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What WDC is doing to make your visit to the dentist safe

October 14, 2021

Filed under: Uncategorized — tntadmin @ 6:57 pm

Safety has always been a primary concern for dental offices because, like other healthcare providers, they need to have a clean and safe environment.

The coronavirus pandemic made it even more important for dentists to enact strong safety protocols, and Westgate Dental Care has been at the forefront with a detailed plan it started [m1] in early 2020.

“We always practiced safety guidelines prior to the pandemic,” said Vinny Criscione, Certified Dental Assistant and Clinical Team Lead at Westgate Dental Care. “The pandemic has shown us just how important it is to share with and educate our patients that these protocols exist, have been enhanced and that safety-conscious clinicians can be found at Westgate Dental Care.”

The clinical team has always followed universal safety protocols and followed OSHA guidelines, Criscione said. The enhanced protocols followed the COVID-19 public health guidelines from the Centers of Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO).

“In response to the pandemic, advanced chairside suction has been added in each of the hygiene suites, hospital-grade air-purifiers were placed throughout the office, and social distancing markers were all implemented as part of our Commitment to Safety,” Criscione said. “Our air has never been cleaner. We have added MERV-13 grade filters to our HVAC system with in-system UV sterilization.  

“In addition, our team is gowned up from head to toe by using full personal protective equipment (PPE) as another layer of protection to minimize the spread of airborne particles.”

The Westgate Commitment to Safety also includes:

  • Advanced Staff Training: Team members received additional awareness and prevention programs.
  • Safety Champion: One staff member is selected each day to greet patients, answer questions and conduct other tasks associated with Westgate’s Commitment to Safety.
  • Social Distancing: The practice is limiting office tours and close social contact, as well as putting fewer chairs in the reception area.
  • Anti-Microbial Rinse: The practice is providing a rinse for patients to use before each visit.
  • Changes in Patient Scheduling: The office is creating more space between patients’ appointments, making it less likely patients will cross paths at the office. Also, the office is offering extended appointments, which allow for more work during each visit.
  • Pre-Screening of Every Patient: A no-touch temperature check and questionnaire are completed when each patient arrives at the office. Patients are also asked to disinfect their hands at the hand sanitizing station.
  • Increased cleaning: In addition to thoroughly wiping, sanitizing, and disinfecting all instruments, equipment and surfaces after every patient, the practice is doing a deep scrub down each night.
  • Masking protocols: The clinical team, which includes dentists, hygienists, and assistants, are all using top-line masks and face shields.

If patients have safety-related questions, they can call the practice and discuss them with the staff.

“As unfortunate as this pandemic has been, we’ve grown to see this as a learning opportunity,” Criscione said. “We plan to keep these enhanced safety measures in place as this has become our ‘new normal.’ The safety of our patients and team will always be top priority!”