To Our Valued Patients and Friends,
Your health and safety have always been our #1 priority. And COVID-19 has only deepened our commitment to you.
Our office adheres to the stringent procedures outlined in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Guidelines for Infection Control in Dental Health-Care Settings. The thorough and rigorous cleaning, sterilization, and disinfection of all instruments and surfaces are routine and second nature to us, as they are throughout dentistry—precautions that make dental offices highly uncommon sources of disease transmission. We’d like to explain the many steps we always follow to keep you, and ourselves, safe, including the additional precautions we’ve implemented specifically to address COVID-19.
How We Sanitize Exam and Treatment Rooms: Before you enter the exam room, all surfaces have been cleaned and disinfected, including the dental chair, light, drawer handles, and countertops. Basically, we sanitize everything that has been touched or could bave been touched. Any protective covers that are necessary are replaced as well. The chemicals we use are professional-grade and designed specifically for clinical environments. We also wash our hands frequently, and always before seeing patients.
How We Sanitize Instruments: Our non-disposable items like handpieces (commonly known as drills) and other instruments, are carefully cleaned and sterilized in a designated area of our practice using hospital-grade equipment. It’s not like washing dishes at home. We use precision tools like ultrasonic baths for cleaning, and high-temperature autoclaves to sterilize. We also use tests and indicators to monitor these processes, and visually inspect instruments at every step. Once again, cleaners, detergents and other chemicals being used are designed specifically for clinical, not household, use.
How We Use Disposable Items: We use as many disposable items as possible, such as needles, gloves, masks, etc. After each patient, disposable items are carefully discarded according to current guidelines and all members of the treatment team thoroughly wash their hands.
How We’re Responding To COVID-19: We’re taking extra precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 including:
- Cleaning our office using products from the EPA’s list of registered surface disinfectants for use against COVID-19.
- Carefully following all national, state and local guidelines, including the CDC’s specific recommendations for our care providers to use Personal Protective Equipment like masks, eye protection, etc.
- Pre-screening patients and not treating anyone with a fever, cough or other symptoms of respiratory illness,
- Not allowing staff members to work if they are experiencing any respiratory symptoms.
- Taking extra care to regularly wipe down common touchpoints like door handles.
- Streamlining our procedures for check-in, removing unnecessary items from our reception area, asking patients to come alone to their appointments, and making accommodations for patients who prefer to wait outside or in their vehicles.
How We’re Protecting Ourselves: The safety of our dental team is Job #1, so we have recently upgraded some of the personal equipment we use in our office to align with the CDC’s new guidelines. Because, like you, we have family and loved ones who rely on us, so working safely is extremely important to us.
How We’re Welcoming You Back: You’ll notice some changes in advance of your next appointment. We’ll be calling you prior to your arrival to screen you for any symptoms that would require us to postpone your appointment and direct you to your healthcare provider for treatment. On that call, we can also answer any questions you may have and explain our new procedures for when you arrive to your appointment. We may take your temperature, or screen you in person for symptoms prior to your appointment. While these steps are inconvenient, they are necessary to ensure we’re doing everything we can to protect all of our patients as well as our team.
Dental care is vital to stay healthy and prevent minor issues form progressing into painful, complex and expensive conditions. Please rest assured that our office is likely one of the most thoroughly cleaned and disinfected environments you can possibly be in. We’ve missed you and value your trust and loyalty and look forward to seeing you again soon.
Dr. Jay Craig and Team