We’ve all adapted (or are still adapting) to Life with COVID-19. Recently, dentistry has appeared in the news multiple times, but in a very positive light.
The American Dental Association (ADA) released an article on October 15, 2020. It stated a survey of 2,195 dentists in June 2020 indicated less than 1% of dentists had tested positive for COVID-19. This is in spite of a report by the New York Times in March 2020 which listed dentistry as one of the professions at highest risk of COVID-19 infection. It was presumed that virus transmission could occur because of the close proximity between dental professionals and patients, and because many dental procedures generate aerosols that may contain viral particles from infected individuals.
The reason for this low infection rate is because of the regimens we have followed for many years with respect to cleaning, disinfection, and safety. Now, the level of protection we provide to out staff and to ourselves is even higher.
And all of this also provides a greater level of safety to you, our patients.
Here at Morris County Dental, we have been, and continue to, protect our patients as best as we can. Almost every patient comments on the efforts they can see in our brand new facility, as well as pre-visit and post-visit protocols. One patient had commented in an online review: “Yesterday was my first dental appointment in the age of COVID. Dr. Goldberg and his team provided an environment and procedures that made me feel safe. The screening, PPE, and the technique demonstrated by the team were all one could expect. The care was unchanged by the new circumstances….. Wonderful as always. Thank you !!!!”
What are some of the things we do? Here is a list:
Pre-Visit Screenings: We subscribe to a service that will text you obligatory questions about how you are feeling and where you have recently traveled. You can answer these quickly and easily, and the information will be transferred to us. We can then reach out to you by phone, email, or text regarding any follow-up needs.
Virtual Reception Rooms: When you arrive for your appointment, we ask that you call or text us, and remain in your car. When we are ready for you, we text or call back. This way, you are in our facility as little as possible.
Physical Reception Room: We have decreased the number of chairs in our reception room, and are keeping them 6 feet from each other in order to maintain Social Distancing. We have also removed all magazines, toys, etc. in order to decrease the number of possible contaminated surfaces.
Temperature readings, hand sanitizers, sneeze guards, masks: These are all techniques or items we have available to protect you from us and each other. When you come into the office, we take temperature readings. You, as well as us, wear masks throughout the office. There are glass separation windows at counters.
Staff Screening: Staff are also required to go through a daily screening process, which includes a questionnaire and temperature checks.
HOCl Foggers: Hypochlorous Acid is a safe solution used in the healthcare industry, food industry, and others to help with decontamination. We have fogging machines throughout the office.
Air Purification: We have air filters (HEPA, Ultraviolet) within treatment rooms and the reception room. Air within the office is filtered multiple times each hour.
PPE: This is a term only healthcare workers were familiar with before COVID. Now, everyone knows the term! We utilize proper masks, face shields, head coverings, gowns, gloves, etc for both your protection and ours. Although some of these items are still very difficult to come by, we are continually monitoring inventory and sourcing options.
Pre-Treatment Rinses: Some studies have shown rinsing with Hydrogen Peroxide or Povidone-Iodine can be effective in our COVID world. We utilize these pre-treatment rinses.
Post-Visit Screenings: 24 to 48 hours after your visit, you will receive another text asking how you are feeling. This allows you, as well as us, to follow your health, and take action as needed.
So, as we said in our initial article back in June, “Welcome To Our New World.” We do hope you and your loved ones stay safe and healthy. We will do our best to maintain your oral health as safely as possible, and we all hope this situation will pass soon.
About the author: Dr. Ira Goldberg has been a dentist for 25 years, and maintains an extremely well-respected practice in Succasunna, NJ. He performs general dentistry procedures, cosmetic procedures, as well as dental implant procedures. He is a Fellow of the Academy of General Dentistry, a Diplomate of the American Board of Oral Implantology / Implant Dentistry, and a Scholar of the Dawson Academy for Complete Dentistry. He is also a lecturer in the field of implantology. For a free consultation, please call his office at (973) 328-1225 or visit his website at www.MorrisCountyDentist.com