Dr. Kirakosian and the staff at New Look Dental want to provide assurance of how we are following the California Department of Public Health and OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) guidelines for resuming preventive and deferred dental care.
As your family dentist we want to thank you for your patience and provide you the ability to come in for your bi-annual dental cleaning, dental Xray or minor restorative dentistry procedures, and feel confident that your health and safety is our primary goal.
While sterilization practices have always been a standard practice of our operation, in strict adherence with new transmission-based precautions, we have added an additional layer of vigilance with increased awareness, training and practices.
Workplace and personnel preparation for dental offices amidst COVID-19 is arduous as this sector is deemed a high-risk exposure category when procedures generating aerosol are performed. Whatever the most updated local geographic order, be it “stay-at-home” or otherwise, our dental office will honor and adapt as the risk of incidence increases or decreases.
Screening + Source Control
As the “stay-at-home” order is lifted, below are the steps we are taking in adherence with OSHA requirements and the CDPH: (Note: We apologize if these steps seem extreme, they are not intended to discriminate but to protect you and your families’ welfare and life.)
- Patients and staff with a current COVID-19 infection or potential exposure are not permitted to enter the dental office.
- Facemasks are a nonnegotiable for all patients and staff that enter the dental office, including those that are asymptomatic.
- To assess COVID-19 status, all patients will be screened via our telehealth platform before appointments at our dental office. We will ask if you have personally had a cough, fever, headache, loss of taste or smell, muscle pain, shaking with chills, shortness of breath, sore throat or contact history. If patients or staff have symptoms or have been exposed to a COVID-19 positive person that was diagnosed in the past 14 days, we will request patient testing and results.
- Should staff develop symptoms while at work or upon arrival, they will be directed to get tested and sent home to self-isolate.
- Once 72 hours has passed and no fever, cough or other symptoms present without medication, and it has been 10 days since symptoms first appeared, we will proceed with treatment and inviting staff back.
- As we all need visual reminders, signs will be posted strategically throughout our dental clinic to thoroughly wash hands, etc.
- Following the CDC guidelines, we have revised our Injury and Illness Prevention Program and training.
- We will follow social distancing by scheduling appointments to limit the number of patients. We will also control the “flow” of the office space by ensuring there is six feet between patients. We ask that patients stay outside of the office prior to their appointment time as well, to further facilitate social distancing within our practice.
Personal Protective Equipment
As part of the Respiratory Protection Program mandated by Cal/OSHA, we commit to have ample sanitation and PPE (personal protective equipment). That means we will have no less than two weeks supply of face shields, googles (eye protection), fit-tested N95 respirators, surgical masks and additional equipment. Utilizing this equipment will provide respiratory protections, prevent exposure to bloodborne pathogens, and of course, COVID-19 infection prevention and control.
Should N95 become unavailable, an FDA-cleared surgical mask needs to be worn in addition to a full-face shield.
To further bolster your trust, we want our patients to know that we are taking advantage of all the necessary tools and resources to make it possible for you to resume regular dental cleanings and practice good dental care for your long-term health.
We will endeavor to take advantage of the ADA (American Dental Association) tool kit and CDA (California Dental Association) “Back-to-Practice” checklists and resources to effectively execute these new dental care protocols.
As we welcome you back, our team will follow the CDC Interim Infection Prevention and Control Guidance for Dental Settings During the COVID-19 Response. This includes using equipment that will minimize aerosol generation such as dental dams, four-handed dentistry and high evacuation suction, in addition to the above listed measures.
We will continue to stay abreast of any new information, and endeavor to rapidly make adaptations to the most current guidance to continue to take the necessary precautions.
We know many of our patients have deferred services and would like to welcome you back. If you had a previously scheduled procedure or have a condition that is in need of urgent dental care, give us a call to schedule an appointment.
If you’d like the latest information, feel free to visit https://update.covid19.ca.gov/ for California’s Statewide Update.
We look forward serving your dental needs.