To our wonderful patients,
We hope this finds you and your family in good health. Our community has been through a lot over the last few months, and all of us are looking forward to resuming our normal habits and routines. While many things have changed, one thing has remained the same: our commitment to your safety.
Infection control has always been a top priority for our practice and you may have seen this during your visits to our office. Our infection control processes are made so that when you receive care, it’s both safe and comfortable. We want to tell you about the infection control procedures we follow in our practice to keep patients and staff safe.
Our office follows infection control recommendations made by the American Dental Association (ADA), the Ohio Dental Association (ODA), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). We follow the activities of these agencies so that we are up-to-date on any new rulings or guidance that may be issued. We do this to make sure that our infection control procedures are current and adhere to each agencies’ recommendations.
As most of you have heard, with the assistance of the Ohio State Dental Board, ODA, and CDC, Governor DeWine has lifted the mandate for dental practices to close. In addition to the strict infection control guidelines that have been in place for many years, some new practices have been added for us to be allowed to open. We assure you that our team has been hard at work researching these guidelines to come up with a plan to ensure that our patients and team remain safe.
Infection Control Practices Performed at Strongsville Smile Keepers
- All clinicians in face masks, gloves, and clinical attire.
- Office air filtered and purified.
- Operatory surfaces and fixed equipment high level disinfected after each patient.
- All instruments heat-pressure sterilized.
- Entire office is cleaned by professional high-level cleaners thoroughly following each practice day.
-Updated 05/14/2020: throughout the day and before we leave for the day, we use high level cleaning products to disinfect the office. Treatment suites are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected between patients.
- Commonly touched surfaces (door handles, light switches, toilet handles, water faucet controls, pens, clipboards, arms of chairs, etc.) high level disinfected throughout the practice day.
- Our dental treatment water is filtered, and light sterilized to make sure it is pure.
- Patients exit the office through the designated exit door
- Additional Person Protective Equipment (PPE).
In addition to the traditional PPE, all clinical team members will wear N95 masks, face shields, and disposable gowns.
-Updated 05/13/2020: due to product unavailability and continued research, our clinical team will NOT be wearing N95 masks.
Our administrative staff will now wear masks.
- Team members will have their temperature taken and recorded upon arrival.
- All patients will be asked to wear face coverings any time they are not being treated. (Examples: masks, bandana, scarf)
- New check in process: Upon arrival, call the office to check in. At that time, a screening questionnaire will be asked. When you are approved to come in, your temperature will be taken and recorded. You will then be asked to sanitize your hands and then put on gloves (provided). You will then be taken directly to a patient-ready treatment suite or asked to be seated in the reception area where social distancing will be maintained.
–Updated 10/14/2020: due to recent research released, it has been found that touch is not the primary mode of transmission of Corona virus. In response to this, we have adjusted our protocol and will no longer be requiring patients to wear gloves when they come into the office. Patients will still be asked to hand sanitize before and after their appointment. Temperatures will still be taken upon arrival as well.
- Prior to treatment all patients will complete two 30 second rinses with an antiviral pre procedure rinse. (Colgate Peroxyl)
- To eliminate aerosols, our hygienists will not be using the Cavatron (water pick) or polishing your teeth during your cleaning.
Update 05/27/2020: Our hygienists will still complete a very through cleaning for our patients. The Cavatron made their jobs easier by helping to remove the tartar and calculus more quickly. We have given them more time with each patient to allow them the extra time to hand scale to create the same level of cleaning that you are used to. We know that the polishing is everyone’s favorite part of the cleaning procedure, however it really only removes surface stains and makes the teeth extra shiny. All our hygienists have indicated they are able to remove the stains without the polisher. For any patients that are unable to be polished during this time, we are happy to offer the opportunity to return to the office for a complimentary polish when the time comes and we are able to use the polishers again.
- As recommended by the ODA and Ohio State Dental Board, a PPE and Heightened Infection Control Protocol Code and fee of $25 will be added to your visit. We have been told that the ODA and ADA have been contacting insurance companies to encourage them to cover this fee.
Update 05/27/2020: We were encouraged by our association to increase all our fees in order to help offset the cost of the additional PPE that not only our team but also our patients will wear in the office. We decided that we did not want to raise all our fees so we came up with this one time fee option instead. Patients are welcome to postpone their appointments if they wish to a time when we do not have to charge the fee anymore. At this time, we are unsure of when that will be.
- Patients must come alone to appointment
-Exceptions: necessary interpreters, guardians of minors, and others needing assistance. (limit to one per patient)
- We are recommending that any patients with heart disease, lung disease, kidney disease, diabetes, or any auto immune disorders continue to postpone treatment.
Update 10/12/2020: Since we have now been back for about 5 months, we feel that we are doing everything we can to keep ALL patients and our team safe. All patients are welcome to resume treatment. We understand if patients still wish to postpone treatment. Just know that we are here for you if or when you need us!
- We unfortunately must limit our patient accommodations:
-Beverage station is closed
-No magazines or books available
-Comfort cove (massage chairs) are not available
We have been told that as new information develops, there may be new guidelines added. We will keep you informed as they occur. We look forward to seeing you again and are happy to answer any questions you may have about the steps we take to keep you, and every patient, safe in our practice.
Thank you for being our patient. We value your trust and loyalty and look forward to welcoming back our patients, neighbors and friends.
Dr. Matt Gaebelein and Team