The Covid-19 global pandemic has raised many concerns for dental office patients and staff.
Like so many in our industry, we have followed the guidance and recommendations of our government and global health leaders to ensure the safety of patients and staff. Now, one year into the pandemic, we are confident that the measures we have implemented and continue to follow are working to keep our clinic setting safe for all.
Prior to arriving at our office, all patients must complete a pre-screening questionnaire to ensure they do not have any signs or symptoms of Covid-19 nor been in close contact with anyone who might be infected with Covid-19. The questionnaire must be completed before each visit.
Upon arrival, patients receive a temperature check with an infrared thermometer to ensure low-grade fevers do not go undetected. Next, our hand hygiene program is required for everyone entering the clinic.
Similarly, all staff are subjected to the same screening requirements each day they arrive to work. As well, we have implemented staggered lunch breaks to limit close contact between staff. Throughout their entire shift, staff are using either a Level 3 surgical mask or N95 respirators. We miss seeing each other’s smiling faces but we know that time will come again.
Our hygienists have eliminated the use of our ultrasonic scalers as advised by the Saskatchewan Health Authority and the College of Dental Surgeons of Saskatchewan.
Patients will find their hygiene appointments to be a little different now but they remain an important part of maintaining your oral health.
In addition to these recommended precautions, we have implemented our own best practice strategies from our global network of dental professionals.
For example, we now utilize high-volume HEPA filtration throughout the clinic to clean and filter the air for any airborne virus that may have been introduced to the clinic. Medical grade H13 Filters (higher rated than True HEPA) effectively remove 99.97% of fine particles as small as 0.3 microns.
As well, our entire office has been equipped with the UV Angel Clean Air Technology which continually purifies the air utilizing UV technology. This system works 24 hours a day!
In addition, we regularly use Hypochlorous acid (HOCL) in various forms to clean the office. HOCL is simply non-iodized salt and water that has been treated with an electrical charge. This is a very safe, simple and effective technology. Please find more at HOCL.com We use a fogger to dispense HOCL throughout the clinic multiple times a day. This highly effective product uses an aerosolized spray to kill any virus that may not have been eliminated via the first two precautions listed above. It also helps eliminate any virus that may have settled in contact areas. You will also notice we dispense the HOCL using air humidifiers throughout the office.
As we have always done, we continue to use high-volume suction during procedures. This has shown to be one of the most effective means to eliminate airborne contaminants at their source before they have a chance to infect the surrounding air. These are utilized by our diligent dental assistants.
Therefore, we are confident that >95% of potential pathogens are eliminated at the source prior to becoming airborne and of the <5% potentially released pathogens, we are confident that the HEPA filtration system, UV air sanitization and the use of HOCL eliminates any risk.
In summary, we feel confident that we have created the best environment that we can to ensure patients and staff are protected.
We look forward to seeing you soon.
Dr. Jason Langin