The COVID-19 pandemic has created some concern over how we can help keep patients protected. With many health organizations suggesting PPE (personally protective equipment) to help combat the spread of the virus, many are wondering what this may look like as we return to normal routines of care, such as doctor and dentist appointments. At Dr. Francisco Eraso Orthodontics, we are taking measures to ensure the safety and health of our patients. Let’s take a look at how we are helping to protect you and ourselves.
How the coronavirus is transmitted
Before we can take measures to protect ourselves, we need to understand how the coronavirus is transmitted. According to the CDC,
“The virus that causes COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly from person to person, mainly through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. Spread is more likely when people are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).”
The key takeaway here is that transmission must occur as a transfer of droplets from one person to another. This transfer has sparked the rise in PPE, such as masks and gloves, etc. to help keep people from contracting the virus. While these are helpful measures that can be undertaken, it’s important to remember that there are preemptive methods for preventing the spread of the virus.
Doing our part to prevent the spread of COVID-19
In order to transfer the virus, an infectious person must be present for transmission to take place. Often, in medical and dentistry practices, we take measures to prevent this by removing the source of the infection and take prevention measures that exceed PPE.
Our current protocol involves.
- Screening and removing any infectious individuals from the office.
- Implementing more stringent cleaning and health procedures in the office.
- Modify our patient procedures and structure.
- Educate our staff regarding appropriate health procedures and preventative measures.
- Encourage patients to take personal responsibility for ensuring their own health and those around them.
With improved procedures, we can go a long way toward prevention. Because we understand that we are dealing with close contact with patients and that our practice requires proximity with bodily fluids such as saliva, we will go even further to help keep you safe.
To help keep you safe, we will
- Screen and if possible, test employees prior to each shift for signs of infection or illness.
- Wash hands regularly and thoroughly sanitize our office between patients.
- Utilize isolation while preventing the transfer of bodily fluids.
- Use a dental rinse to help lessen the probability of infectious microbes in the mouth.
- Reduce the use of equipment which may cause spraying or spreading of saliva, such as aerosol or water syringes.
- Require our staff to continue using PPE as a preventative measure.
We also ask that patients comply with the following to help us in our goal of preventing the spread.
- Participate with any screening protocols prior to entering the building, including hand washing or sanitizing, taking temperature, and or answering questions regarding recent health and travel.
- Change your appointment if you have experienced any symptoms within 14 days of your appointment.
- Wash your hands and mouth as frequently as possible before and after your appointment.
- When in doubt, stay home.
We are taking extra precautions to help keep you and ourselves safe. Just remember, we are all in this together! Please don’t hesitate to contact our office with any questions or concerns. We look forward to seeing you soon!