The World Health Organization declared on March 11, 2020 that COVID-19 is a pandemic due to the rate of transmission and spread worldwide. With this declaration, every country in the world has taken strict measures to stop the virus from further spreading.
Since COVID-19 is becoming everyone’s concern, it is only right that businesses are responsible. Individuals, groups, employees, businesses, and the government should cooperate to put an end to this worldwide pandemic.
We have always complied with strict OSHA-mandated protocols to maintain a highly sterile environment within our dental offices. These guidelines were created to safeguard against the spread of severely contagious diseases such as tuberculosis and measles, and they are equally effective in managing the spread of influenza and coronavirus.
5 COVID-19 Control Procedures to Consider at your Dental Practice
1. Employee Health Screening:
All employees and affiliated providers undergo detailed background and health history screenings before commencing employment. In addition, we strictly enforce sick policies that require employees suffering from communicable illnesses to stay home from work until they have written clearance by a physician to return and have received supervisor approval. Employees who have traveled to a country with a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Level 3 Travel Health Notice are required to self-quarantine for 14 days prior to returning to work.
2. Handling and Disposing
Sterilizing dental instruments should be done regularly and in between patients. This is to make sure that the tools being used are sterile to avoid contamination and transmission of an infection. Sterilizing requires multiple steps and specialized equipment and this should be present in the dental office.
Single-use devices should be used for one patient only and be disposed of properly after a procedure. Disposable dental tools and needles should never be reused. Disposable gloves and masks should be thrown away after each patient.
3. Patient Health Screening:
Due to concerns about patient and employee safety, we ask that non-emergency patients experiencing flu-like symptoms (fever, cough, sore throat, nausea, vomiting and difficulty breathing) and patients who have returned from travel to a country with a CDC Level 3 Travel Health Notice in the past 14 days reschedule their appointments. All patients will undergo a pre-treatment screening interview and temperature check upon arrival in accordance with CDC and American Dental Association recommended guidelines.
4. Hygiene practices
Hygiene is a must in dental practices. Hand hygiene is key to preventing the spread of an infection in a dental office and among patients. Handwashing with the use of water and soap is required before any examinations and treatments. An alcohol-based rub can also be used to disinfect the hands. Dental practices should also post on their wall the World Health Organization hand-rub and hand-wash illustrations. Hand hygiene is very essential as we speak of COVID-19. It will help to kill the virus and prevent it from being transmitted.
Respiratory hygiene is also important when sneezing or coughing. A coughing etiquette should be followed by dentists and staff to prevent the transmission of a respiratory infection, such as the new COVID-19.
5. Common Area Disinfecting:
As a result of the current coronavirus concern, we have taken added precautions in the common areas. All magazines and pamphlets have been removed. Lobby surfaces and patient restrooms are disinfected every 30 minutes. This includes a thorough wipe down of all hard surfaces, such as door handles, doorknobs, tables, chairs and front office counters with Cavicide, a CDC-approved commercial sterilization agent. In addition, the area is sprayed with disinfectant, and hand sanitizer is available to all patients in the lobby and back office area.
According to the CDC, the most important steps we all can take to avoid infection from airborne diseases are frequent hand washing with soap and water and regular cleansing of highly-used surfaces with disinfectant. We recommend that all our patients take these basic precautions.
Implementing Safety and Prevention Measures Against COVID-19
Anacapa Dental Art Institute adheres to the recommendation from ADA. Even before the spread of COVID-19, Anacapa Dental Art Institute has long been implementing precautionary measures against infectious diseases.
We are one with the nation in fighting the spread of COVID-19. We are committed to the sanitary and healthy conduct of dental procedures in our office.
We recommend our patients who are experiencing Covid-like symptoms to postpone their dental schedules and stay home for quarantine. For more information about our office schedule, please contact Anacapa Dental Art Institute. Or you can call (805) 988-3320.
We look forward to seeing you at our office very soon. For now, let’s be responsible for ourselves and one another. Let’s all make sure that the virus doesn’t spread.