The current coronavirus pandemic has brought the world to a halt, restricting public movement and making us more aware than ever of how easily a virus can be spread. Human interaction, both personal and professional, has also been modified to adhere to personal safety measures suggested by public health authorities. Healthcare businesses aren’t an exception.
While medical and dental clinics already have a high standard of cleaning and disinfection procedures, the coronavirus pandemic has pushed that standard even higher. But what are the improvements in patient healthcare protection that are being done in dentist clinics in Tijuana?
First and foremost, dental clinics need to know that their patients are healthy and free of infection, both for the protection of other patients as well the clinic’s staff. After arriving at your dental clinic you will be asked a couple of questions (either directly or through a questionnaire) regarding your general health and your travelling habits in the past 14 days. These questions include:
· Do you feel fever, loss of air or headache right now or in the past 14 days?
· Have you had any respiratory problem (including dry or hacking cough) in the past 14 days?
· Have you been in close contact with someone who presented respiratory symptoms in the past 14 days?
· Have you been in close contact with someone with a confirmed case of coronavirus or atypical pneumonia?
· Have you or someone you have been in close contact with traveled to any country of risk during the coronavirus outbreak?
Dentists, dental assistants and administrative staff are required to do the following before and after having direct contact with a patient:
· Thorough hand washing with water and soap
· Drying with disposable towels
· Applying hand sanitizing gel
· Wearing personal protection equipment, which includes:
o Disposable gloves (changed between patients)
o Disposable medical cap
o Disposable gown
o Protection mask
o Use of surgical saliva ejectors
One of the riskiest aspects of the current coronavirus outbreak is that many carriers are not aware of being infected, which is what has allowed the virus to spread as far and fast as it does currently. Therefore it is responsibility of the dental clinic to make a thorough disinfection of any area or surface that the patients and staff come into contact with. This will reduce the possibilities of infection to the minimum, even if the patients are unaware that they are infected or they do not present symptoms.
What materials do dental clinics use to disinfect surfaces?
· Water and alcohol (≥70%) mixture
· Water and Sodium hypochlorite (1%) mixture
Reading materials such as leaflets and magazines are also removed from the waiting room in order to avoid constant manipulation which can increase infection risks.
Since surfaces are scrubbed clean after every patient appointment, your dentist may ask you to wait a bit longer than usual after finishing the previous patient’s treatment. If you had an appointment already set your dentist may call you to change the agreed hour in order to make time for a proper surface disinfection. Remember that this is for your safety!
Since coronavirus is spread mainly by saliva droplets, dentists face a singular challenge in ensuring patient and staff safety. Normal dental practice creates a lot of spraying depending on the tool that is being used, especially the high speed hand pieces. How are dentists changing their dental practice to prevent contamination?
· Peroxide-based mouth washing prior to procedure. Your dentist will provide you with a mouth wash before starting your procedure and you must rinse your mouth for at least one minute. This will reduce the amount of virus and bacteria in your mouth and prevent infection from spraying saliva.
· Four-hands method, which involves both the dentist and a dental assistant, in order to maximize the procedure’s efficiency and reducing the procedure’s time, and therefore patient-staff interaction and infection risks.
· Using rubber dam isolation. These dams cover your mouth while it’s open, avoiding excessive saliva production and exposing only one or few tooth that will be worked upon.
In conclusion, it is indeed safe to visit your dentist in Tijuana during this coronavirus outbreak. Here at Dental Studio we are taking the best sanitary measures in order to keep you and your family safe and healthy. Feel free to give us a call if you have any more questions regarding our safety procedures.
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Calle Quinta , Zona Centro
Tijuana Baja California, 7974
Tijuana Dental Studio
Calle Quinta , Zona Centro
Tel: (619) 955-6901
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