We have been following the development of COVID-19 closely, and are monitoring recommendations from the CDC, CDA, and the Governor’s office to help keep our community healthy.
As of June 2nd, we resumed routine preventative care for our patients and are accepting appointments again. We are fully equipped and taking extra precautions at the time of your appointment. If you are a high-risk patient, please contact our office and we are happy to make special accommodations to ensure your comfort and safety.
We are also offering Saturday and evening dental appointments in an effort to accommodate our patients as they try to readjust to normal routines and catch up on missed appointments.
Added Precautions At Your Appointment
We have always complied with strict OSHA-mandated protocols to maintain a highly sterile environment within our practice. These guidelines were created to safeguard against the spread of highly contagious diseases such as tuberculosis and measles, and they are equally effective in managing the spread of influenza and coronavirus. Please review the extra precautions we are taking so you know what to expect at your next appointment.
At Your Next Appointment
When you come in for an appointment, we are asking you to follow certain procedures to maintain the health and safety of everyone involved.
When You Come In
- Please come alone. Do not bring your spouse, children, or any other people, unless you need assistance.
- Please reschedule your appointment if you are feeling ill. Do not come in if you have a fever or cough, or have been exposed to someone who has
- If you arrive early or see other patients in the waiting room, please wait in your car until the waiting room is empty.
Steps We Are Taking
Below is a summary of the steps currently in place to ensure patient and employee safety:
- Employee Health Screening: All employees undergo health history
screenings before commencing employment. In addition, we strictly enforce sick policies that require employees with communicable illnesses to stay home from work until they have clearance by a physician to return. None of our employees or their families have traveled outside the US since January 5th, 2020. At this time, employees are required to wear masks at all times. They are also having their temperatures monitored daily prior to starting their shift.
- Patient Health Screening: All patients experiencing flu-like symptoms (fever, cough, sore throat, nausea, vomiting and difficulty breathing) will be rescheduled. Cancellation fees will be waived. Patients will be asked to complete a COVID-19 screening form before their appointment. In accordance with CDC and ADA recommended guidelines, temperature will be checked and peroxyl rinse will be given at the start of every appointment.
- Sterilization Procedures: The foundation of our infection control
procedures is based on requirements established by the CDC. It states that all patients are treated as infectious since any patient can be asymptomatic or unaware they are infected with whatever. This has always been the standard of care and not new due to the current threat of Covid-19. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) used (gowns, protective eye glasses, masks and gloves) are designed to ensure this safety precaution. We have added face shields and N95 masks following the new recommendations from OSHA and ADA. These items are washed and disinfected or discarded between patients to mitigate any patient-to-patient transmission. Strict surface sterilization procedures are followed to clean and disinfect all operatory surfaces between patients. After each use, all dental instruments are heat sterilized in individual sterile pouches.
- Common Area Disinfecting: We have taken added precautions in the common areas. All magazines and pamphlets have been removed. Lobby surfaces and patient restrooms are disinfected every hour. This includes a thorough disinfectant wipe down of all hard surfaces, such as door handles, chairs and front office counter. Hand sanitizer is the first thing we give you when you come in. According to the CDC, the most important steps we all can take to avoid infection from airborne diseases are frequent hand washing with soap and water and regular cleansing of highly-used surfaces with disinfectant. We recommend that all our patients take these basic precautions.
- Disinfectants Used: 2% Sodium Hypochlorite Spray, Opti-cide Max Wipes and CaviWipes are used to clean all exposed surfaces. All are tuberculocidal, bactericidal, virucidal and fungicidal and listed on the EPA site as effective against Covid 19. https://www.epa.gov/pesticide-registration/list-ndisinfectants-use-against-sars-cov-2 Additional information on 2% Sodium Hypochlorite Spray can be found here: https://www.hypochlorousacid.com/faq/hocl-faq
- Aerosol Control: True HEPA H13 grade Air Purifiers are in every room. Intraoral high volume suctioning will be used more often. Polishing stains will be limited to anterior teeth. Hand scaling instead of ultrasonic cleaning will be favored.
Cleaning & Disinfecting Protocols
Infection control has always been a top priority at Gateway Dental Care. Our infection control processes are designed to keep you safe and comfortable when you receive care. Our practice goes above and beyond the infection control recommendations made by the U. S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). So, you may see some changes when it is time for your next appointment. These added precautions are to help protect our patients and our team.
- You will be asked to fill out a screening form prior to your appointment.
- You may see that our reception area will no longer offer magazines, children toys, and so forth, since those items are difficult to clean and disinfect.
- You will notice HEPA air purifiers in every room. This helps remove air pollutants in the surrounding environment.
- Appointments will be managed to allow for one patient at a time to be in the office.
- Extra time will be allocated to disinfect treatment rooms. Treatment areas have always been “spray, wipe, spray” with Tuberculocidal, bactericidal, virucidal and fungicidal disinfectants. We will add another organic disinfectant 2% Sodium Hypochlorite Spray that is also listed on the EPA site as effective against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID19.
- We will take your temperature and ask that you rinse with a hydrogen peroxide mouthwash before being treated.
- We will be adding another high-volume suctioning source during dental procedures.
- We are using a HealthyAir® Source Capture System – Dental Aerosol Extractor in our offices which collects airborne contaminants and improves air quality.
Contact Our Office
If you have any questions, concerns, or a dental emergency, please contact our office and we will return your inquiry as soon as possible. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.
Until then, floss and brush like your teeth and gums depend on it!
Thank you for your continued patronage and we look forward to seeing everyone soon. We hope that you and your loved ones are still hanging in there!