The outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has effectively shut down many active dentists and dental specialists and negatively affected the business of many others. Discussion has centred on how to provide safe oral healthcare, care that has been defined in a previous primer, given the nature of the virus and how easily it may be dispersed during common dental procedures. However, the time has come to look beyond treating urgent dental care needs and start planning for resumption of routine dental care and finding creative ways to care for dental patients who are reluctant to come to the dental office for the foreseeable future.
Dental professionals at Sterling Dental Clinic are very familiar with occupational health issues and corresponding risk assessments in order to reduce risk, ` and with applying Standard Precautions for minimizing spread of infection directly or through cross-contamination.Preventing the spread of SARS-CoV-2 requires new management strategies that may differ from those used to manage other diseases.
The majority of people infected with SARS-CoV-2 may have no symptoms. Hence, even asymptomatic dental patients should be considered as potential carriers and therefore, at Sterling Dental Clinic,we have implemented a routine screening process for both patients and staff, to ensure that both symptomatic and recently exposed individuals stay home for the safety of all patients and dental team members.
The following safety and precautionary measures are adopted by Sterling Dental Clinic to prevent the spread of the virus and provide risk-free dental treatments:
- We follow standard, contact, and airborne precautions including hand hygiene practice.
- We have limited the number of dental healthcare providers (DHCP) present during the procedure to only those essential for patient care and procedure support. Visitors are limited to those who are necessary.
- We disinfect surfaces with EPA-approved chemicals and maintain a dry environment.
- We use N95 and 5ply masks.
- Proper social distancing norms are followed in our clinic.
The COVID-19 pandemic presents several opportunities for dental researchers to focus on key issues, developing and testing innovative approaches to minimize aerosol generation during dental procedures, testing and validating tele-dentistry models, and evaluating alternative dental workforce models, such as dental therapists. We, at Sterling Dental Clinic, are constantly working towards providing our patients with risk free and excellent dental treatments at the time of Covid.