COVID-19 Screening Questionnaire
We are dedicated to going well beyond the current, mandated, minimum infection control standards in our efforts to provide your dental care with an overabundance of caution. We remain focused on performing infection prevention practices in our dental setting. At the bottom of this page you will find a summary of the standard precautions and policies we have stood behind for decades, following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines. In light of COVID-19, we have upgraded our precautions in the following ways:
Training and Educating Our Team
One of the most important things we are doing during this time is to train and educate our team:
- Our team has been re-training in proper hand washing techniques. This may seem simple, but it is the most important thing we can do to prevent spread of the virus. Yet research shows that it is often poorly complied with and usually not done well. Consequently, we have spent a lot of time ensuring that our team does it appropriately and does it often. Hand washing occurs before and after every patient encounter.
- Our team has trained and practiced the appropriate use of upgraded personal protective equipment (PPE) prior to caring for a patient to prevent contamination.
- We insist that any team member that is not feeling well to proactively stay home for two weeks and seek appropriate testing and care.
- Based off of guidelines from the CDC, CDPH, CDA, ADA, and OSHA, we have created a specific checklist of infection control and have not only trained on each item on the checklist, but confirmed competency and comfort in delivering on each item on the list by each of our team members.
- Our team is prepared to deliver your dental care with an over abundance of caution and commitment.
Team Protocols and Expectations
Before coming to work we:
- Take our temperature (we will not be working if any of us are experiencing symptoms of cough, sore throat, fever…etc.)
- Remove watches and rings to minimize risk
- Tie hair up and keep nails short
- Avoid extra accessories
At work we:
- Each team member will take their temperature at the beginning of every day and we will immediately send home anyone with an elevated temperature (99.8 F and above)
- Change out of our street clothes and into appropriate scrubs and work shoes as soon as we arrive and prior to entering the office
- Limit the number of staff providing their care to facilitate social distancing within the office and among team members
- Remove all clutter (pens, phones, etc.) and leave outside of patient operatory rooms
- Minimize our use of other Team member’s phones, desks, offices, computers and other instruments and equipment when possible
- Minimize personal cell phone use at work
After work we:
- Wash hands and arms with soap prior to leaving the office
- Remove scrubs to be appropriately laundered and change into our street clothes
- Sanitize phone, glasses, personal items prior to leaving the office
At home we are committed to:
- Showering with soap and water immediately upon returning home
- Minimizing visits to areas in the community where viral contamination may occur
- Continuing to practice excellent hand hygiene
- Avoiding social contact with friends/family that may have been affected by COVID-19
Patient Interviews and Social Distancing
Before patient arrives to their reserved appointment time we:
- Confirm patients are healthy and good candidates to receive dental care using the patient screening questions on the screening form at the bottom of this page. Should a patient answer yes to any of these questions, an appointment will not be scheduled and patients will be directed to testing and adequate medical care.
- Reschedule patients who report any signs of a cough or fever or who describe having any concerning warning signs.
- Instruct patients to call ahead and reschedule their appointment if they develop symptoms of a respiratory infection (e.g., cough, sore throat or fever) on the day they are scheduled to be seen.
- Promote social distancing of patients from the time they schedule until their reserved scheduled day.
- Have added significant additional spacing in the schedule so there are fewer people in the office at any given time
- Confirm a patient has remained healthy between the time they scheduled an appointment and their prior day appointment reminder.
As patients arrive to the office we:
- Expect all patients to be wearing a face covering
- Utilize a “virtual” waiting room, requesting patients to wait in their car or outside the office where they can contact us to confirm their arrival.
- Screen patients with the same screening questions and take their temperature. If a patient has a temperature of 100.4 or more, their appointment will be re-scheduled and directed to testing and adequate medial care.
- Escort patients to a hand washing station and directly to their reserved operatory, avoiding any common reception areas.
- Request all patients to use a 1% hydrogen peroxide oral rinse prior to treatment.
- Assess patients for respiratory symptoms and fever.
- Leave office doors open to avoid contact with door handles and improve the exchange of outside air, weather permitting.
- Limit the areas patients are allowed to visit in the office, ideally having patients in their dedicated operatory only for the entirety of their visit.
Dental Office Physical Improvements
To ensure our physical office is operating with an overabundance of caution, we:
- Removed all clutter and anything that is not easily disinfected from the reception area (magazines, area rugs, pillows, toys, etc.)
