New Safety Standards
We at Meadowgate Family Dental want to thank all our patients for their continued support and patience during this Covid-19 pandemic. Despite not having an exact date from the New York State Dental Association or the governor’s office, there are indications that we may get the green light to resume operations in our ‘new normal’ by June 1st. Please once again bear with us as we wait to get the definitive word from authorities.
In the meantime, I would like to take this opportunity to explain to you how things will look different to you at your next appointment. Please understand that all these changes are meant to create as safe an environment as possible for our patients, staff and consequently all our families. We are reducing our patient volume initially in order to have more time in between appointments to create a safer and cleaner environment for you.
Things begin with making your appointment. We will ask if you have been feeling ill or exhibiting any symptoms or fevers or have been exposed to anyone ill or with symptoms themselves, or if you have traveled recently. Should you answer yes to any questions, we may ask you to reschedule your appointment to make sure you’re well and to protect other patients and staff. Prior to your appointment, we will send a reminder and questionnaire to go through any symptoms again. At the time of your appointment, we will ask that you remain in your vehicle until we text or call you to come in, bypassing our waiting area which will be a quick screening station to triage and take your temperature with an infrared thermometer. Once screening is completed, you will immediately proceed to your treatment room. Please note that for the immediate future, we are asking everyone to remain in their vehicles or wait for their family member or companions in their vehicles for proper social distancing. The waiting room will be temporarily unavailable except for absolute need be basis. Should a family have appointments together, we ask that one member come in at a time while the other member or members remain in their vehicles.
Our front desk area is now enclosed in plexiglass as a protection barrier between patients and staff. All patients are asked to have facial barriers such as a mask upon arrival and to sanitize their hands prior to entering our office utilizing the various sanitization stations at the entry and throughout the office. We have removed magazines, children’s toys and the beverage counter from the waiting room to minimize exposure for anyone and to have better access to flat surfaces for better disinfection. You might see a staff member disinfecting commonly exposed surfaces, countertops, doorknobs and handles multiple times a day for increased infection control.
Our clinical staff will look a little different to you as they will be dressed in scrubs, gowns, head cover, masks, glasses and face shields. We will remain in that attire during your time with us and I regret not being able to shake anyone’s hands as I have done all my life and career! Once we’ve completed your appointment, we will direct your exit via another route to expedite your check out process quickly and reappoint as necessary.
For the safety of our patrons and staff, we have also implemented multiple engineering controls for better air quality control and aerosol mitigation. Please note that the safety of our patients and staff is our number one priority. Even though its nearly impossible to guarantee a 100% safe environment, we would like to come as close to 100% as humanly possible. In addition to our usual infection control procedures such as using standard high-speed evacuation to remove debris and aerosols from the mouth, we have now added ReLeaf and Mr. Thirsty products with a second high speed evacuation to further reduce any aerosols. We invite you to visit those websites for a demonstration of their efficiency. For ReLeaf information and YouTube demonstration visit: https://www.kulzerus.com/en_us/en_us/dentist_2/products_from_a_to_z_1/ivory_1/ivory_releaf.aspx
For Mr. Thirsty visit: https://www.zirc.com/products/isolation. We have also acquired ‘Vanguard Gold Mobile’ by Vanimin which is an external suction unit designed to safely capture chairside aerosols protecting our treatment rooms from further airborne contaminants. It operates much like a vacuum cleaner but with much higher sophistication including separation compartments for liquids and a Stage 2 HEPA Filter 99.97% @ 0.3 Micron – Equal to MERV 17 – For Microbes. uses a flexible suction tubing that can be adjusted and positioned for optimal location near the patient. Please Visit: https://www.vaniman.com/product/gold-mobile-extraoral-dental-suction/
In order to further mitigate any possible remaining aerosols, our office has recently installed Ultraviolet-C(UVC) lights and a MERV 17 air filter inside our forced air heating and air conditioning HVAC system. Visit: https://www.lennoxpros.com/5hc-uv-2000-non-ozone/p/X4575 and https://www.aprilaire.com/whole-house-products/air-purifiers/model-1610.
In addition, we have recently purchased Medify® MA-40 model individual room air purifiers which are very similar to the purifiers used in hospitals. These units are strategically placed throughout the office and are in every treatment room as well. Based on the size of our rooms, they will turn the air over up to 25 times per hour. They use a four-stage air filtration system to clean and sterilize indoor air. These stages include:
Stage 1- Pre-filter removes hair, fibers and large particles like dander.
Stage 2 - The high-efficiency H13 HEPA filter is tested to removed 99.97% of particles down to 0.1 microns. This medical-grade filter easily catches pollen, dust mites and other tiny airborne particles you can’t see.
Stage 3- A substantial carbon filter with carbon pellets removes toxic odors, smoke, and formaldehyde.
Stage 4 - The anion generator produces negative ions to charge particles and trap them inside the unit and give your air a fresh feel. Please visit: https://medifyair.com/products/medify-ma-40
All these air filtration systems are not only meant to clean the air of any harmful microorganisms or dust, but also to have a much fresher and energetic atmosphere.
Should you have questions about any of our mitigation systems or still have concerns, please reach out to us and we will be happy to answer your questions. We hope to be given the OK to open by June 1st and we look forward to seeing all of you soon. Be healthy and stay safe.
Jack M Dorkhom, DMD and Staff at Meadowgate Family Dental