Keeping You Safe
As always, patient and staff health are our top priorities at Ziese Family Dentistry. We have always held our office to the highest standards of care set by the CDC and OSHA. But, due to COVID-19, we have decided to take additional precautions that are above and beyond current guidelines. As a result, we have made significant investments in our office to keep our patients safe.
While your experience at Ziese Family Dentistry may feel a little different, our concern for your health remains the same. We hope these changes continue to maintain your confidence in our dental office.
Office Air Filtration and Disinfection – Surgically Clean Air
We have purchased some additional technologies and devices that will further help evacuate, filter and disinfect the office atmosphere for aerosols, VOCs, particulates, mercury and pathogens, including COVID-19.
Extra-Oral Evacuator Devices
We have purchased two (x2) extra-oral evacuators, which will accompany hygiene and treatment procedures involving aerosols. These units include a variety of filtration technologies, including HEPA filtration, to suction and evacuate the atmosphere within inches of your mouth. These devices are designed to filter for aerosols, VOCs, particulates, mercury and pathogens, including COVID-19.
Surgically Clean Air Devices
We have purchased three (x3) “Jade” air purification units manufactured by Surgically Clean Air, which include HEPA-Rx filters, activated carbon, germicidal UV-C+ disinfection, hydroxyl radical reactivity chambers, and a revitalizing negative ION chamber. These units will be strategically placed throughout the office to ensure sufficient filtration and disinfection of the office atmosphere.
Intra-Oral Isolation & Suction Devices
We have upgraded our oral suction system to the “Dry-Shield” intra-oral isolation system. This system creates a negative pressure zone in the mouth during a procedure to provide advanced suctioning and evacuation of aerosols, particulates and pathogens. We will ask each patient to consider using this device during their procedure. There are several sizes for your comfort.
HVAC Filtration & Negative Pressure Exhaust System
We have upgraded our HVAC system to level 10 filtration and most treatments will be performed in our existing oral surgery room, which is already outfitted with a negative pressure exhaust system. This exhaust system will evacuate the room’s atmosphere to the exterior environment.
Office Equipment Sterilization and Disinfection
Existing CDC & OSHA Sterilization Protocols
We will continue to employ our existing CDC and OSHA approved protocols and devices for sterilizing equipment. Staff will also employ existing protocols to routinely disinfect door handles, chairs, counter-tops, computers, pens/pencils, etc.
Personal Protection Equipment (PPE)
We have secured PPE that meets current CDC and State guidelines to ensure the health and safety of our staff and patients. Staff will wear a combination of N95/KN95 and Level 3 masks, as well as surgical gowns, caps, gloves and face shields for every appointment.
In our efforts to keep both staff and patients safe and healthy during this time, patients will be expected to:
- Wear a face mask or cloth covering to their appointment;
- Disinfect hands throughout appointment with provided sanitizer;
- Rinse with 1% hydrogen peroxide at the beginning of the appointment to reduce any potential viral load.
Patients will be contacted by Ziese Family Dentistry to answer a COVID-19 pre-screening questionnaire approximately 1-week prior to appointment. The answers to this questionnaire will determine whether we can proceed with the appointment or if it should be delayed until any suspicion of COVID-19 symptoms/exposure has abated. Patients will also have to review and sign to their answers upon arrival to their appointment.
Forehead temperature checks will also be performed via a touchless thermometer at the time of an appointment. Staff will also be screened every morning for potential COVID-19 symptoms, including touch-less temperature checks.
Online “Virtual Lobby/Waiting Room”
To achieve social distancing and to mitigate patient time inside our office, we have implemented an online “Virtual Lobby/Waiting Room.”
Patients will be asked to complete their health and policy forms online prior to their arrival for their appointment. Our website includes a link to an online “patient portal” where health forms will be available prior to an appointment. We will also email patients the directions to access their online account. Please contact us at (530) 622-2862 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have problems accessing your online account.
If a patient is unable to complete their forms online prior to their appointment, then a disinfected iPad or pen/paper will be provided to complete the forms at our “parking-lot-lobby.”
Patients will be asked to remain in their cars upon arrival to their appointment and to text or call us at (530) 622-2862 to notify us of their arrival. Signs with these directions will be installed at each parking stall. Staff will then greet the patients at their cars to finish the COVID-19 pre-screening evaluation. Patients will also be escorted directly to the operatory by staff when the hygienist or doctor is ready for their appointment.
Chairs will also be provided outside our front door in the shade, with adequate social distancing, if patients do not want to wait in their car.
We also request that patients do not bring unnecessary family, friends or guests to their dental appointments. Only under very limited circumstances will these guests be permitted in the operatory with such patients.
Social Distancing & Staggered Appointments
Staff and patients will be expected to maintain 6-foot social distancing throughout the day, to the maximum extent possible. We have implemented the following technologies and protocols to enable this effort.
- Office Instant-Messaging System: Staff will be expected to remain in their operatories/offices and to communicate via our office’s HIPAA-compliant instant messaging system, to the maximum extent possible.
- Staggered Scheduling: We will be staggering and limiting the number of daily patient appointments to limit “foot-traffic” in the office. As a result of this reduction in daily capacity, we have expanded hygiene appointments to now include Fridays, by appointment only.
- Online Tele-Dentistry Exams: For those patients that are afraid to visit our office or have underline health issues, we will be providing online teledentistry exams using video cameras, to the maximum extent possible. Please be advised that an online dental exam may not be sufficient to fully assess a patient’s oral health and that an in-person exam may still be required.