I wanted to take a beat and give you an update on what’s new at Children’s Dentistry of Charlottesville. We’ve been working hard to adapt to the “new normal” of operating in an environment that has been universally affected by the coronavirus.
We’ve previously informed you of a few of the changes that we’ve made to make our office safer for you and for us, but just in case you’ve missed it — this is where we’re at.
As most of you know, we have two physically separate clinics, but function as one dental practice. Because we’re located in two separate buildings in the same parking lot, some of our modifications and adaptations have been implemented on different timelines, but we’ve made tremendous progress so far.
We’ve been updating both offices over the course of the summer as we follow guidelines issued by the American Dental Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
We’re keeping our staff safe!
One of the biggest changes that we’ve made is the addition of protective plexiglass barriers for our administrative staff. Our office was originally designed with an open floor plan to make it more welcoming to our patients, but this obviously causes some problems with an airborne virus that is highly transmissible between people.
We had to solve this by putting in a barrier, but we didn’t want to feel like we were closing ourselves off to you, our patients, either. We feel like the final result did the trick. The new plexiglass barriers are protective without cutting off the visual sight lines.
We’re keeping our air clean!
The next big thing that we’ve done is undertaken a massive effort in partnership with our wonderful landlord team to make sure that the air we all breathe in the office is clean and disinfected.
The solution to accomplish this is still ongoing, but we’ve made significant progress. We have multiple HEPA filters in use to purify the air, with additional medical grade HEPA filters on the way. These help us filter out any virus that may be shed during procedures that produce aerosolization. We’ve had UV light systems installed in our HVAC that work to continuously disinfect the air that’s recycled throughout the entire office.
Regular cleanings are back!
We have resumed providing routine dental prophylaxis procedures, which are professional cleaning services.
For the first two months back, we “scaled” back (that’s a dental hygiene joke) to using hand instruments only. But with all of our modifications in place, we feel like it is safe enough for us to resume more traditional dental cleanings.
Why are we doing all of this?
You might be thinking, why go through all of this trouble? Well, the very nature of dentistry puts us and our staff into a riskier situation for contracting COVID-19.
We want to do everything we can to make sure that we keep ourselves, our staff, and our families safe. What I’ve learned is that most medical and dental offices disinfection protocols are geared to prevent diseases that are spread by contact transmission.
Unfortunately, this pandemic is spread by airborne transmission. That’s particularly bad for dentists who work in patients’ mouths and airways all day long. The entire dental industry has been evolving this year to make sure that oral healthcare can be provided safely.
Most importantly, we want to make sure that we keep you all safe. First, do no harm. This is an oath that we take very seriously. It’s an honor to serve you and our community and we thank you for your support and trust in us.