Friendly Dentistry COVID-19 Re-Opening Policy

With changing federal, state, and local recommendations, this policy is subject to change. As of right now, this is what we have put in place in order to safely reopen as North Carolinanters Phase 2 of the re-opening protocol. As North Carolina progresses into Phases 3, these requirements and recommendations will likely change and loosen. As of right now, these policies will go into effect on May 25, 2020, and this date could change based on government regulations. No one is required to work if they feel unsafe, and every possible effort will be made to make it safe for our team members and our patients.

PATIENT CONSIDERATIONS

  • All patients will be asked key COVID-19 screening questions when confirming appointments, and again upon check-in
  • Our reception area will be open at 50% capacity, and chairs that are to remain empty will be demarcated
    • If our waiting room is at capacity, we ask that patients wait in their car or at the designated markings on our deck and wait for someone to greet them.
  • All patients will have their temperature taken upon arrival
  • All patients will be required to wear a face mask or other appropriate mouth covering as they enter the building, per CDC recommendations
    • If they do not own a mask, we will provide a Level 2 mask for them
  • All patients will be brought directly back to the treatment room
  • All patients will be asked to wash their hands with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds and avoid touching anything until they have done so
  • All patients will be asked to swish with hydrogen peroxide mouthwash prior to initiating any diagnostic or treatment procedures
  • All patients will be asked to notify the office if they develop signs or symptoms of COVID-19 within 14 days after their appointment
  • Patients will not be allowed to have anyone else accompany them to their appointment. Any friends or family members must stay in the car
    • The only exception will be children under the age of 18, where a legal guardian must be present. The limit will be one parent, and they will be required to go through all of the above requirements upon entering the building, with the exception of the hydrogen peroxide pre-rinse
  • High risk patients should NOT be scheduled to have elective treatment. They should only be seen for emergency and/or urgent treatment needs, AND we should be making special considerations for these patients, including using greater isolation techniques
    • High risk patients include: elderly and those with serious underlying medical conditions (hypertension, chronic lung disease, diabetes, obesity, asthma, immunocompromised)
  • If a patient is currently (+) for COVID-19 AND has a true dental emergency AND must be seen (ie. cannot be managed with antibiotics/anti-inflammatories), they will be seen after hours or over the weekend, so as to be the only patient seen in the office that day.

PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT (PPE)

The following PPE will be provided for our team. Certain procedures produce varying levels of contamination risk via aerosol spread. Therefore, we have carefully developed a protocol for our team in determining what specific PPE is needed for each type of dental procedure in order to keep the team and the patients safe.

  • N95 masks (custom printed & disposable)
  • Surgical masks
  • Disposable surgical gowns
  • Disposable head coverings (elastic and/or surgical caps)
  • Adapted eyewear
  • Protective eyewear
  • Face shields
  • Plastic chair covers
  • Computer keyboard & mouse protective covering
  • Gloves

ADDITIONAL PROTECTIVE POLICIES

  • All personal items to be removed from treatment rooms and the greater clinical area
  • Rubber dental dams or specialized suction devices (such as IsoDry) should be used as often as possible for restorative procedures
  • A dedicated team member will be assigned to continuously disinfect common areas, door handles, light switches and other heavily trafficked areas throughout the day
  • All team members will have their temperature taken at the start of each day
  • All team members must wash their hands after every interaction with a patient
  • Hand shaking will not be allowed

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