We are open and welcome patients – safely!
You may wonder, during these uncertain coronavirus times, whether dentist visits are safe. We understand there is conflicting information available on the Internet, and we want to reassure our patients that – short of a sterile surgical suite – our dentist’s office just might be one of the safest places you can be.
The office of Dorothy Paul, DDS, strictly follows infection control recommendations by the American Dental Association (ADA), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). We diligently update our response to these guidelines as the coronavirus situation changes over time and implement changes to our safety protocols as needed.
Here are the steps we have taken to protect the health of both patients and staff, some of which go above and beyond the recommended guidelines.
We work hard behind the scenes…
- In an effort to minimize the spread of germs, we diligently disinfect and sterilize high-traffic areas and high-touch surfaces multiple times daily. This includes door handles, check-in counters, waiting room chairs, and display tables.
- Our front office area, treatment rooms, and waiting area are equipped with air purification units.
- We have installed A/C duct covers to direct the airflow away from patients in treatment rooms.
- In addition to disinfectant agents used to wipe surfaces, we utilize hand-held ultraviolet lights to further sanitize hard-to-reach areas, equipment, and patient-accessible surfaces like countertops.
- Our staff convene daily to announce changes in protocol, reiterate best practices, reinforce current health guidelines, and emphasize PPE requirements.
Prior to your appointment:
- We diligently screen patients for incidents of exposure and possible COVID-19 symptoms. Patients who exhibit signs of illness or meet certain exposure criteria are asked to reschedule their appointment. Once approved for an in-person appointment, those same questions will be asked of every patient once they arrive at our office to ensure their health status has not changed in the meantime.
- Our staff spaces appointments to facilitate social distancing. We try to limit the number of patients in the waiting room as much as possible, so appointment options may be fewer. Please bear with us as we aim to avoid filling our waiting room with patients.
- We encourage patients to come to the office alone, without accompaniers, unless the appointment is for a minor child (in which case we encourage limiting accompaniers to one adult per child).
While you are here:
- When you arrive, we ask that you please stay in your vehicle until we’re ready to see you. We implemented this policy to further reduce mingling in the waiting area and take patients to the treatment room as quickly as possible.
- We require the wearing of face masks upon entry, covering the mouth as well as the nose. We also insist on a temperature check for every patient or patient accompanier (e.g. a parent or guardian of a minor child patient) when you arrive.
- Forgot your mask at home or in the car? No problem! We will gladly provide one to every visitor.
- Don’t be alarmed to see staff members (including front office staff) wear face masks, gloves, and possibly goggles and/or gowns. These precautions are instituted to keep patients and employees safe and do not mean that a staff member is ill.
- Hand sanitizer for patients and employees is available throughout the office.
- For the time being, to reduce high-touch surfaces, we have eliminated all books, magazines, and coffee stations.
- Children’s trinkets and toys, unfortunately, are also unavailable at this time. We love our pediatric patients, which is why we’re extra careful to eliminate all possible points of germ transfer.
- Patients who use the restroom must leave their face masks on, wash their hands before returning to the waiting room, and use hand sanitizer prior to re-entry.
- Worried about the health of staff members? We post every employee’s temperature, as taken upon their arrival, on a chart in the waiting area. We are transparent about our staff members’ health, and employees exhibiting any flu-like symptoms whatsoever are required to stay home – no exceptions.
During and after treatment:
- As always, treatment rooms are thoroughly sanitized with disinfectant spray and wipes after every patient.
- For additional protection, we are covering certain equipment like computer monitors and keyboards with plastic screens.
- Also, as before, clinical staff members actively involved in the treatment of patients are required to wear personal protective equipment, including N-95 masks as needed.
- Goggles, face shields or gowns are no cause for alarm. They merely enhance patient and staff protection. This PPE is changed for a new set after every
- Patients are covered with a drape, which is washed after each use.
- All instruments are diligently sterilized as outlined by CDC recommendations and requirements.
When you leave, please consider using hand sanitizer (available at the check-out counter and throughout our office) for an extra layer of protection. And don’t forget to thoroughly wash your hands when you get home!
Dental offices have always been held to the highest sanitation standards, even before pandemic times. With additional safety protocols in place*, we hope you can rest easy during your visit in our office. Should you have any concerns about our health precautions, please don’t hesitate to address them with a staff member or Dr. Paul directly.
*Please note that there will be a $15 charge per visit for new infection prevention cost.