How Dentists Keep You Safe With COVID-19 Safety Precautions

A woman speaking with a dentist in Richardson.

In the past, dental offices would typically wash their hands, put on a new pair of gloves and mask and be prepared to perform your dental treatment. Today, in the age of COVID-19, dentists are going above and beyond to ensure that your safety is taken even more seriously. Whether it’s improved personal protective equipment or assigning a team member as a “safety champion,” here are just a handful of the ways a dentist in Richardson is preventing the spread of harmful bacteria and viruses in the dental office.

Advanced Staff Training

Dentists are taking the time necessary to inform their team members what needs to be done to prevent disease transmission inside the office. While this includes many of the steps that will be mentioned below, it also means staying up-to-date on the latest news reports regarding COVID-19 and what dental offices need to be paying attention to when keeping patients and themselves safe.

For example, offices are now designating team members as “safety champions” daily, which simply means they are tasked with making sure all other team members are following proper protocols and answering patient questions regarding COVID-19 precautions. They are also making sure that team members are changing out of their clothes that they wear at work before leaving for the day, monitoring social distancing practices, and wearing the right personal protective equipment. This equipment includes surgical masks for front desk personnel and N95 & ASTM Level 3 masks plus face shields for dentists.

Disinfection and Sterilization

Dental offices are already quite sterile since they must follow strict medical guidelines, but they’ve taken it up a notch during the pandemic as well. For example, offices are wiping, sanitizing and disinfecting all surfaces and equipment (such as dental chairs) in each operatory after every patient leaves. They’re also performing deep cleanings of the office at the end of the day, ensuring no harmful bacteria or viruses make it through the night alive.

While dental instrument sterilization through heat and pressure cleaners was already the norm in the dental office, practices are going above and beyond to exceed the CDC’s guidelines for sterilization.

Reformed Patient Protocols

The health and safety of their patients is the highest priority for dentists and their team members, which is why patient protocols have been heavily revised to reduce disease transmission. This includes:

  • No hugs or handshakes in the office
  • No office tours for patients
  • Asking patients to use an anti-microbial rinse in addition to brushing and flossing before the appointment begins
  • Sequenced patient scheduling to provide time needed for more detailed disinfection of the office
  • Pre-screenings of patients who may have potential symptoms
  • Removing magazines and activities in waiting rooms

While these protocols take more time and effort to implement, they are necessary to ensure the health and safety of patients and dental professionals serving your care.

About the Author

Dr. Ellis Shwarts and his team are doing everything possible to reduce the risk of disease transmission in their practice so patients can have confidence in their treatments without getting sick. With that said, he’s able to guarantee the same quality care you’ve come to expect at Shwarts Family Dentistry! To schedule an appointment, you can contact him through his website.