UPDATED OFFICE OPERATIONS DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC
Our primary concern is the safety of our patients and staff. We are open for business and Universal Precautions to prevent disease spread are followed that meet or exceed CDC guidelines. We closely monitor protocols for the decontamination of surfaces and equipment. This is not new for us as at Rite Now Dental. Dr. Moo has been practicing strict infection control in his practice since 1977.
Dr. Moo formerly practiced in South Bend, Indiana, and was the first dental office in Northern Indiana to sterilize dental drills due to the emerging AIDS crisis in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s. Since dental drills manufactured prior to 1990 could not withstand the extremes of sterilization, newer handpieces (drills) had to be purchased to allow for proper sterilization. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are now limiting and/or avoiding procedures that involve the use of dental drills that create aerosols droplets. We sterilize our equipment and surfaces using only approved disinfectants, steam sterilization, and heated chemical vapor sterilization equipment following CDC guidelines.
PRECAUTIONS WE ARE TAKING WHILE OPEN FOR EMERGENCIES:
- Only the dental patient is allowed to enter the office waiting room unless the patient requires special needs or assistance.
- The patient waiting area has reduced seating, and increased distancing. Fewer appointments are scheduled together with more time allowed between patients. Only the patient or patient with a confirmed caregiver can occupy the waiting area at one time. Others waiting to be seen are asked to wait outside or in their cars and communicate with our office by text. After hours appointments can be scheduled online and allow for only one patient at a time.
- Surfaces that require touching; credit card machines, door handles, etc. are disinfected after each use as necessary.
- Individuals showing signs of illness, including but not limited to fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or those who believe they may be positive for COVID-19 will not be admitted for treatment and will be asked to seek appropriate medical care.
- We are taking temperatures on all patients at check in, and anyone with a fever of 100.4 or greater will not be admitted for treatment, and will be asked to seek appropriate medical care. A face mask is required upon entering the office and must be worn at all times except during actual treatment. In some cases, a test for COVID-19 may be required.
- Patients with a dental infection or abscess may be seen for treatment if a fever is suspected for dental reasons, and as long as they are free of any other illness. If cough, breathing issues or other symptoms are present, or if the patient believes that they may have acquired COVID-19 or been exposed to ANYONE having COVID-19, the patient will asked to seek appropriate medical care.
- As previously stated, the use of dental drills and ultrasonic devices that create aerosols or other possible airborne contaminants are limited. Procedures requiring the use of this equipment will be scheduled for at another time, or alternate measures will be taken.
- Our own office staff continuously monitors for fever, infection, or other signs of illness, and any staff member showing symptoms of illness will not be allowed to enter the office environment until medically cleared to safely return to work.
WHAT IS A DENTAL EMERGEMCY?
Problems in the mouth that cause pain, soreness in the gums or other areas, or painful teeth are considered an emergency. This includes teeth or broken-down teeth that are sensitive to hot or cold, or do not allow the patient to chew, or that keeps the patient from getting sleep. Any swelling in the mouth involving the teeth or gums is a potential infection and should be considered a serious condition. Infections left untreated can overwhelm the immune system, lead to possible toxic shock, and may even cause inflammation associated with cardiovascular disease or other diseases that can sometimes be fatal.
ANTIBIOTICS BY THEMSELVES WILL NOT PERMANTLY GET RID OF INFECTIONS, AND USING ANTIBIOTICS REPEATEDLY TO TREAT INFECTIONS CAN LEAD TO THE INTRODUCTION OF ANTIBIOTIC-RESISTANT BACTERIA, CAUSING TOXIC SHOCK OR EVEN DEATH. THE ONLY WAY TO PERMANTLY TREAT A DENTAL INFECTION IS TO TREAT THE INFECTION ITSELF BY REMOVING THE INFECTED TOOTH OR WITH ROOT CANAL TREATMENT WHEN RECCOMMENDED. IT IS STRONGLY ADVISED THAT YOU DO NOT OVERBURDON THE RESOURCES OF HOSPITAL EMERGENCY ROOMS WITH DENTAL RELATED ISSUES AS THEY CANNOT HELP YOU. YOU MAY ALSO BE JEOPARDIZING THE CARE OF OTHER PATIENTS WHO HAVE A REAL LIFE OR DEATH EMERGENCY. IF YOU HAVE DENTAL RELATED CONCERNS PLEASE CALL OUR OFFICE AT 386-337-7070, OR SCHEDULE AN AFTER HORS APPOINTMENT AT WWW.RITENOWDENTAL.COM