Will you ever look at your friendly dental office the same way again after everything we have been taught about this ridiculously contagious COVID-19 virus? Are you allowed to be worried about aerosol contamination? Absolutely. Are you allowed to be worried about what will happen to your dental benefits after all this is over? Absolutely. Sterilization techniques? Being in the same reception space as many other patients? We all value our oral health; we understand that it is critical to maintain a healthy mouth, healthy gums, and an attractive smile. What questions should we be asking of our dentist? I am here to acknowledge all of these valid concerns and to help you minimize your anxiety about the new experience of a dental visit.
First thing’s first: aerosols! Flying all around! This may have been the norm prior to the pandemic but not anymore. We cannot tolerate it in our office, and it is our duty to keep our patients safe. At Life Enhancing Dentistry, we have invested in multiple ways to minimize the spread of aerosols. In the last month, we added an Oral Aerosol Vacuum and Air Purification System to each operatory. How does it work? It cleans the air in a highly efficient and innovative three-stage process that captures and removes harmful molecular air pollutants and ultra-fine airborne particles, including volatile organic compounds, bacteria, virus, mold, fungi, odors as well as mercury aerosol and vapor. Imagine the little suction that the assistant uses to catch all the water and saliva but 20 times bigger, positioned very close to your mouth. It is the perfect way to catch all that debris as it flies out of your mouth so that it doesn’t get dispelled throughout the room. It uses an eHEPA filtration system that utilizes UV light and electrostatic to capture and kill particles of .01 microns (as shown by studies from NASA). For comparison, the coronavirus is approximately 0.125 microns in size. We also installed several UV HEPA air purifiers throughout our office outside of the actual operatories, which turn over the air up to 12 times per HOUR! It also helps that all of our operatories are individual rooms separated by actual walls to make this system even more thorough and effective.
The volume of people coming in and out is also important to pay attention to. We now have a software feature that allows you to sit in your car and text us the moment you arrive, and we can tell you when we are ready to bring you back in order to minimize the amount of people in the reception area. There is no reason for everyone to sit in one confined area as you wait for your appointment.
Keeping our team healthy and happy in the field of dentistry is another important priority. You may see a bit less of our smiling faces; however, know that we are taking extra measures to stay protected. This includes each clinical team member wearing a p100 respirator with eye protection, face shield, hair caps, and gowns. Times are changing, and we believe it is time for all dental personnel to take serious measures to step up their use of proper personal protection equipment.
Finally, a few words for those who are stressed or anxious about not having the same dental benefits as before. Our practice offers several ways to help patients get the care they want and deserve by offering in-office membership plans as well as care credit and financing options. You may be surprised how much less hassle you experience and, in some cases, how much money you may even save if you are not dealing directly with insurance. We are always here to help you make the best choice in the safest environment. Dentistry has a lot to offer, more than ever before, and we continue to remain passionate and fulfilled serving our community.