Although you might be aware of how important orthodontic check-ups are, you may be wondering whether it’s even safe to visit the orthodontist in the midst of a pandemic. It’s understandable to be cautious these days, and we want to assure you that the orthodontist’s office is actually a pretty safe place to be. While we’ve always followed standard safety protocols recommended by the state dental board and American Dental Association, we’ve implemented several extra precautions to ensure the safety of our patients and team. Here are four important ways we’re keeping you safe.
1. New Screening Measures
Prior to your appointment, you can expect to be asked the following screening questions:
- Have you been sick in the past 3 weeks?
- Have you had close contact with an individual diagnosed with COVID-19 or experiencing symptoms?
If you answer “yes” to either of these questions, we will ask you to reschedule your appointment.
In addition to these pre-screening questions, we will also take your temperature when you arrive for your appointment. If it is above 100.4 ०F, you will be asked to reschedule. Temperature screenings are not limited to patients; we also check the temperature of each of our team members daily. Anyone who is sick is required to stay home.
2. Social Distancing
We’ve also implemented a few measures to help us adhere to social distancing guidelines as much as possible. Wherever feasible, patients are asked to wait in their car as opposed to the welcome area. We’ve also decreased the number of chairs in our welcome area to ensure there is adequate space between patients. To minimize the number of individuals in the practice at one time, visitors are limited to patients and, if necessary, one parent, guardian or translator. We are also asking our team members to maintain a 6-foot distance from each other.
3. Personal Protective Equipment
You can rest assured that our entire clinical and non-clinical team will be wearing the appropriate personal protective equipment during your visit. All clinical team members, such as our orthodontists, wear:
- N95 or KN95 mask, or a Level 3 surgical mask with a face shield
- Eyewear with side shields
- Gown or lab jacket
In addition, all non-clinical team members, such as front desk staff, wear reusable or surgical masks.
If you are visiting a practice in Kentucky, please note that state guidelines require anyone in a healthcare setting to wear a mask or face covering. This can be a scarf, bandanna or other covering. If you have an upcoming appointment, please bring your own mask. You will also be given protective eyewear during your treatment.
4. Sterilization and Disinfection
While our standard protocols have always helped to protect our patients and team members from communicable diseases like the coronavirus, we have increased the frequency of our sterilization and disinfection practices in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition:
- All team members wash hands more frequently.
- Food items, magazines, books, toys and other clutter have been removed from common and clinical areas.
- Countertops, door knobs, tables, chairs and other common surfaces are wiped down often.
We’ve Missed You and Your Smile!
We hope this helps assure you that you’ll be safe during your orthodontic visit. If you need to schedule an appointment, please don’t hesitate to contact us. As always, your health is our number one priority. We can’t wait to see you again!