Protecting You from Covid-19 Exposure
These are scary times. And the thought of stepping foot inside a dental office may be particularly worrisome. We get that. To be perfectly honest, we’re concerned too. Concerned about the health of our patients, our staff, our families and the many friends and strangers we encounter during the course of a typical day. That’s why we are taking extraordinary precautions to protect all of us from infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus that is responsible for COVID-19.
While it may be tempting to forgo routine preventive or emergency dental work until “this whole thing blows over,” it is important to understand that your oral health is no less important now than when we’re not under the threat of this virus. In fact, keeping yourself in the best of health is critical to maintaining your physical and emotional strength during stressful times.
When you visit our office, you’ll find that quite a lot has changed. Even before you step through the door.
Prior to your appointment, we may ask you to fill out paperwork that can be downloaded from our website: agoldensmile.com. Upon arrival at the office, we ask that you call us at (856) 768-3332 and let us know that you are here. To ensure that you don’t encounter anyone other than an authorized staff member, we will ask you to wait in the car until we can safely unlock the front door for you. Please put a mask on before coming inside. Upon entry, we will immediately take your temperature and ask you a series of screening questions in order to clear you for dental care. We assure you that each and every person involved in your treatment faces the same screening before we start our work day.
You will be asked to use hand sanitizer or wash your hands before being seated. You will be required to wear a mask at all times when in the office, except when dentistry is being performed, and especially when you are talking. This protects the staff members from asymptomatic patients who could spread the virus by speaking in close proximity to others.
The staff is fully protected with a gown, two facial masks, goggles, face shield, gloves, and surgical cap when performing dentistry. Dr Golden has installed a Merv 13 hospital grade furnace filter and additional Merv 13 filtered air purifiers in each treatment room. Optimal, healthy airflow patterns are established by isolating treatment areas.
During treatment, you may notice some new devices to pick up water and saliva from your mouth. These include Re-leaf™ suction: wider high-speed suction devices and funnels to pick up water spray. Whenever possible, when doing fillings, specific teeth will be isolated using a latex free dam; a product that provides a dry barrier between your mouth and the working area. During your cleaning appointment, we will clean your teeth by hand, avoiding any spray from our ultrasonic machines. After removing plaque and tartar, we now use splashless polishing cups to safely remove stain without creating aerosol.
Before exiting the room upon completion of treatment, we will ask you to wash your hands or use hand sanitizer. If you need to stop by the reception desk to schedule another appointment or make a payment, please stand behind the plexiglass barrier. Also, we ask that you pay by check or credit card at this time. Credit card payments can also be made by phone to minimize your time at the desk. To help keep the reception area clear and allow you to get on your way, we are available for lengthy discussions about treatment or billing by phone as well.
The safety precautions don’t end when you walk out the door. Once you have left the operatory, everything in the room is disinfected and all instruments are sterilized. We monitor our autoclave with regular spore tests and color indicating bags. Dr. Golden has purchased a disinfectant fogger machine which is used after every patient visit. The fogger sprays a safe disinfectant on all surfaces, killing the airborne virus on contact.
As new recommendations for practice become available, we will upgrade our protocols accordingly.
Remember, your concerns are our concerns. We are dedicated to keeping you and our staff safe and healthy during this difficult time. Take care of your smile. It’s something we all need right now.