The state of Florida is opening up as we continue to battle this unprecedented international pandemic. We thought it would be prudent to remind our patients of how South Florida Center for Periodontics & Implant Dentistry is still committed to maintaining a healthy workplace and safe environment for our patients and employees.
We continue to adhere to policies and recommendations made by the Florida Department of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as they become available. We’ve even adopted the “Corona Bump” in lieu of shaking hands like we once did!
Universal Precautions Work
A rich history of data supports the use of universal precautions to protect healthcare workers and patients from contracting communicable diseases, including coronaviruses. These precautions began in the 1980s and included use of masks, gloves, disposable materials, rigid sterilization procedures and meticulous surface cleaning. The goal of these measures were to minimize the possibility of the spread of fluid-borne diseases like hepatitis, HIV, MERSA and other contaminants.
Coronavirus Covid-19 refocused everyone on the possibility of airborne spread of infection in addition to those already successfully managed with universal precautions. We implemented new protocols to address this new concern which focused on limiting possible contacts between people (patients and employees) and eliminating potentially contaminated air. Dental hygiene and doctor appointments were spread out to socially distance patients, which is why you won’t see many people waiting to be seated in the reception area. Furniture was spread out and plexiglass shields were installed to separate our administrative areas from patients. Most importantly, we installed 16 special air filtration systems throughout the office to capture and inactivate any potential contaminated air that could be unknowingly exhaled by an asymptomatic carrier. We also use an anti-viral solution as a pre-treatment rinse and coolant in all our equipment to reduce the possible viability of any exhaled air, droplets or aerosols that may be generated. We also have a monthly service to provide hospital-grade disinfection and have implemented more complete PPE. We’re happy to discuss our strategy with you when you visit, or you can read about these measures here.
Making Sense of It All
Many of our protocols are firmly rooted in science (like wearing eye protection, masks and gloves). While the true impact of some of the more stringent protocols we are employing (air purifiers in hygiene and surgical operatories and plexiglass dividers for example) have yet to be fully confirmed, they make good, proactive sense. These measures help us feel confident we are doing everything possible to ensure our practice is fully safe for us all.
Always With Your Safety in Mind
For years, SFC has adopted a proactive attitude when it comes to infection control. As a result, we are simply continuing to practice these universal precautions. The coronavirus pandemic is no different. In a way, we treat everyone as if they are infectious. This is the most efficacious way to protect us all.
Please don’t hesitate to call us with any questions. We’re here to provide you with the best periodontal experience possible, and that always includes addressing any sort of safety concerns, COVID-19 or not!