At Serene Smiles, the health of our patients is our top priority. Under normal circumstances, that means that we provide the highest quality of dental care, helping you prevent or stop dental disease and maintain your overall health. During the COVID-19 pandemic, that priority takes on a whole new meaning.
Caring for patients’ overall health now also includes protecting patients from the transmission of the novel coronavirus. As we continue providing excellent dental care during this time, we want our patients and prospective patients to understand just how we are working to protect their safety.
New Safety Protocols Implemented during the COVID-19 Pandemic
In order to protect both our team members and our patients, we have implemented new policies and protocols aimed at ensuring the safety of all who enter our doors. We are committed to enforcing these high standards of safety until they are no longer necessary, no matter how long that may be. We know how important dental care is to overall health, and we are making it possible to seek out essential care while preserving your health and safety.
- “Call Ahead Seating”
We ask all of our patients to remain in their cars when they arrive at our office. Patients should call to let us know they are present, and we will advise each person when to enter the building. The purpose of this is to limit any inadvertent gatherings of people and limit patient-to-patient interactions.
We know that we can lower the risk of virus transmission by limiting the number of people in our office. For this reason, we also do not allow guests to accompany patients to their dental appointments at this time.
- Masks Required
We require everyone in the office to wear masks or face coverings at all times, except for the patient during actual dental treatment. Patients will only remove masks when prompted by the dentist, dental hygienist or dental assistant as treatment is about to begin. We will ask patients to reposition their masks/face coverings as soon as treatment is complete.
- COVID Screenings
In an effort to prevent anyone who currently tests positive for COVID from entering our office, we are performing screenings both over the phone and immediately prior to each appointment. Our screenings include questions about travel, exposure to COVID, possible symptoms, fever, or any other reason to suspect a patient has a risk of infection. We also screen everyone who enters the office by taking temperatures. For standardization purposes, we will not accept a temperature taken outside of our office.
- UV Light Treatment of all Patient Rooms
Because coronavirus is so new, we are learning new information about it on a regular basis. At this point, studies show that using an ultraviolet light is effective in killing virus organisms present in the ambient air. For this reason, we have purchased UV lights for the treatment of every patient room. After a patient receives any dental care, the room is treated with a UV light in order to remove viral aerosols from the air.
- Additional PPE for Team Members
At Serene Smiles, we have always adhered to strict protocols for PPE set forth by our regulatory dental agencies. As this new virus has raised additional challenges, we have met them with additional PPE. We realize the importance of protecting our team members, not only because they are valuable people. We understand that, under the wrong circumstances, we could be unknowing carriers of the virus. For this reason, we take the highest level of precautions to protect our team members from transmission of the virus, which in turn protects each patient they treat.
- Increased Time between Patients for Disinfection of Patient Rooms
Between patient visits, each treatment room undergoes a thorough cleaning and disinfection process, which includes the use of the UV light we mentioned earlier. It also includes wiping down every exposed surface on which aerosols could have landed. In dentistry, all previous safety and infection control standards were based on blood-borne and saliva-borne pathogens, like AIDS and Hepatitis C. We have always cleaned and disinfected each room according to the standards set forth to prevent any possible cross-contamination of these types of illnesses.
The coronavirus is “new” to dentistry in that it is air-borne and contained in invisible aerosols, making disinfection a much longer and more meticulous process. This takes time, so we have more time between patient visits to allow for the total disinfection of each room.
More Questions about Receiving Dental Care at Serene Smiles?
Call 614-568-3909 today and speak to one of our team members about how we are keeping patients and ourselves safe during this pandemic. Dental care is essential, and we are committed to providing it without increasing anyone’s risk for coronavirus transmission.