When you arrive for a dental appointment, chances are you aren’t thinking about everything that was done beforehand to make sure that you, your dentist, and their staff stay safe. Now, in addition to thorough disinfection and sterilization, handwashing, and personal protective equipment (PPE) like masks and gloves, even more measures are in place since the COVID-19 pandemic began. These protocols are based on guidelines from the CDC, ADA, and OSHA and are designed to prevent the spread of bacteria and viruses, including COVID-19. Learn more below about how a dentist in Sacramento makes your dental appointments safe.
Additional PPE For Both Staff and Patients
Dental teams have always used PPE as part of their infection control strategy, including masks, gloves, eyewear, and gowns or jackets. These items are either disposed of after each use or are disinfected (e.g. eyewear).
Now, you may see staff members use additional PPE such as a second mask and/or a face shield. Patients are also being asked to wear a mask or cloth face covering when they’re not being treated.
Designating a Safety Champion on the Team
The idea behind having a Safety Champion (this role often rotates between staff members each day) is to create an ongoing “culture of safety” in which everyone remains committed to protocol. This person ensures that each and every guideline is being followed throughout the day and that everyone stays accountable.
Health Checks For Staff Members Each Day
Daily health checks for staff involve taking each employee’s temperature and asking a series of questions about their physical well-being and activities. This way, your dentist can ensure they’re ready to provide safe treatment for the day.
Screening Patients Before Each Visit
Likewise, as a patient, you’ll likely have your temperature checked before your treatment begins. Your dentist will also ask if you’ve been in contact with anyone who’s been sick or if you’ve experienced difficulty breathing, a cough or fever, a loss of taste and smell, or tightness in your chest in recent days.
Long before the pandemic, dentists have always been required to practice strict infection control to make their services safe. Now, with these additional measures, you can continue feeling confident that you’re getting quality dental care with as minimal risk of exposure as possible.
About the Author
Before becoming a family dentist in Sacramento, Dr. Scott Grivas worked as a registered nurse for 8 years. With his extensive training and background in healthcare, he has a thorough understanding of infection control practices and takes every precaution before, during, and after each appointment. If you need dental care for any reason or simply have questions, you can reach Dr. Grivas via his website.