transmitted.
- Surface Fomites. These are classified as objects that have been contaminated by the virus (this can even be someone else’s hand or skin). For coronavirus, Fomites are one of the least likely modes of transmission, but still contribute to the spread of contagions.
- Droplets. These are the tiny dollops of fluid that those who have been infected eject when they sneeze, cough, or even talk. Droplets typically linger in the air 3-6 feet, thus the importance of social distancing.
- Aerosols Relative to Dentistry. Aerosol particles are similar to droplets. They are expelled from an infected person and linger in the air. However, aerosol droplets are so small they can linger in the air for much longer than droplets, thus the importance of masks.
Fomites: Clean Surfaces and Air with Hypochlorous Disinfectant
The Oak Family Dental surfaces are cleaned regularly with Hypochlorous Disinfectant Solution to utilize in air sprayers and sanitize surfaces. After we regularly sanitize each surface the hypochlorous disinfectant in the air sprayers settles on the surfaces, preventing possible contamination. Our office makes this disinfectant solution in-house for maximum potency. The germicidal qualities last 7-12 days and cannot be purchased in-store.
Droplets and Aerosols: Clean In-Office Air
The office air in Oak Family Dental is constantly cleaned using the combined use of filtration and germicidal UVC light. The UVC light has been installed on the Central HVAC system, which constantly filters and cleans the air. UVC light sterilizes bacteria and mold, so it cannot reproduce. Additionally, electrolyzed water runs through the air sprayers in all of our offices and procedure rooms intermittently throughout the day.
Office Garb: Personal Protective Equipment
Our dental professionals use proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) while exposed to each other and our patients. Depending on the level of emergency care during the procedure, our staff wears any combination of the following:
- Scrubs, lab coat, smock (always)
- Gloves (always)
- Face Mask (always)
- Eye Protection, face shield, goggles (always)
- NIOSH-certified, disposable n95 filtering facepiece (depending on the aerosol generation of the procedure)
Aerosol: Intraoral Devices
Patients rinse with a peroxide and water solution prior to any dental procedure. During this process, the device releases spray and particles. Oak Family Dental uses intraoral devices with UV lights and suction that greatly reduce aerosols during procedures, reducing the risk of COVID-19 exposure.
Schedule Your Appointment with Oak Family Dental Today
The offices of Oak Family Dental are doing everything possible to keep patients and staff safe during COVID-19. If you have any questions about our operations or hygiene protocols, we welcome you to call our office. We want you to feel confident in the safety of your next dental visit. Schedule your appointment with us today!