Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, dental safety culture has undergone a huge shift. For one thing, many practices are remaining closed except in the case of dental emergencies (which is especially important for preventing patients with oral health issues from overrunning hospitals). For another, your dentist in Phillipsburg has adopted a number of additional protocols to make sure their staff is well prepared to treat patients while keeping the risk of spreading infection to an absolute minimum. In this article, you’ll learn about 5 particular preparations that are becoming part of the new normal at dental practices.
1. Daily Health Checks of Staff
One of the most basic precautions that dentists need to take, of course, is ensuring that no one on their staff currently has COVID-19 (or any other illness that they might risk passing on to patients). This generally involves a quick contact-free temperature check as well as a set of specially-prepared questions designed to help team members determine whether they’re able to provide the safe, high quality care that patients deserve.
2. Safety Champion
One approach to emphasizing a commitment to safety at a dental practice is to designate someone to act as the “Safety Champion” each day. This team member will be in charge of making sure that specific tasks are carried out properly; this includes greeting patients, enforcing social distancing, and just generally monitoring the team to ensure that the appropriate protocols are being followed.
3. Protective Gear
As you might expect, members of the dental staff will be expected to wear face masks at all times. However, dentists, hygienists, and other personnel who risk coming into contact with bodily fluids or potentially infectious airborne particles will also wear additional safety gear such as face shield and disposable protective coats and hats. As an additional precaution, staff members are expected to change into and out of their work clothes at the office.
4. Social Distancing in Place
As with most places you’ll visit nowadays, social distancing is enforced in the reception area. This normally means reducing the number of chairs available, enforcing one-way traffic, and placing helpful signs so that patients can properly space themselves.
5. Evening Deep Cleanings
Sterilizing dental tools and sanitizing the treatment area were already extremely important steps, but now some dentists are going even further. Every evening, everything in the office is scrubbed down top-to-bottom.
Your emergency dentist in Phillipsburg likely has several other precautions they’re taking in light of the pandemic. Now is a good time to call their office and learn more about what you can expect so that you can feel comfortable about scheduling an appointment when you need urgent care.
About the Author
Dr. Jeffrey R. DeMartino has been practicing dentistry for over 30 years. Over the years, he has undergone extensive advanced training in multiple fields, including oral surgery and specific restorative procedures. His practice, DeMartino Dental Group, is currently welcoming emergency cases in order to lower the burden on hospitals that need to save space for COVID patients. To get in touch with Dr. DeMartino, visit his website or call (908) 859-5260.
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