What Safety Measures to Expect at the Dental Office

What Safety Measures to Expect at the Dental Office

May 06, 2020

Q: I am a little concerned about having dental work now. What measures will they take to insure my safety?

A: I don’t know about you, but I really don’t think this Zoom thing for work, hanging out with friends for cocktails and for visiting grandparents is really going to be “The new normal.” I like to use cologne. Who is going to smell me anymore? What’s the point. Matter of fact, I don’t even want to hear that expression again: “The New Normal.”At some point, for damn sure, we will be just plain old bleep’n “NORMAL”.

Are you really going tell me we are not going to crowd hockey stadiums, racetracks and concert venues again? Come on; get serious. I have already booked a cruise for December. (Ok so due to the fact my office was closed for two months, I will be in a cheap room below the water level with no window, sharing it with my wife, Philippe the sommelier and Ronaldo the Mambo instructor. I call bottom bunk first!)

We got back to normal after WWII, 911, and the 2008 collapse, and we are sure to get back to our old ways with all the science and technology we have today. And as far as this recession thing; don’t you think that once the businesses re-open, the first call they will make is to hire everyone back?

For your safety, you will be seeing:

  • Patient temperature readings prior to performing dental procedures.
  • Questionnaires on travel and flu-like symptom histories.
  • Waiting room should only allow the patient, with proper spacing from others.
  • Personal protective equipment appropriate for the procedures performed (Correct masks, face shields, gowns)
  • Use high-speed evacuation suction for all dental procedures producing an aerosol.
  • Autoclaving: (Steam/pressure sterilization of all instruments).
  • Pre op rinses of 1.5 percent hydrogen peroxide before each appointment. (COVID-19 is vulnerable to oxidation; this will reduce the salivary load of oral microbes.)
  • Cleaning and disinfecting public areas and operatories between patients frequently, including door handles, chairs,and counters. Removal of magazines, reading materials, and other items that are not easily disinfected after being touched.

It should be noted, that dental offices have been doing 99% of the above since the AIDS epidemic of the 80’s. This is OHSA’s practice of “Universal Precautions”.

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