With media attention building over the global spread of the Corona Virus, we felt now is the perfect time to reassure our patients about what we are doing to protect everyone in our practice.
First, we are extremely prepared for this threat. The use of personal protective equipment (PPE) including masks, gloves, protective eyewear, and gowns has led to better protection for our staff and patients. Our use of disinfectants, up-to-date sterilization practices, dedicated hand washing, and one-time-use disposable materials also have all helped facilitate safe dental visits for our patients. All of these practices, by the way, are been the backbone of the CDC’s Standard Precautions.
What is the Corona Virus (COVID-19)?
According to the CDC, symptoms of COVID-19 can include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. These symptoms can appear two to 14 days after exposure. The current transmission of COVID-19 seems to be from ill people to those around them. The apparent spread of the virus is by respiratory droplets produced by a cough or sneeze.
It is interesting to note that the timing of this outbreak matches the seasonal flu, which can also present with the same symptoms. Three key factors are helping health professionals differentiate whether a patient has COVID-19 and not the flu:
- A history of travel from Wuhan City, China, in the last 14 days before symptom onset.
- Close contact with a person who is under investigation for COVID-19 while that person was ill in the last 14 days before symptom onset.
- Close contact with an ill laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 patient in the last 14 days.
What We are Doing to Protect You
In order to protect ourselves and our patients from the virus, we adhere to the CDC recommendations – which, by the way, are the same guidelines for the general public:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available. (These recommendations already are part of our Standard Precautions.)
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, throw the tissue in the trash, and then wash your hands.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
Everyone here at THE SCIENCE OF SMILES® is practicing these precautions as a routine part of our practice every, single day.
While we know that our oral health practices are safe for our patients and staff, the ongoing news about the virus can make people nervous and withdrawn. However, rather than feed the growing hysteria, we want to reassure patients that our infection control and standard precautions are an excellent deterrent to the virus. We are also staying current on the virus by visiting the CDC website continuously for the most up-to-date information.
By staying proactive, informed, and calm, we continue to offer our patients the fantastic dental care we have always provided.