- Frequently wipe down with medical disinfectants all often touched areas including reception areas, restrooms, door handles, tables, light switches, computers…etc.
- Limit points of entry to the clinic, often inviting patients in the doors leading directly into their individual operatory
- Post visual alerts (e.g., signs, posters) at the entrance door advising patients of the COVID-19 risk and advising them not to enter the facility when ill.
- Installed medical-grade HEPA H13 air filters in each of the operatories and in additional functioning areas throughout the office. Each filter removes 99.97% of particles down to 0.1 microns as well as PM2.5 particles such as smoke, pollen, dust mites, and mold spores.
- Installed reception barriers, providing comfort in communication when needed at the reception area.
- Installed touch free soap dispensers in the restrooms.
- Installed hand sanitizer dispensers in each of the operatories and in the reception area.
- Upgraded any restroom and common room hardware.
- Confirmed our dental equipment lines are maintained with proper solutions and proper frequency.
- Confirmed water filtration systems are running at their highest performance.
Protocols of the Clinical Team
Our team remains focused and diligent in providing an environment you can trust. Together we:
- Address asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic transmission, implement source control, and require facemasks or cloth face coverings for everyone entering the dental setting (dental healthcare personnel and patients), regardless of whether they have COVID-19 symptoms.
- Actively screen everyone on the spot for fever and symptoms of COVID-19 before they enter the dental setting.
- Actively screen dental healthcare personnel on the spot for fever and symptoms before every shift.
- Utilize high evacuation suction and rubber dams to minimize aerosols in the operatories.
- All team members will wear procedure duty appropriate face masks at all times in all places of the office.
- Provide education and training to team members and patients regarding how, when, where and what type of face coverings are appropriate.
- Acquire and utilize appropriate PPE in accordance with OSHA PPE standards during COVID-19.
- Utilize appropriate N95 masks, surgical masks, and face shields, eye protection, gloves, and gowns appropriately, and confirm their successful placement prior to entering an operatory.
- Implement an N95 mask fit test protocol.
- Ensure all team members and patients are performing hand hygiene appropriately.
- Clean and disinfect rooms and equipment according to the CDC guidelines for infection control in a dental setting including:
- Cleaning and disinfect all surfaces promptly after patient care
- Applying an EPA-registered product for emerging viral pathogens for use against SARS-CoV-2, hospital grade disinfectant to all touched areas for the product’s labeled appropriate time
- Processing and sterilizing all non-disposable instrumentation with confirmed spore test and biological monitoring systems performed more frequently than recommended to ensure an overabundance of caution
- Employ a dedicated team member whose main focus is sterilization, disinfection and cleanliness.
We have remained steadfast in our commitment to deliver exceptional, modern, and esthetic dental care. We have further committed to utilizing the following protocols and techniques to support our high quality dentistry:
- Limit transport and movement of a patient outside of the treatment room.
- Place radiography and imaging equipment in patient operatories to reduce the need for patient transport.
- Minimize team members who enter the treatment room during a procedure.
- Allow treatment room outside doors to be kept open to allow for fresh air flow.
- Minimize aerosol generating procedures.
- Utilize custom, high speed evacuation instrumentation for hygiene and restorative treatment.
- Utilize rubber dams for restorative procedures to increase the ability to control treatment and the environment.
After Dental Treatment
Our focus and commitment does not change after your treatment is complete. After your visit, our team will continue with the following:
- All non-disposable medical equipment used for patient care will be cleaned and disinfected according to manufacturer’s instructions.
- Ensure that environmental cleaning and disinfection procedures are followed consistently and correctly.
- Apply an EPA-registered product for emerging viral pathogens for use against SARS-CoV-2, hospital grade disinfectant to all touched areas for the product’s labeled appropriate time.
- Encourage payment by contactless credit card, Weave text pay or credit card over the phone to encourage social distancing with our administrative team.
- Communicate regarding treatment plans, pre-treatment estimates, insurance claims, and financial obligations by email and phone.
- Utilize a special cleaning crew to clean and disinfect the office from top to bottom in preparation for the following day.
We trust that these protocols will help create an environment that our patients and team members will be confident in and proud of. Our goal is for you to feel secure in the knowledge that we are doing everything in our power to provide your dental care in a manner that protects you, your families, and our team.