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How Dentists Are Keeping Patients Safe During COVID-19

How Dentists Are Keeping Patients Safe During COVID-19Gregory skeens d.d.s.encinitas family dentistry

 

The coronavirus pandemic has created unprecedented challenges, especially for our health and safety. In just a few months, COVID-19 forced our entire country, and countries around the globe, to reconsider our existing infection control techniques.

Some industries had little to no protections at all in the pre-pandemic era. Others, like the dental profession, have been mastering the art of infection control for decades. As California Dental Association President Richard Nagy said, “Dentists are really great at infection control and being prepared to create safety. That’s what we’re good at, and that’s what we’re doing.”

In fact, we were doing it long before the coronavirus pandemic ever existed. Every step we take during a dental procedure is specifically included to prevent the spread of infection. Now, in the face of the coronavirus, dentists like Dr. Gregory Skeens, DDS are implementing their most comprehensive infection control guidelines and making strategic revisions to stop the spread of COVID-19. 

At Encinitas Family Dentistry in Encinitas, CA, Dr. Skeens and his team pride themselves on their vigilance during this unprecedented time. They achieve sterilization and practice cross-contamination protocols using the careful standards set in place by the American Dental Association (ADA), the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), and the Center for Disease Control (CDC).

Overall, reducing the spread of COVID-19 relies upon five core steps:

  • Protect workers and patients with PPE
  • Implement administrative controls to change the way work is performed
  • Use engineering controls to isolate people from COVID-19 hazards
  • Replace the hazard using substitutions
  • Physically remove the hazard safely

Encinitas Family Dentistry is committed to implementing all five of these core actions in order to provide a safe, relaxing, and coronavirus-free environment for all of our patients. 

Personal Protective Equipment For Patients and Staff

The use of personal protective equipment is one of the simplest but most effective ways to prevent the transmission of COVID-19. This is why we ask patients to wear a cloth face covering or facemask at all times, unless being actively treated. 

The dental experts at Encinitas Family Dentistry also wear all recommended forms of PPE, including face masks, gowns, gloves, eye protection, and N95 respirators. Even with extreme PPE precautions, our staff members ensure strict adherence to hand hygiene before and after all patient contact. Thorough hand washing removes pathogens that might have been transferred to bare hands and prevents those pathogens from traveling any further. 

Environmental Infection Control

PPE is designed to create an impenetrable barrier against viruses and bacteria. However, our office also uses strict environmental infection control measures to minimize the presence of pathogens in the first place. 

Dr. Skeens and his team accomplish this by following CDC standards to “ensure that environmental cleaning and disinfection procedures are following consistently and correctly after each patient.” These procedures include:

  • Sterilization of patient-care items
  • High-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters
  • Use of hospital-grade disinfectant
  • Easy access to hand sanitizer

When combined with other precautions, environmental infection control ensures that all patients and workers remain safe and healthy. 

COVID-19 Social Distancing

Like the rest of the country, Encinitas Family Dentistry is now using social distancing methods to prevent any potential spread of infection. We invite patients to wait outside or in their cars until their appointments begin, but we have also adjusted our waiting area to accommodate a social distancing environment:

  • Chairs set six feet apart
  • No toys, magazines, and other frequently touched objects
  • Maximum number of people permitted inside at the same time
  • Staggered appointment times to minimize indoor traffic

We are so thankful for our wonderful, compassionate patients who have gone out of their way to help our office implement these social distancing precautions successfully!

Other COVID-19 Safety Measures to Keep in Mind

Dr. Skeens and his team, just like all other dentists in the U.S, are taking every measure to ensure patient and worker safety. Patients who feel sick, present with a fever, or suspect they may be experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 should not come in for an appointment. 

Other appointments may be postponed until further notice. This includes those involving dental drills and other tools that could mix water with saliva in a patient’s mouth. Our goal is to limit the risk of aerosolizing the virus. As the guidelines provided by the CDC and ADA evolve, our office will also adjust our methods. 

Though it’s hard to predict when this pandemic will come to an end, Dr. Skeens can promise one thing: patient safety is always his top priority. You can schedule a dentist appointment with the comfort and knowledge that Encinitas Family Dentistry is taking every possible precaution to guarantee a safe and risk-free dental experience.

We are here to answer all of your questions and help you schedule your next appointment! Just call our Encinitas, CA office or book online. 

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Dr. Gregory Skeens Encinitas Family Dentistry

Welcome to the Encinitas dental office of Gregory Skeens, JR., DDS. We are your home for caring dental treatment that supports superior oral health and helps you achieve the beautiful smile you’ve always wanted. Our modern facility is equipped with cutting-edge technology and our team is here to make your visit enjoyable and relaxing.

We take a truly individualized approach to dentistry, which is why our practice is so popular. After every treatment, Encinitas dentist Dr. Skeens personally makes follow- up phone calls to patients to ensure that they are feeling well. Your comfort and well-being are of ultimate importance.

Dr Gregory Skeens Local And Family Dentistry Encinitas
Gregory W. Skeens, DDS | 519 Encinitas Blvd Suite 104, Encinitas, CA 92024 | Phone: (760) 944-9288 | Text: (760) 933-3077 | Email: office@gregskeensdds.com
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