I hope you and your family are safe and healthy as we continue to quarantine.
Our offices at Midlothian Dental Center have been closed since March 17, only open for emergency dental needs. Now, as of May 1, we reopened our doors for dental appointments.
We carefully considered this reopening, and we only do so because we know we can take precautions to keep everyone safe and healthy. We are confident about our ability to treat patients while still doing what is needed to prevent the spread of COVID-19, in accordance with guidelines from the CDC and American Dental Association.
We want you to know what to expect and what steps our team is taking to ensure the safety and health of every patient and staff member.
Here is what will be different about your next dental appointment:
Protocol For Patients
Before Your Appointment –
- You may be asked additional questions when you make your appointment. Before your appointment, we will confirm you have not traveled to a high-risk area, that you have not been exposed and are not experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
During Your Appointment –
- We require that every patient comes to their dental appointment already wearing a mask.
- When you arrive for your appointment, call the front desk and wait in your vehicle. A staff member will come to take your temperature using a temporal, forehead and infrared thermometer.
- We will then bring you directly to the chair where they are treated. There will be no visit to the front desk or waiting room in order to follow social distancing recommendations.
- Based on CDC and ADA guidelines, we will give you 1 percent hydrogen peroxide to rinse for 1 minute. This kills any virus in the mouth.
- We will use a dental dam for restorative appointments, which is a non-latex sheet. This is used one time only, and helps to isolate the mouth and throat from the room to prevent exposure. Typically we use dental dams 10-15 percent of patients – now, we will use them for all restorative appointments.
Between each patient, we follow a specific process to ensure a clean, disinfected environment for your dental appointment. These are protocols we followed even before COVID-19 became a concern, but now we understand that patients are more interested in what happens between patients at our office –
Cleaning Dental Tools
Every instrument used during an appointment is either thrown away or autoclaved. What is an autoclave? This is a sterilization system that is a heat pressure cooker, which kills all bacteria and all viruses. (It is what is used for surgical tools.)
Cleaning The Station
Every surface is thoroughly cleaned, and anything the patient touches is wiped down with disinfectants. This includes everything from the plastic on the overhead light, to the buttons controlling the chair.
Using Protective Equipment
We use medical-grade gloves and masks for PPE, as well as the same gowns and safety glasses that are used in hospitals.
Ultimately, if you are concerned about something, please don’t hesitate to call us. We are here to field any questions. For anyone who is not comfortable coming into the office but has a dental concern, we can often help assess your condition by photos you send us.