Dentists in Florida are now allowed to open and provide routine dental care to patients, but you may be wondering if it’s safe to see the dentist in Sarasota. The answer is “yes.” Dentists throughout Florida are taking special precautions to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 while treating patients, and to create a safe environment for patients. Here is a look at a few of the ways that the CDC recommends dentists protect their patients and team members.
The CDC has recommended that all dental staff wear adequate PPE including surgical and N95 masks, face shields, protective glasses, gowns, and disposable gloves when treating patients. Front-office staff members are also recommended to wear masks to help prevent the spread of aerosolized saliva particles that could spread pathogens like COVID-19.
Patient questionnaires are being introduced at many dental offices. These questionnaires include questions about your recent travel habits, whether you’ve been in contact with someone who has contracted COVID-19, and questions about any recent symptoms you may have shown such as a dry cough, shortness of breath, or fever.
In addition, social distancing has been recommended as a key way to help prevent the potential spread of infectious disease. To help minimize contact between patients, some dentists are seeing fewer patients and are spreading out appointments throughout the day, and requesting that patients come in alone, when possible.
Waiting rooms should also be reconfigured to keep 6 feet of distance between each person, and all common items like magazines and pamphlets should be removed to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19.
The CDC has recognized hand hygiene as one of the most important ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19. All dental team members are recommended to follow proper hand washing guidance before and after treating patients, and when handling any material such as used PPE that may be infected.
It’s recommended by the CDC that dental offices take extra precautions to clean dental operatories, such as cleaning and disinfecting room surfaces with a standard cleaner, and then using an EPA-registered hospital-grade disinfectant to clean the surfaces again.
Dental tools, supplies, and equipment must also be cleaned and sanitized according to OSHA, CDC, and ADA guidelines to ensure proper hygiene and to minimize the risk of spreading COVID-19 and other infectious viruses.
In addition to all of the above precautions, it’s recommended that all commonly-touched surfaces used by patients and staff members (doorknobs, counters, seating, bathrooms, etc.) should be sanitized regularly using an EPA-registered disinfectant.
At Sarasota Bay Dental, we’ll be following all of these precautions and best practices when we open up to see patients for routine cleaning and other dental appointments in Sarasota. For status updates and to see when you can schedule an appointment with Dr. Robert Miller, feel free to contact us online or give us a call at (941) 200-3723.