How Are We Battling COVID-19?
As the outbreak of coronavirus progresses, my dental practice continues to monitor CDC updates, and utilize aggressive strategies to combat the spread of pathogens within our clinic. Long before the coronavirus(Covid-19), my office implemented temperature screening on all patients as a response to the 2018 Ebola outbreak. We have always utilized touchless technology, such as touchless garbage cans and touchless hand sanitizers. Furthermore, our hand sanitizers not only utilize the standard ethanol alcohol but also include a very potent disinfectant, benzalkonium chloride. Our operatory water is treated with ultraviolet light to destroy pathogens. Furthermore, air in our clinic has always been scrubbed with three separate hospital grade filtration systems. We have also installed a Negative Air Pressure Unit that moves 450CFM of air out of the room. Additionally, our clinic air is treated with 3 separate ultraviolet disinfection units.
While none of the above strategies is required by the government, my office believes that the benefits have always been well worth the expense.
You may see some changes when it is time for your next appointment. We made these changes to help protect our patients and staff. For example:
• Our office will communicate with you beforehand to ask some screening questions. You’ll be asked those same questions again when you are in the office.
• We have hand sanitizer that we will ask you to use when you enter the office. You will also find some in the reception area and other places in the office for you to use as needed.
• You may see that our waiting room will no longer offer magazines, children’s toys and so forth, since those items are difficult to clean and disinfect.
• Appointments will be managed to allow for social distancing between patients. That might mean that you’re offered fewer options for scheduling your appointment.
• We will do our best to allow greater time between patients to reduce waiting times for you, as well as to reduce the number of patients in the reception area at any one time.
Things you can do to help out in this situation. Avoid large crowded spaces. Wash hands frequently and avoid touching your face. Please cancel your dental appointment if you do not feel well and avoid contact with others. Inform all clinicians if you have traveled out of the country recently.
Finally, please remain calm despite the ever present hysterical alarmists. As a health care provider, we have direct contact with the CDC and health authorities concerning the latest updates. With respect to the coronavirus, increased morbidity is primarily associated with the elderly population and patients with a preexisting health condition.
Philip J Syribeys, DMD FAGD FICOI