As we transition from treating emergency and non-elective dental care during COVID-19 into reopening our practice to a normal schedule, our practice will take every measure possible to ensure the safety of our patients and team members. The American Dental Association has collaborated with the CDC and has provided “Interim Guidance for Minimizing Risk of COVID-19” which we will adhere to as close as possible. In addition to these recommendations, we have implemented the following practices to ensure a safe reopening:
Our practice will continue to monitor and implement any updated requirements and recommendations from the New York State Department of Health, the Center for Disease Control, the American Dental Association, and the New York State Dental Association.
All patients will undergo a thorough screening at multiple levels of patient encounters, including appointment confirmations, patient check in, and prior to beginning any treatment. These screenings will ask questions which are consistent with the current New York State Testing Protocol. In addition, each team member will undergo screening on a routine basis.
Prior to performing any treatment, each patient will have their temperature recorded to ensure that they are healthy for dental care. Although a fever can arise for many reasons, a temperature above 100.4 degrees has been linked with an increased likelihood of an active COVID-19 exposure, particularly with additional supporting symptoms. All team members will also have temperature readings prior to beginning each day.
Our practice will make every effort to adhere to the current government requirements of social distancing and the use of face coverings for all patients and team members. These efforts will be updated with any changes in current policy.
We are asking each patient to arrive precisely at the time of their scheduled appointment, with the potential of waiting in their care if necessary, in order to minimize traffic while checking in and to reduce the number of guests in our reception area.
By strategically spacing out our patient check out process, we will aim to eliminate any lines or congregation at our Business Desk. At the conclusion of each appointment, we ask each patient to remain in the treatment room until a team member escorts them to our Business Team for the check out process.
Our entire practice will be thoroughly disinfected each hour, including counters, door handles, chairs, and all surfaces exposed to patient and team member contact.
All team members will rigorously adhere to OSHA Infection Control standards, including any special revisions related to COVID-19, which includes proper hand hygiene, proper personal protective equipment (PPE) use (including sequence of taking on and off), respiratory etiquette, sharps safety, sterile instruments and devices, clean and disinfected environmental surfaces.
Additional personal protective equipment (PPE) beyond the standard OSHA requirements will be implemented depending on the nature of the procedure in accordance with ADA recommendations.
Prior to beginning any treatment each patient will be asked to use an antiseptic mouth rinse in order to reduce the level of disease-causing micro-organisms. This practice has been used in our practice successfully for many years, and is even more important during this time.
At this time our practice is not treating any patient with known active COVID-19. If a patient requires emergency care and is currently positive for COVID-19, we will work alongside physicians to coordinate appropriate treatment. For any patient who has been diagnosed or exposed to COVID-19, we are requiring a full recovery in order to schedule treatment, which includes a minimum of 14 days since initial diagnosis, and a full 7 days after full recovery (4 days beyond the CDC recommendations).
Further measures will be taken throughout the practice to maximize safety, including increased spacing between chairs in our reception area and the removal of common use items such as magazines, pens, etc.
We understand that these challenging times may make it difficult to pay for needed treatment. We want to help patients receive the care they need, and we are willing to accommodate these unexpected circumstances with additional flexibility and customized payment options.