TEL: 631. 417. 3636
The wellbeing and safety of our patients, our team members, and our community is always our number one priority. We use Standard Precautions for all patient care. Standard precautions are a set of infection control practices used to prevent transmission of diseases that can be acquired by contact with blood, body fluids, non-intact skin (including rashes), and mucous membranes. These CDC guidelines are based on a risk assessment and make use of common-sense practices and personal protective equipment use that protect healthcare providers from infection and prevent the spread of infection from patient to patient. The following infection control protocols are standard practice in our dental office:
Hand Hygiene: Hand hygiene refers to both washing with plain or anti-bacterial soap and water and to the use of alcohol gel to decontaminate hands. Hand hygiene is performed before and after contact with a client, immediately after touching blood, body fluids, non-intact skin, mucous membranes, or contaminated items (even when gloves are worn during contact), immediately after removing gloves, when moving from contaminated body sites to clean body sites during client care, after touching objects and medical equipment in the immediate client-care vicinity, before eating, after using the restroom, and after coughing or sneezing into a tissue as part of respiratory hygiene.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): PPE includes items such as gloves, gowns, masks, respirators, and eyewear used to create barriers that protect skin, clothing, mucous membranes, and the respiratory tract from infectious agents. Gloves are when touching blood, body fluids, non-intact skin, mucous membranes, and contaminated items. Surgical mask and goggles or face shields are used if there is a reasonable chance that a splash or spray of blood or body fluids may occur to the eyes, mouth, or nose. Gowns are worn if skin or clothing is likely to be exposed to blood or body fluids. PPE are to be removed in proper order immediately after use and hands washed.
Cleaning & Disinfection: Client care areas, common waiting areas, and other areas where clients may have potentially contaminated surfaces or objects that are frequently touched by staff and clients (doorknobs, sinks, toilets, other surfaces and items in close proximity to clients) are cleaned routinely with EPA registered disinfectants. Housekeeping surfaces such as floors and walls are routinely cleaned with a detergent only or a detergent/disinfectant product. When possible, plastic barriers are used to cover areas or equipment which may come into contact with possible contaminants. Protective barriers are changed and replaced with new barriers between every patient.
Respiratory Hygiene: Measures to avoid spread of respiratory secretions are promoted to help prevent respiratory disease transmission. These include: Covering the nose/mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing or using the crook of the elbow to contain respiratory droplets. Using tissues to contain respiratory secretions and discarding in the nearest waste receptacle after use. Performing hand hygiene immediately after contact with respiratory secretions and contaminated objects/materials. Asking clients with signs and symptoms of respiratory illness to wear a surgical mask while waiting common areas or placing them immediately in examination rooms or areas away from others. Provide tissues and no-touch receptacles for used tissue disposal. Spacing seating in waiting areas at least three feet apart to minimize close contact among persons in those areas. Supplies such as tissues, waste baskets, alcohol gel, and surgical masks are provided in waiting and other common areas in local public health agencies.
Waste Disposal: All used sharp instruments, contaminated instruments, single use instruments, contaminated supplies and PPEs are properly disposed of in accordance with the stated guidelines.
Safe Injection Practices: Safe handling of needles and other sharp devices are components of Standard Precautions that are implemented to prevent health care worker exposure to blood borne pathogens.
Sterilization and disinfection of patient-care items and devices: Infection control programs all include the cleaning and sterilization of reusable dental instruments and devices. Non-disposable instruments and equipment are debrided and disinfected prior to placement in sealed packaging and proper sterilization by high heat and pressure in commercial sterilization machines to kill all bacteria, spores, and viruses. Sterilized packages are not opened until needed at the time of treatment. Proper sterilization is routinely verified and certified by submission of samples to third party testing centers.
Specific Precautions Based On The Recent COVID-19 Pandemic
We have limited our services to urgent care only at this time. This means, we will only provide services to patients who present with severe dental pain, infection, swelling or trauma. All non-urgent appointments will be postponed to a later time. We urge patients to come alone to their appointed time whenever possible. This will eliminate the possibility of crowding in our waiting area. We ask our patients to call ahead to report on any signs of illness including fever or respiratory symptoms. Any patient with symptoms is advised to consult with his or her physician and not to come in. We also ask our patients to fill out our registration and patient information questionnaire on their own computers at home by singing in to our secure online registration center whenever possible. Patients are advised to wash their hands or use hand sanitizer provided at our office. All magazines, books, or commonly handled items in our waiting areas are removed at this time. Our staff is also instructed to keep a safe distance wherever possible, and use Standard Precautions at all times.