Dental practices across the country are preparing to reopen after being closed because of COVID-19. Only seeing emergency patients, they are taking extra precautions when it comes to safety and cleanliness to ensure both staff and patients remain in a virus-free zone. But how can you be sure that your office is ready to resume normal, day-to-day operations? Let’s find out.
Should I Wait to Reopen?
If you’re hesitant about reopening, you’re not alone. Although most are ready to return to a level of normalcy and continue helping patients no matter the problem, there is a bit of concern by both staff and clients as to how safe and clean the dentist’s office will be.
A few things you should consider include:
- Can I afford to keep my doors closed for a while longer?
- How will this decision affect my patients and their struggles with sleep apnea?
- What measures can I implement that will ensure everyone who enters my office that they are safe?
Once you feel comfortable and confident in the answers to these questions, you can decide as to whether you should reopen at this time.
What Recommendations Should You Be Following?
So what exactly are dental teams doing to keep everyone safe? Here are a few recommendations set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that you should be following:
- Practice thorough hand washing and appropriate hand hygiene. This means washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before putting on gloves and after taking them off, when handling any instrument or equipment with bare hands, and before and after treating a patient.
- Wearing appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE). This includes gloves, a disposable gown, facial masks, a face shield, and protective eyewear.
- Using single-use instruments when possible. Otherwise, following manufacturer instructions regarding the proper sterilization of equipment and utensils before reuse.
- Increasing the sterilization and disinfecting of any instruments, equipment, and surfaces.
- Pre-screening all patients during the scheduling of their appointment to ensure no one comes into the office with symptoms or who have been sick.
Under normal circumstances, these guidelines might not seem out of the norm; however, in an effort to ease minds and reduce anxiety levels of both your staff and patients, go the extra mile to practice these guidelines. All who enter your dental office will thank you for it.
About 21st Century Sleep Seminars
Dr. Kent Smith is a top professional in sleep medicine who has experience in treating, writing, and speaking about sleep disorders. His wealth of knowledge has helped other dentists integrate sleep apnea treatment into their own practices. At 21st Century Sleep Seminars, we can provide you with the information, tips, advice, and network of professionals you need to effectively treat these sleep disorders your patients are facing. To learn more, visit our website or call (972) 255-3712.