Who Can Schedule?
Effective May 8th, dentists can provide “necessary treatment.” While this greatly expands the ways we can help our patients stay healthy, we are still unable to see patients for routine cleanings or cosmetic procedures. Compromised patients are encouraged to continue to defer care until the incidence of COVID-19 in our community is at safer levels.
We can currently provide the following types of care:
- Emergency care of any kind
- Periodontal maintenance or treatment
- Root Canals
- Many denture repairs
- Complete the pre-appointment section of the Screening Form. Sign it and bring it with you to your appointment. If you answered Yes to any questions, please call the office immediately for guidance.
- Bring your mask. Patients will not be allowed to enter the office without a mask.
- Call the office when you arrive in our parking area. We will call you back or meet you at your vehicle when we are ready for your appointment.
- Our office is kept at 70°, if you get cold easily, consider bringing a sweater!
When You Arrive
For your protection, Makefield Dental is operating without a waiting room or front desk. You will be escorted from your car or the front door directly to your treatment room. When you arrive at the office parking lot, please call the office from your cell phone to let us know you’ve arrived. We will greet you at your vehicle or call to give you permission to enter the office. Consider this concierge service! If it’s raining, we’ll even greet you with an umbrella.
Patient Visit Preview
Entering the Office
When you arrive, please call us from your cell phone. We will either greet you at your vehicle or call to give you permission to enter the office and we’ll greet you there. When you are greeted
- We will review your Screening Form with you.
- We will take your temperature to make sure you are not running a fever.
- We will make sure you have a mask. Masks are required to enter the office.
- Unless there is a valid reason, only patients will be allowed to enter the office. For instance, parents of very young children may accompany their child, but parents of older children should stay in their vehicles.
- After screening, we will provide you with your walkout statement and then escort you directly to your treatment room.
Treatment Room Protocol
When you are seated and comfortable, we will review your treatment and health history. As we begin treatment, you will be allowed to lower or remove your mask and we’ll ask you to rinse with Listerine. Listerine’s essential oils or 1% hydrogen peroxide have been shown to reduce viral load in the mouth.
If you are having fillings, crowns or veneers – anything that involves drilling, we will use rubber dams when possible. Rubber dam allows us to isolate the drilling area and greatly reduce the bacterial or viral particles created due to the drilling procedure.
After your treatment is complete, we will again have you use hand sanitizer and ask you to put your mask back on before you leave the treatment room. We will then escort you out of the office.
How We’re Minimizing Viral Transmission — Keeping You Safe
For more than 30 years, Makefield Dental has been proud to be a leader in infection control Our office was designed to provide safe and efficient patient care and our staff has been highly trained to stringent infection control standards. Dr. Sibner is regarded as an expert on patient safety and has lectured nationally on the subject for more than a year.
While COVID-19 is a very scary disease, it is only one of several challenges that we have faced over the years. The protocols we put into place today will be part of a “new normal” that will keep us in the forefront of current trends in patient safety.
COVID-19 has given us an opportunity to develop new protocols and standards for infection control. Here are some things that you’ll see as new since your last visit:
- H13 medical-grade HEPA filters have been placed in each treatment room. These filters are capable of removing 99.97% of airborne particles down to 0.1 microns in size. The air in each treatment room is cycled every 15 to 30 minutes when the filters are in use. Only H13 HEPA filters are capable of removing viral carriers like the coronavirus.
- A 3-stage air purifier has been placed in the hallway. This purifier releases ozone, and negative ions into the atmosphere and cycles air through a UV light. Ozone and negative ions bind to dust, bacteria and viruses in the air and even on walls and other surfaces. UV light destroys viruses and bacteria as well. During the day, this purifier doesn’t produce ozone – an important fact for those that may be ozone sensitive.
- We’ve placed acrylic sneeze guards on our front desk counters, to limit air flow between the reception area and the adjoining spaces, but that’s not the biggest change. We have gone to a “front-deskless” model of patient care. Treatment, scheduling and payment are all done in one room. This allows us to disinfect smaller areas between patients so there is less chance of virus transmission.
- We are allocating more time in between patients to make sure that even if our treatment runs over allotted time, we can thoroughly and methodically change over our treatment rooms prior to our next patients.
- We are staggering treatment times to minimize contact between patients.
- We are attempting to schedule our high-risk patients in appointment slots where the treatment room has been idle long enough for the air filters to cycle the air in the rooms. We are encouraging our highest-risk patients (older patients with multiple risk factors) to only schedule in appointment slots where the rooms have been idle more than 24 hours.
PPE is an acronym for Personal Protective Equipment, but in many ways, it could also stand for Patient Protective Equipment. You’ve become used to dental staff wearing uniforms, masks and gloves. Our COVID response includes upgrading or adding to our existing PPE.
- We’re using N95 masks for aerosol-creating procedures and ASTM level 3 masks for procedures that don’t. This is an upgrade from ASTM level 1 and level 2 masks.
- We are now wearing disposable gowns for all treatment procedures. Disposable gowns allow for more frequent changes, especially when gowns get soiled during the course of treatment.
- We are wearing face shields. Face shields reduce the risk of employee exposure to viruses when worn in combination with ASTM level 3 or N95 masks.
- We have disposable boots and caps for use with our most at-risk or compromised patients.
- We have developed strict protocols for donning and duffing PPE, washing our hands when entering and leaving the office. This protects our employees, which in turn protects our patients.
By implementing all of these changes, it is our goal to keep our staff and patients healthy without compromising or care or treatment. We’re proud of these and future changes we may implement, and we hope we have created an environment that you can feel confident will not place you at risk.
Why is Our Pre Screening Form So Important?
Studies have shown that COVID-19 is not an equal-opportunity disease. It affects older adults and people with other medical problems at a far higher rate than the general population. For instance, only 2.5% of adults 18-45 that had the coronavirus were hospitalized, compared to more than 16% of adults over 75. The following chart from the CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 4/17/20, shows hospitalization by age:
Part of the reason older adults have a higher hospitalization rate has to do with their overall health. Older adults tend to have more medical problems than those in their primes. Diabetes, high lipids, heart disease all increase the likelihood of serious complications with COVID-19 infection.
The chart below from The Hospitalist, Comorbidities the rule in New York’s COVID-19 deaths, 4/8/20, has one very startling statistic – of all the medical problems that resulted in COVID deaths, none were as significant as high blood pressure. The American Journal of Hypertension reports that at this time, it is not known whether patients with controlled hypertension are more susceptible to the coronavirus or are less at risk of complications or death than those who have uncontrolled high blood pressure.
Managing COVID-19 at Home
Fortunately, most people, well over 80%, that have the coronavirus don’t get very ill. In fact, evidence suggests that many may not exhibit symptoms at all. If you’ve developed COVID-19 symptoms or if you’ve been sent for COVID-19 testing, here are two fact sheets Makefield Dental is providing to help keep you and your families safe. Both are courtesy of Trinity Health, owners of Saint Mary Medical Center.
There’s nothing scarier than waiting to find out if you’ve contracted the coronavirus. Fortunately, more than 80% of people who contract the virus do not require hospitalization. In fact, a large majority of people who get the virus now appear to be asymptomatic.
A sore throat followed by difficulty breathing is the most common attribute of symptomatic COVID-19 infection. Here are some suggestions for managing your illness.