Never in our lifetime have we experienced such a worldwide health crisis as we are currently. Protecting the health of ourselves, our families, and our community members has become a major group effort! Wearing masks, frequent hand washing, and sanitizer use is now the norm for everyone. Infection control has always been a top priority for us at Cheek Dental, but COVID-19 has certainly put our procedures to the test!
Dental offices have been given special infection control recommendations and guidelines for COVID by the American Dental Association (ADA), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). There is so much new information for us dentists to sort through during this pandemic! Many dental offices were closed for two months, and their dental employees, including ours, certainly did not get to enjoy a 60-day “staycation.” During the time that our practice was closed, we worked to develop new protocols to prevent the spread of COVID within our dental office as well as researched the types of personal protective equipment needed to keep our employees safe.
Some changes you may notice at your next visit with your dentist are…
- A call or message before your appointment asking some COVID screening questions. (It is highly likely that you will again be asked those same questions once you arrive at the office.)
- Having to wait in your car instead of in the reception area to maintain social distancing.
- Empty reception rooms with will no magazines or children’s toys since those items are difficult to clean and disinfect.
- Having to wash your hands or use hand sanitizer upon arrival as well as having your temperature taken. You may even be asked to use a special mouth rinse.
- Medical grade air purifiers in the office to help pull viral particles out of the air.
- The dental team wearing an increased amount of protective equipment including double masks or respirators, eyewear, visors, and head coverings as well as jackets or gowns.
- The need for a sweater since the office temperature will likely be lowered as the staff will feel hot wearing all the extra protective equipment.
These are just a few of the changes we have implemented for the safety of ourselves and our patients. Our team actually has a multiple page document that we have assembled of all the necessary steps we are taking to ensure that each patient and team member is protected to the best of our ability. But we love what we do, so we will do what it takes to keep practicing dentistry and serving our community. Stay safe and be sure to keep up with your oral health during this time as we know there is a link between dental and overall health!
Dr. Cristi Cheek is the owner of Cheek Dental here in East Cobb. You may contact her at 770-993-3775 or visit www.cheekdental.com.