Due to the recent Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, we at Bowers and Oki Family Dentistry are taking extra precautions to keep everyone safe. According to the health department guidelines, we are beginning a phased reopening of our dental practice. We can now start to perform some non-emergency dental procedures, while also keeping our patients and dental team safe.
How are we keeping everyone safe?
In order to keep our dental patients and team safe, we will be implementing several changes. These changes will follow CDC, OSHA, health department, ADA and NMDA recommendations. We have always strictly adhered to their requirements, and will go above and beyond to stay current on recommendations and changes based on the most up to date research. While our policies and practices may change, our commitment to providing the best possible dental care and safe dental environment has not and will not change.
Keeping Our Staff Healthy
First and foremost, to have a healthy dental office, we have to have healthy staff. Some of the changes you can expect will include:
- Our team will take their temperature twice daily, and maintain a health and symptom log
- Updated training on hand hygiene and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
- Constant use of face masks and eye protection
- Strict sick leave policies, requiring employees to stay home if they have any symptoms
Temporary Closure of our Waiting Room
To help maintain social distancing practices, we are temporarily closing our waiting room. Patients are asked to call or text our office upon arrival, and we will let you know when it is safe for you to enter the office. Patients are encouraged to come to their appointments alone. Family members and friends will be asked to wait outside of the office in accordance with the Health Department Guidelines. All reading material and toys have also been removed from common areas to prevent the spread of disease.
Before Your Appointment
Before your appointment, we will be conducting a COVID-19 survey. This may be done over the phone or via text/email message. This survey allows us to determine your risk of carrying COVID-19. In some cases, patients may be asked to get a COVID-19 test done within 48 hours of their dental appointment.
When you arrive at our office
When you arrive at our office, make sure you have brought a face mask. Everyone entering the office should be wearing a face mask unless there are receiving dental care.
Upon arrival, you can expect the following:
- Closed Waiting Room – Please text or call our office to let us know you have arrived. We will text or call you when it is time to come in. Patients will be allowed in one at a time to ensure everyone’s safety
- Hand sanitizer – We ask all patients to sanitize their hands upon arrival, and after their dental care. Hand sanitizer will be readily available throughout the office
- Patient screening – Everyone entering the office will have their temperature taken and a COVID-19 screening questionnaire completed, along with the traditional treatment consent forms.
- Our dental team will be wearing masks, eye protection, and gowns or coats. You may not get to see our faces, but we will be glad to see yours.
What to expect during your appointment
Dental treatment will be different over the next few weeks to months, and possibly years. Traditional dental care requires copious amounts of air and water, which produce aerosols that carry coronavirus. The ADA has recommended several changes to dental treatment to help reduce the production of aerosols and limit the spread. Some of these changes include:
- Pre-rinse – patients will use an antiseptic mouth wash prior to the start of their treatment
- Changes in Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) – Our team will be wearing full protective gear, including the use of masks and respirators, face shields, hair coverings and gowns
- Limited use, to no use of the cavitron.
- Limited tooth polishing
- Use of the rubber dam or other devices (such as an Isolite), to reduce the production of aerosols and prevent COVID-19 from becoming airborne.
- Use of high-speed evacuation suction to reduce aerosol spray.
- Plastic barriers to cover treatment areas
After your appointment
After your dental appointment, the front desk will get you scheduled and follow up with you in the coming weeks. We will call or text 7 days and 14 days after your appointment to follow up on symptoms or COVID-19 diagnosis. Just as we will inform you if anyone in our office has gotten sick, we ask our patients to inform us of any changes in health after your visit.
Cleaning and Sterilization
We have ramped up cleaning and sterilization procedures according to CDC and OSHA recommendations. Rest assured that all instruments are properly packaged and sterilized, treatment rooms and thoroughly cleaned and disinfected after each patient, and common areas and frequently touched surfaces are wiped down. We have always taken infection control seriously, and will be even more vigilant during this time.
Some common cleaning and sterilization practices in our dental office include:
- Disposal of all single use items such as PPE, barriers, and treatment items after each patient
- Heat sterilization of instruments to kill all bacteria and viruses, including COVID-19
- Cleaning and Disinfection of all treatment rooms using a hospital grade disinfectant
- Frequent handwashing and hand sanitizing
Thank you for your Patience
We know there are a lot of changes and we appreciate the patience and understanding of all of our patients. At Bowers and Oki Family Dentistry, we want you and your loved ones to stay safe and well during this difficult time. We are here to answer any questions or address your concerns. To book an appointment, call or text us at 505-884-640