July 16, 2020
In March, our world was turned upside-down as the novel COVID-19 virus spread into a worldwide pandemic. Initially, stay-at-home orders were mandated and businesses were shut down to limit the potential spread. However, thanks to safety measures, like social distancing and wearing a face mask, the transition out of quarantine and into our “new normal” has begun. With this in mind, read on for four infection control protocols a safe dentist in Boston is implementing at dental appointments during COVID-19.
Extensive Sanitation Measures
Before the current pandemic, your dental team followed cleanliness standards set forth by the American Dental Association, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Occupational Health and Safety Administration. However, amid the COVID-19 outbreak, additional sanitation measures are being enforced to ensure each patient’s safety. Therefore, you can expect:
- Automatic hand sanitizer, surgical mask, and glove dispensing stations.
- No communal activities (i.e., magazines, beverage alcoves, etc.).
- Frequent cleaning of commonly touched surfaces (i.e., door handles, countertops, etc.).
- CDC-approved instrument sterilization.
Additional Personal Protective Equipment
Wearing a face mask daily may be a new habit for you, but your dentist has been using them for years! They continue to play a crucial role in preventing cross-contamination; however, dental teams are being advised to wear additional personal protective equipment in light of the pandemic. So, don’t be surprised to see them in face shields, disposable gowns, and even shoe coverings!
Social Distancing Guidelines
According to the CDC, social distancing practices have prevented up to 185,000 deaths! Therefore, dental teams are re-designing their daily operations to include this crucial infection control measure. While you and your dentist will inevitably come within six feet of each other, you can make social distancing a practical reality by waiting in your car until your designated appointment time, using contactless greetings, and following one-way foot traffic signs throughout the office.
Daily Health Assessments
Throughout the pandemic, daily health assessments will be used to ensure the safety of both the patients and the staff. Before entering the practice, each person will undergo a no-contact temperature check, complete a screening questionnaire, and fill-out an updated health history. That way, the team and the patients they are treating can be checked for COVID-19 symptoms and potential exposure.
As the world continues to battle the Coronavirus, it is important to be vigilant in limiting the spread. Fortunately, your dental team is dedicating their time and resources to implementing infection control measures during your dental appointment. That way, you can get the oral care you need without compromising your safety!
About the Author
After obtaining his undergraduate degree from Syracuse University, Dr. Jack B. Share earned his Doctorate of Dental Surgery at the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine. Over the past four decades, he has graduated with high honors, contributed a chapter on bonding and cosmetic dentistry to a textbook used by Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, and helped countless patients achieve pristine oral health and beautiful smiles. Today, he is also an active member of multiple reputable organizations, including the American Dental Association and the Massachusetts Dental Society. If you are looking for a dentist in Beacon Hill, visit his website or give him a call at 617-742-1350.
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