Our Commitment to Your Safety
I hope this message finds you well. I want to thank all of you for your trust during these uncertain times. For your continued safety during this COVID-19 outbreak, we have changed our procedures. This document outlines some of the things we are doing to keep you safe.
- Arrival – Patients will arrive at the office and call or text us when they park. You will then be texted screening questions for COVID-19. For everyone’s protection, we ask that you wear a mask into the office. When you enter, your temperature will be taken. When you enter the operatory, you will be asked to do a hydrogen peroxide rinse.
- Restrooms – Our waiting room restroom will be closed indefinitely. The restroom in the back will remain open. We ask that you use the restroom prior to coming to our office, but we understand that people may need to use the restroom if they have longer appointments. The goal here is to be able to clean the restrooms after each patient’s use. If we have two of them operational, it makes monitoring that much more difficult.
- Patient Flow – Patients will only be allowed in the treatment areas. However, we do have the advantage of a large waiting room so social distancing is more easily achieved. Therefore, if someone requires a family member to accompany them (children, medically compromised, etc.), we will allow the individual to remain in the waiting room with a mask on. Again, this is so we can monitor who is in the office and keep the spread of germs to a minimum. Their area will be cleaned after their departure.
- Sterilization – Our sterilization center is state-of-the-art. We employ a two-stage system where instruments go through both a cold sterilization and hot sterilization process. This process makes sure that our instruments are perfectly cleaned.
- Filtration – The system installed in our newer office changes the air at a rate of 11 times per hour and our filters are a Merv 13. This, in addition to our added HEPA filters, is at the top of industry standards for filtration. Also, plants are a natural filter of air and our waiting room palm tree, in addition to numerous other plants, are happy to be of service.
- Barriers – You will see plastic barriers that will separate you from our front desk. This is for your safety and the safety of our team. You will be able to pay from your phone, our iPads, or credit card chip readers. We will not be accepting cash anymore, but checks are fine. This is to minimize transfer of items and paperwork.
- Cleaning – We will continue to monitor and clean our common areas where needed.
- Design – Each operatory is separated from the others by a full-length wall. Our floors are easily cleaned because they are vinyl. Lastly, our operatories are strategically placed so that we can walk a patient out of our office to avoid an operatory where aerosols have been used. All of this allows our practice to be ultra-safe for our patients.
- Distiller – Our newer facility is equipped with its own water distiller. This allows us to make sure that the purest water is sent to each operatory. This also eliminates the need for a dental assistant to constantly refill bottles of water (which is present in most offices) and thus decreases the chance of contamination.
- Handpieces – We use electric handpieces which are not only smoother and more efficient, but reduce aerosols by 50% over traditional air-driven ones.
- Filtration – As mentioned, our current system already changes and filters the air, but we have also added HEPA air purifiers that have UV light emitters.
- Barriers – Our operatories are all equipped with Isolite/Isodry systems. We purchased these initially to protect our patients from inhalation or ingestion of foreign matters. It has also been proven to reduce aerosols.
- Cleaning – Our operatories are equipped with a state-of-the-art line cleaning system. It allows us to clean our suction lines in our operatories directly versus having to use chemicals that must be passed from operatory to operatory, as is the case in most offices. Also, we have upgraded and equipped each operatory with the cleaning supplies that are confirmed to be effective against COVID-19.
- CEREC Scanner – As many of you know, we have a machine in our office that can make crowns. This allows us to complete your crowns in-house which not only helps with quality control, but also with infection control – your crown does not leave our office and go to the lab as it does in some offices (sometimes overseas). It also allows us to complete crowns in one visit (when time allows) and when we place your implant, we can scan it that day for your crown. These features are not only convenient, but, again, allows us to cut down the risk of exposure to our patients in the form of reduced visits.
- iTero Scanner – Our practice also has an iTero scanner that allows us to scan people for appliances such as Invisalign, nightguards, and sleep apnea devices.
- Digital Radiology – Our office has both digital x-rays and a digital cone-beam CT scanner. This also allows for infection control because we do not have to process films taken by our team. It is also much quicker (instantaneous versus minutes to develop standard film).
- Laser – We have the ability to use a laser to kill bacteria involved with gum disease. This laser is most effective in pockets 4-6mm, but we have also seen results in pockets 7 mm or greater (lesser extent). The treatment takes just a few minutes and does not cause pain.
- Teledentistry – We currently have the ability to do teledentistry where needed. We will be sending out more information about this, but some appointments may be done from home.
This is an unprecedented and dynamic situation. During this time, we will continue to update you as information is available. We are very proud of our facility and its ability to keep our patients safe. Many of the features we have are unique to our practice and present well before our current situation. We miss you all and look forward to taking care of your needs. Stay safe and take care!
Suneet S. Bath, DMD, PS