As the coronavirus pandemic becomes more and more prominent in our everyday lives, it becomes more apparent that our everyday way of life needs to undergo some changes in order for us to successfully overcome the situation while remaining as healthy and happy as possible. But this does not mean that our lives have to come to a complete stop; your dental health is still important, and should not be put on the back burner. Here at Willow Glen Dental Specialists, we are happy to announce that we are open and caring for patients amidst the COVID-19 crisis. Continue reading for more information about our expertly-designed action plan for operating as recommended by the CDC, ADC, and OSHA.
More Information About the Coronavirus
If you have switched on a television or scrolled through social media in the past month or so, you almost certainly came across something pertaining to the coronavirus. Officially known as COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019), this illness is an infectious disease that is easily spread through coming into close contact with infected individuals. It is commonly spread through breathing, talking, sneezing, and coughing. This has allowed the virus to spread at alarming rates, disrupting lives all around the world.
John Hopkins University recently released some information about coronavirus that we have used in the development of our pandemic action plan. This information is as follows:
- COVID-19 is not a living organism. It is a protein molecule that is covered by a protective layer of fat.
- When COVID-19 molecules are absorbed by the cells of the ocular, nasal, or buccal mucosa, the molecules change the genetic makeup of the cells. This is also known as mutation.
- The mutation is what steadily infiltrates the body, converting the cells into aggressor and multiplier cells for the virus and infecting the individual.
- The virus is surprisingly fragile.
- The protective outer layer of fat can be dissolved using alcohol, water above 25 degrees celsius in temperature, and antibacterial soap.
What Can I Do To Protect Myself From COVID-19?
There are many steps you can take in order to protect yourself from COVID-19. Keeping the information you just learned in mind, take the following steps:
- Remain quarantined in your house as much as possible; limit your trips outside of the house to things that are absolutely necessary.
- Do not have any social gatherings; keep your social interactions limited to those who live with you and take advantage of digital communication with your friends and family.
- If you have to leave your house, equip yourself with a mask and gloves if possible.
- Maintain a distance of a minimum of 6ft from strangers while in public. This minimizes the chance of placing yourself or others in danger of catching the virus.
- Avoid using cash and change currency.
- Carry hand sanitizer with you and use it whenever possible; alcohol dissolves the protective layer of fat around the virus molecule.
- Frequently wash your hands with warm or hot water. Lather vigorously for a minimum of 20 seconds.
Your Dental Health Doesn’t Have to Take a Backseat
While many businesses have had to close their doors during this pandemic, we are happy to share that we are still open and ready to help you manage your dental health. Of course, due to the circumstances, we have had to make some changes in our day-to-day operations. Following guidelines set by the CDC, ADA, and OSHA, we have developed an effective action plan for the coronavirus. Our new actions and policies are as follows:
- Social distancing is being practiced with a limited amount of people that are allowed to be inside the office at one time.
- Prior to your appointment, we will give you a call to gather information about your exposure to COVID-19 and to update your medical history.
- When you arrive for your appointment, rather than walking in and checking in with our reception staff, we ask that you give us a call from the parking lot to check in. This allows us to bring you straight to your operatory room once it is ready.
- Before we escort you into the office, your temperature and blood pressure will be taken inside your car. At this time you will also receive a level 3 disposable mask that you will be required to wear during your appointment. This will serve as an extra level of protection for both yourself as well as our team. You are welcome to bring the mask home with you after your appointment.
- We ask that once you are in your operatory room that you please wash your hands with warm water and antibacterial soap for a minimum of 20 seconds.
- After you have washed your hands, we will ask that you rinse your mouth with listerine for one minute before we begin any work inside the mouth. The high alcohol content in listerine is detrimental to the virus.
- We will then ask that you rinse with hydrogen peroxide for about a minute. These rinses act as an extra level of protection for our team as they care for you.
- HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filters will be used in all common areas within the office as well as each individual operatory room.
As usual, we will be closely following these guidelines set forth by the CDC, ADA, and OSHA:
- All surfaces within the office will regularly be wiped down and sanitized. This includes countertops, keyboards, door handles, and pens.
- Each operatory will be completely disinfected between uses.
- All instruments are thoroughly disinfected and sanitized between uses, with a fresh unopened pack readily available for each patient’s appointment.
- Hand sanitizer with a high alcohol content is readily available all throughout the office, and team members as well as patients are strongly encouraged to make use of them whenever possible.
The above steps are all protective measures that we normally take on a daily basis to keep both ourselves as well as our patients safe when visiting our office. With the spread of the coronavirus, we are ensuring that we are especially diligent about closely following these guidelines and measures.
While of course the coronavirus pandemic has raised concern and has changed many things all around us, we here at Willow Glen Dental Specialists believe that we can take this situation and make the best of it by continuing to work hard in order to provide our patients with the safe and professional dental care that they deserve. To learn more about the protective measures that we are taking and to schedule an appointment with us, give us a call to speak with a member of our team.