As the COVID-19 pandemic has continued into 2021, many patients have been wondering if it’s safe to go to the dentist for routine cleanings and other procedures. While the CDC advised postponing all non-essential dental procedures early in the pandemic, they have updated their recommendations to allow dental visits as long as both the patient and the dental office follow enhanced protocols designed to avoid spreading the virus. At American Dental, we have always been committed to good hygiene at each of our 7 locations in the Chicago area, but we want you to know we’re ramping up our efforts to keep you safe during the pandemic. Here are the top 10 measures we’re taking to protect our patients:
Education and Training
Knowledge is power; that’s why we’re providing job-specific training to our staff, along with refresher courses to ensure all protocols will be followed at all times now and in the future.
Encouraging Physical Distancing for Patients and Staff
The CDC recommends maintaining a 6-foot distance between yourself and other people. We’re taking measures to follow this recommendation among our staff and we’re also staggering appointments to make it easier for our patients to stay physically distant from one another.
Postponing Non-Essential Visits Under Some Circumstances
Slowing the spread of COVID-19 is everyone’s responsibility; that’s why we may need to postpone your appointment under some circumstances. If you’re feeling ill or have symptoms of COVID-19, please call us right away and we will be happy to move your appointment to another time.
Screening Our Patients by Phone before They Come In
Our staff will be checking in with each patient by phone before their appointment to confirm that they are not showing COVID-19 symptoms.
Requiring Face Coverings to be Worn at All Our Locations
Masks should be worn any time you’re in public and that includes your visit to the dentist. We ask that you keep your mask on until your dentist or hygienist instructs you to remove it.
Monitoring the Health of Our Staff and Granting Sick Leave for Those Showing Symptoms
During the pandemic, we will be keeping a close eye on the health of our staff members and providing sick leave so they can take time off if they begin showing any symptoms.
Enhanced Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Protocols
American Dental staff will always wear all CDC recommended PPE, including a mask, safety goggles, gloves, gowns, and full face shields.
Enhanced Hand Hygiene Practices
Hand washing goes a long way towards slowing the spread of the virus. We will always follow stringent medical hand-washing protocols and we encourage you to wash your hands before and after your appointment, and to bring hand sanitizer in case you can’t get to a sink.
Enhanced Equipment Maintenance
Certain equipment used in dental offices has the potential to spread COVID-19. American Dental is following the CDC’s enhanced maintenance protocols for water lines and other equipment so you can feel safe during your appointment.
Cleaning and Disinfection of Exam Rooms
We will always clean and disinfect the exam room after every patient visit. When you sit down in the exam chair, you can be certain it’s clean and safe for you.
The COVID-19 pandemic is one of the biggest challenges we have ever had to face. If we all work together, we can continue to provide dental services in a manner that’s safe for our patients as well as our staff. We will be following all the protocols listed above; we urge you to do everything in your power to prevent spreading the virus when you come in for an appointment. Visit our appointment page to find the American Dental location closest to you and schedule your appointment online today!