The coronavirus pandemic has fundamentally changed life as we know it. As COVID-19 poses unprecedented threats to our health and safety, strategic precautions and infection control techniques have never been more important.
Some industries never considered infection protection plans in the pre-pandemic era, but others, especially dentists, have been mastering the art of infection control for decades. As California Dental Association President Richard Nagy reminds us, “Dentists are really great at infection control and being prepared to create safety. That’s what we’re good at, and that’s what we’re doing.”
In fact, we were doing it long before the coronavirus pandemic ever existed. Every step we take during a dental procedure is specifically included to prevent the spread of infection. Now, in the face of the coronavirus, Ivory Pointe Dentistry in Vista, California, Dr. Yaron Miller and his team are working diligently to implement comprehensive COVID-19 policies.
The safety of our patients is our top priority, so we’ve adopted the guidance of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and American Dental Association (ADA) regarding COVID-19.
You can expect to enjoy the following protections and considerations at your next dental appointment with the Ivory Pointe Dentistry team.
COVID-19 Symptom Screening
To align with CDC recommendations, our office now screens all patients for fever and potential symptoms of COVID-19. We may take your temperature, document symptoms or absence of symptoms consistent with the coronavirus, and ask if you’ve been advised to self-quarantine due to exposure to someone with SARS-CoV-2 infection.
This screening process is quick and simple, but it goes a long way in making sure patients and healthcare workers are not exposed to COVID-19 or put at risk of its transmission.
Social Distancing Measures
Ivory Pointe Dentistry is committed to using strategic social distancing measures to keep patients a safe distance away from each other. We invite patients to wait outside or in their cars until their appointments begin. However, we have also adjusted our waiting area to accommodate a social distancing environment:
- Chairs set six feet apart
- No magazines and other frequently touched objects
- Maximum number of people permitted inside at the same time
- Staggered appointment times to minimize indoor traffic
We are so thankful for our wonderful, compassionate patients who have gone out of their way to help our office implement these social distancing precautions successfully!
Increased COVID-19 Safety Standards
Personal protective equipment (PPE) earned its place in the spotlight when the coronavirus pandemic emerged. Our dental professionals diligently use all required and recommended forms of PPE. The goal is always to keep dental workers and patients as safe as possible:
- Goggles or face shields
- Face mask
- N9 respirators
Even with extreme PPE precautions, our staff members ensure strict adherence to hand hygiene before and after all patient contact. Thorough hand washing removes pathogens that might have been transferred to bare hands. It also prevents those pathogens from traveling any further.
When combined with other precautions, environmental infection control ensures that all patients and workers remain safe and healthy.
Enhanced Cleaning Measures
Dr. Miller and his staff have also enhanced their cleaning measures, which were already thorough and precise, to “ensure that environmental cleaning and disinfection procedures are following consistently and correctly after each patient.” These procedures include:
- Sterilization of patient-care items
- High-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters
- Use of hospital-grade disinfectant
- Easy access to hand sanitizer
Dr. Miller and the team at Ivory Pointe are taking every measure to ensure patient safety. Patients who feel sick, present with a fever, or suspect they may be experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 should not come in for an appointment. When you do come in for an appointment, be sure to wear a mask or other face-covering at all times until your dentist is ready to examine your mouth.
Other appointments may be postponed until further notice. This applies especially to procedures that involve dental drills and other tools known to create aerosols. Airbound aerosols potentially spread the coronavirus. Our goal is to limit the risk of aerosolizing the virus. As the guidelines provided by the CDC and ADA evolve, our office will also adjust our methods.
Though it’s hard to predict when this pandemic will come to an end, Dr. Miller can promise one thing: patient safety is always his top priority. You can schedule a dentist appointment with the comfort and knowledge that Ivory Pointe Dentistry is taking every possible precaution to guarantee a safe and risk-free dental experience.
We are here to answer all of your questions and help you schedule your next appointment! Just call our Vista, CA office or book online.