With COVID-19, many dental practices have been closed to everything but emergency dental services. As restrictions hopefully loosen soon for more dental services, it’s important for our patients to know that they’re safe in our Riverhead, Nesconset, and Roslyn, NY dentist offices. Dr. Sal Lotardo highlights the infection control practices in place at our three Bella Smiles locations.
Keeping Up With CDC and ADA Guidelines
Since 1993, these two agencies have been working together to develop and implement infection control and sterilization guidelines for the dental industry. They make sure that the best techniques and latest dental technologies are being used for the safest procedures possible. A CDC document provides dental workers with checklists and tools to use to make sure all the proper protocols are being followed.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
PPE is a necessity for the safety of both patients and staff. Disposable gloves play a huge part in that. They’re changed between patients and when other surfaces like the computer are touched. Depending on the dental services being performed, they may be changed multiple times with the same patient to ensure cleanliness. Proper handwashing techniques are followed before putting a pair of gloves on.
Patients are provided with bibs and staff is given protective wear to avoid bodily fluids getting on clothing or skin. Eye protection is standard for staff to wear during dental care. With COVID-19, however, medical personnel are recommended to don full-face shields to ensure that nothing can pass between patients and staff.
Disinfection and Sterilization Techniques
Due to the nature of some dental procedures, certain dental tools have to be shared between patients. This means that the best form of sterilization must be used. For high-risk tools, like those used for oral surgery and periodontal therapy, this means sterilizing them with heat. Heat is also used to sterilize lower-risk tools that are able to withstand the high temperatures that come with this form of sterilization.
Other dental tools are completely disposable or have disposable parts. This lets patients know that they’re getting something new at the beginning of their appointment. For surface sterilization, like for blood pressure cuffs and the dental chairs, we thoroughly wipe them down with a disinfectant solution. This is also used for high-traffic areas like the reception desk and waiting room.
With COVID-19, some things have to be stricter. We’re limiting the number of people allowed in the waiting room at one time. We may ask you to call when you’re here and wait for us to come to get you in the parking lot. Temperature checks and COVID-19 questionnaires may be required before you’re allowed to come into the office. We may also require that you sanitize your hands upon entry.
Staying Safe at Your Riverhead, Nesconset, and Roslyn, NY Dentist Offices
We want our patients to know that their safety is our highest priority. We’re ready to see our patients’ smiles in the office again! Call us or schedule an appointment online for the future.