Patient safety is our biggest priority. We, at Braces and Smiles dental clinic, are dedicated towards ensuring that patients have no risk when they come for their appointments.
Braces and Smiles has always maintained high levels of sterilization and disinfection protocols. During this COVID-19 pandemic, we have been very proactive in adapting to the changes as directed by the various governing dental bodies to ensure our patient’s safety. In this article we would like to run you through the various safety measures and precautions that we have adapted in our practice – to keep our patients safe – absolutely safe!
SMART SCHEDULING MEASURES
We will be attending to only those patients who have taken a prior appointment. No walk-in patients will be allowed in the clinic. We will also be spacing our appointments to avoid patients overlapping and crowding in the waiting area.We are following One patient at a time and zero waiting policy in the clinic.
AIR PURIFICATION AND VENTILATION – BREATHING CLEAN AIR
Keeping the air free of viruses is a challenge at most indoor places. We have taken a novel approach to tackling this problem – a combination of natural cross ventilation and hyper-active air purification systems. Research has shown that both methods are extremely effective in their own ways, when applied practically.
At the Reception: We have kept the windows open and the AC will be turned off to have natural cross ventilation in the waiting area.
Clinical area: To purify the air in the operatory in between patients, we have installed premium HEPA 14 filters to filter out 99.9% of the microorganisms from entire room every 6 minutes! This is following the recommendations given by the CDC for operation theatres in top level tertiary care hospitals.
We also open the windows for natural ventilation in between patients and space out our appointments to ensure enough time is given for this safety measure.
BARRIER FILMS WITH SANITIZATION & DISINFECTION
This safety measure is the cornerstone for all medical and clinical areas.
All the commonly touched surfaces of the dental chair unit, the light handles, and chair handles are protected by covering them with a barrier film which is changed after each patient. There is no chance of cross contamination with this technique.
Our staff members are regularly mopping the floor and sanitizing the chairs and other surfaces with quaternary ammonium compound disinfectant and isopropyl alcohol-based disinfectants as suggested by the EPA guidelines – in the waiting area and the dental operatorries.
PATIENT SAFETY PROTOCOL
We have set up a protocol to ensure the safety of our patients. We insist all our patients to compulsorily wear masks, carry minimal or no belongings to the clinic and preferably come alone for the treatment. Temperature and oxygen saturation check, disposable patient protective equipment, no-touch hand sanitization booth, pre-procedural rinse and disposable patient drapes are the other safety measures that we are following in our dental clinic. If you are keen on reading in detail about the most essential safety tips for any patient to keep in mind during their visit to a dentist during COVID-19 times, please read our blog 10 Not to be missed safety tips at the dentist during covid-19.
NO TOUCH PATIENT FLOW
A patient’s movement into the clinic, within the clinic and while exiting the clinic is done in a way that that they will not be needed to touch anything with their bare hands, except their own personal belongings. They are helped by the staff for everything possible from opening the doors to even keeping their personal belongings safely in a packet.
We have removed all magazines and newspapers from our waiting area to avoid cross contamination by touch.
DESIGNATED SOCIAL DISTANCING (DSD)
We have designated seats in the reception keeping in mind the 6 feet social distancing safety measure.
We have clearly demarcated the reception area with a line beyond which patients are not allowed to walk through to maintain social distancing at all times with our receptionist.
PREMIUM STERILIZATION, AS ALWAYS
We have a separate sterilization zone to clean, sanitise and sterilize all our instruments and equipment. All our instruments are sterilized and packed in separate pouches and opened only at the time of use for each patient. This helps to prevent any cross contamination.
PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT
All our doctors, dental assistants and receptionist will be wearing medical grade, high quality personal protective equipment. PPE will include advanced respirators, mask, face shield, goggles, gloves, gowns, scrubs, and coveralls to completely cover them from top to bottom. This is an important measure to ensure the safety of our patients and doctors & staff members as it prevents the chances of cross contamination and spread of infection.
SEPERATE DONING AND DOFFING AREA
We have converted one of our clinical operatories into a donning and doffing area for all our doctors and assistants where they wear and remove their PPE. This safety measure ensures the prevention of transmission of any virus particles in other areas of the clinic.
CONTACTLESS PAYMENT MEASURES
All modes of digital payment are accepted at the clinic to make it contactless and easier for our patients.