Mask Policy Update
In May, the CDC relaxed their requirement that masks should be worn indoors at all times. Fully vaccinated individuals are now allowed to go maskless in most situations. In our office, we treat a range of people, many of whom have medical compromises that make them susceptible to COVID-19, even if they’ve been vaccinated. To protect these patients and to make Makefield Dental a welcoming place for everyone, we are still requiring ALL of our patients to undergo pre-screening and to wear masks while in the office.
- 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.
- New Patients – Complete the online registration and health history sent to you by email. This will pre-populate our software with your information and save you time at your initial appointment.
- 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 use medical-grade MERV-13 air filters that remove particles down to 1 micron in our HVAC unit, and the fan is always on during business hours, insuring proper air circulation and cleansing.
- For added safety, we have also installed an in-line air purifier to our HVAC system. This patented system removes almost 100% of air-borne bacteria and virus particles in the air stream.
- 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 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.