As you are aware, COVID-19 is primarily an airborne illness. The primary way to fight this disease is by having clean air; if you can control the air, you can control the disease transmission. Fortunately, we have the means to do just that.
Dental offices create aerosols which can potentially transmit COVID-19, so by their very nature, they can be a dangerous environment without proper protocols in place. However, with proper protocols meticulously enforced, dental offices can be very safe. Our track record since reopening proves that we can continue to provide dental care in an extremely safe environment.
Beyond the basics of hand-washing and mask-wearing (everyone in the clinic wears an N-95/KN-95 mask with a surgical mask over it, and when appropriate, a face shield), we have implemented the following safety protocols:
- We control who enters our building by screening patients prior to and upon arrival and by taking their temperatures in their cars before they enter the building. We limit the number of visitors who may accompany patients. We also, of course, encourage anyone who thinks they might be sick to STAY HOME.
- Immediate wiping of all countertops, chairs, tubing, switches, etc. after the patient is dismissed. Make sure the wet surface is not wiped afterwards for at least 30 seconds to allow the disinfectant to be effective.
- Medify Air purifiers, which have medical grade true HEPA 13 filters, are located in every room in the office. The purifier cleans the air in the room every 7.5 minutes!
- We installed UV lights in our return air ducts. This is an added safety precaution above and beyond the many air purifiers. This ensures that all air passing through our HVAC system is free of viruses.
- We use cold foggers with hypochlorous acid at lunch and at the end of the day. Hypochlorous acid is an extremely safe method used to kill coronaviruses in both the air and on surfaces.