Infection prevention has always been a priority in our dental health care settings. In light of recent events, we have gone to great lengths to review and update our infection prevention guidelines to ensure the safe care of our patients.
Our policies and procedures will be tailored to our dental setting based on the services we provide as well as the patients we provide services to. We have reviewed and updated our OSHA bloodborne pathogens standards to address patient safety. The necessary equipment and supplies (e.g.,
Hand-hygiene products, safer devices to reduce percutaneous injuries and personal protective equipment) are available and evaluated to ensure proper use, handling, sterilization and disinfection of patient-care Items and devices during visits. We follow recommendations EPA recommendations for monitoring water quality provided by the manufacturer of our unit or waterline treatment product and we use sterile water as a coolant / irrigant when performing surgical procedures. We will reassess on a regular basis or according to state or federal requirements.
Sharps Safety and Injection Safety Practices have been reviewed to prevent percutaneous injuries and prevent transmission of infectious diseases between one patient and another, or between a patient and our
dental health professionals during preparation and administration of parenteral (e.g., intravenous or intramuscular injection) medications.
Sterilization and Disinfection of Patient Care Devices
We take care to clean and reprocess (disinfect or sterilize) reusable dental equipment appropriately before use on another patient according to manufacturer instructions.
Hand hygiene is the most important measure to prevent the spread of infections among patients and our dental health professionals . We have implemented education and training programs to thoroughly address indications and techniques for hand hygiene practices before performing routine and oral surgical procedures.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
We have ensured that we maintain appropriate wearable equipment that is designed to protect our dental health professionals from exposure to or contact with infectious agents and have educated on the proper use of all equipment for adherence to standard precautions. This equipment includes gloves, face masks, protective eye wear, face shields, and protective clothing (e.g., reusable or disposable gowns, jackets, laboratory coats).
Respiratory Hygiene / Cough Etiquette
Our dental health professionals have been educated on preventing the spread of respiratory pathogens when in contact with symptomatic persons. Respiratory hygiene / cough etiquette infection prevention measures are designed to limit the transmission of respiratory pathogens spread by droplet or airborne routes. We have implemented measures to contain respiratory secretions in patients and accompanying individuals who have signs and symptoms of a respiratory infection, beginning at point of entry to the facility and continuing throughout the visit.
We have adjusted our policies and protocols for early detection and management of potentially infectious persons at initial points of patient encounter.
Environmental Infection Prevention and Control
Reception area will have sneeze protection guards installed.
Reception area has been restructured allowing for social distancing, no more than two patients in reception area at the same time for any reason whether it is check in or check out.
No additional guests permitted with patient unless the patient is a minor or requires assistance from a care giver due to age or disability in which case no more than one guest can accompany the patient.
Hand sanitizer is accessible and available throughout the office.
All bathrooms are stocked with hand soap and disposable paper towels.
All reading and dental education materials have been temporarily removed from common areas but are available and furnished upon request or recommendation.
All team members wear masks when less than 6 feet from the next person.
All common contact areas and surfaces that are barrier and non-barrier protected are routinely sanitized after each patient visit with EPA-registered disinfectants or detergents / disinfectants with label claims for use in health care settings.
COVID pre-screening and medical history review of each patient will be done by telephone before entrance to office. All patients will wait in vehicle outside of the office (if possible) until advised to enter office to reduce crowding. Anyone entering the office is required to wear a facial covering.
Vipul J. Patel, DDS