We are a country, state, and city are struggling with the COVID-19 pandemic. While it has affected our dental office, we have been fortunate that all of our families have been safe and healthy. We also know that many people have fared worse than we have. In this challenging time, Dr. Schafer and his team strive hard to keep all of our patients healthy and out of harms way. One of the most pressing questions we have been asked is “How safe is it to come to a dental office right now?” We can honestly say that our dental office is safe to visit. Dentistry does produce many aerosols but we have routine ways to manage these and keep everyone safe.
First thing that we are doing is that we are following standard universal precautions that we have been the standard in the dental office for decades. This includes sterilizing instruments, wearing appropriate PPE, and cleaning the rooms between patients. These regular sanitizing activities are common to all offices and are well known. While we have always been doing these in our office, we have added in other precautions to heighten the effectiveness of our cleaning procedures.
Second thing we are doing is waiving missed appointment fees for patients who are either feeling ill or who have been exposed and asked to quarantine. While we have always had this policy in our office, it is especially more important now and we want all our patients to understand this. If a person is having a dental emergency and they are under quarantine, Dr. Schafer personally handles these issues on a case by case basis.
Finally and most importantly, we are enforcing social distancing in our office. To help with this, we are at 50% capacity now compared to what we were last year. This gives our team extra time to clean the rooms and makes sure that we can keep all patients distanced from each other. Also we are asking patients to show up exactly when their appointment is as we are not allowing anyone to be in the waiting room. We can quickly move patients into their appropriate room as we are at half capacity. Last but not least all of our operatory rooms are individual rooms rather than many dental offices that have open rooms.
Dentistry as a whole takes patient safety seriously. We as a profession have found tried and true methods to control aerosols and protect our patients. We also understand that many of our patients are worried during this uncertain time and that everyone wants to stay safe from this awful virus. However, due to extra precautions being taken by our office along with other dental offices across the country, there have been no cases of COVID-19 being linked to having dentistry done. If you have any questions about dentistry during this pandemic, please call us at 504-392-5104 and we will be glad to help you.