The first confirmed case of COVID-19 in the United States was reported on January 20, 2020. The World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic on March 11, 2020.
For 8 weeks, from March 19 to May 11, Radiance Dental treated only dental emergencies to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 and free up valuable personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontline healthcare workers .
To date, there have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 transmitted in a dental office according to both WHO and CDC. Strict compliance with industry rules and regulations has always been a priority in dentistry since we are a profession with high occupational hazards. We have always been, and continue to be committed to maintaining the highest standard of infection control, sanitization, and accessibility to PPEs. Our office has always strived to incorporate the latest engineering devices to protect ourselves and our patients. We have always used an IsoLite and IsoVac for continuous suction and aerosol mitigation . Instead of air turbine handpieces and polishers, we have always used electric handpieces and polishers, which are quieter and produce less aerosol plumes.
Since our return to comprehensive care, we have instituted the following additional preventive protocols:
- All courtesy items (e.g., magazines, coffee bar, infused water, and toys) have been removed.
- Patients are asked to wait in their cars until the previous patient has left and the clinic has been properly disinfected.
- All patients are requested to don a mask and use hand sanitizer upon entry into the clinic. The clinic will provide masks and hand sanitizer.
- All patients and staff are screened for COVID-19 symptoms and temperature scans taken upon entry into the clinic.
- Appointments are staggered and care is limited to one patient/ family at a time whenever possible.
- Barriers have been placed to contain aerosol and maximize air filtration.
- The waiting area and each treatment room has a medical grade H13 True HEPA air filtration unit that can remove 99.9% of the particles down to 0.1 microns.
- Because SAR-CoV-2 is vulnerable to oxidation, patients will be asked to do a pre-procedural rinse with 1.5% hydrogen peroxide to reduce the oral microbial load.
- Between appoinments, treatment room(s) are left vacant for at least 30 minutes to allow for the aerosol to settle. Surfaces are decontaminated and disinfected with an EPA N list disinfectant. The air is disinfected by cold fogging with hypochlorous acid. Hypochlorous acid at 200 ppm has the ability to penetrate the protective lipid barrier of SAR-CoV-2 quickly and destroy its proteins in a matter of seconds. Hypochlorous acid is safe, eco-friendly and can be made in-office with an electrolysis unit using non-iodized salt and distilled vinegar.
- More robust PPE- isolation gowns, surgical caps, N95 respirators and face shields, all of which are changed or disinfected after each patient.
This has become our new normal at Radiance Dental. We are doing everything in our power to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.