There are times when being in sync is essential. COVID-19 has forced that issue related to CDC (Centers for Disease) guidelines for dental practices.
The transition from solely providing emergency dentistry to reopening dental practices for routine care has prompted increased alignment between the CDC and the ADA (American Dental Association).
The CDC has recognized that non-emergency dental care is necessary going forward. And as states and municipalities lift their restrictions that opportunity has increased – an advantage to dental practices like yours.
Synchronizing care standards with CDC guidelines for dental practices
As you know, your dental practice has maintained a high level of infection control protocols – pandemic or not. Your due diligence is now another layer of protection as the ADA and CDC synchronize their recommendations for patient safety during and post COVID-19.
The CDC guidance iterates the ADA’s earlier recommendations by describing how dental professionals, building upon existing infection control measures, can help protect patients and the dental team when re-engaging in providing the full range of oral health care.
Beyond infection control, there’s also the need to extend those precautions to patient and staff interactions, appointment protocols, and routine functions including sterilization and disinfection during and after your daily schedule.
Current CDC guidelines alongside those of the ADA remain somewhat aligned with those issued early in the pandemic. The overall tone remains that extreme vigilance is necessary to maintain patient and staff safety for infection control.
For review, the following represent the fundamental recommended guidelines to follow as you reopen your dental practice:
- Staff and patients should remain home if ill
- Communicate with your patients before scheduled dental treatment
- Screen all patients for fever and COVID-19 symptoms regardless of available community spread data
- Post signage throughout your dental practice informing patients and staff about hand hygiene
- Provide a quality grade of hand sanitizer (60-95% alcohol), tissues, and touchless trash containers throughout your facilities
- Install clear shielding at reception areas
- Ensure that your dental unit water lines, autoclaves, and instrument cleaning equipment are up to date on maintenance. And review manufacturer instructions on equipment use following a period of non-use
- Treat one patient at a time
- Avoid the use of dental handpieces and air/water syringes
- Clinical personnel should consistently wear face masks and essential PPE
- Maintain your facility ventilation systems
- Be aware of necessary steps should a patient arrive with COVID-19 symptoms 
These baseline protocols provide guidance that can help assure the well-being and peace of mind for your patients and staff as you reopen and proceed with patient treatment in the months ahead.
Streamlining your practice management systems alongside the CDC guidelines for dental practices
Contactless systems are gaining popularity as the pandemic continues. Even though restrictions are being lifted, there’s a collective mindset that creates a cautious awareness surrounding otherwise routine tasks.
Innovation rises to meet those challenges. And other innovative solutions previously used are gaining new momentum also.
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