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COVID Dentistry Challenges

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With the COVID outbreak, we hear about hospitals non-stop. But what about dentist offices? Dentists and orthodontists are just as susceptible to coronavirus with patients and staff in close proximity to each other. Coupled with the possibility of splashback, saliva contact, or droplet exposure, the likelihood of exposure to staff and patients definitely increases. Dental offices are dealing with changes to ensure both patients and staff are in the safest possible environment.

Recently, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued guidelines for dental offices to follow and to assist the dental field in implementing procedures as offices start re-opening. With the new guidelines, many offices are unprepared and vigorously working towards meeting them. It has completely changed the way dental offices prepare for a patient.

Some of these changes include increasing air changes within the office to ensure that any portion of the virus is exhausted through multiple air changes with outside air. Since many offices are not self-standing facilities, this obviously causes problems unless they have their own self-contained HVAC system. Additional guidelines include: partitions between operatories, redesign of the waiting area, specific procedures to follow with patients and staff, and increased cleaning procedures.

The changes have completely changed the flow within the dentist office and many are questioning if the changes will be permanent. Dental staff are also now required to evaluate both staff and patients for COVID-19. Staff must respond with triage measures if a positive case presents itself within the office. This has created additional duties for each patient upon entering for an appointment.

Soleran has heard from several dental offices and is responding with automating the guidelines for offices. We are creating an all-inclusive automated platform for dental & orthodontic offices-designed with CDC, OSHA, and American Dental Associations guidelines. The automation easily flows into a simple process for staff to follow. Additionally, the program provides timelines to follow during different stages of operation (from opening the office to daily procedures). For example, if a patient presents with COVID-19, the program immediately provides guidelines to follow on how to treat the patient.

Soleran’s focus is to provide the dental field with a compact, concise format to follow. This allows staff to operate in a manner that meets guidelines, while it minimizes the amount of time ensuring all regulations are met. Reducing the daily focus on COVID-19 also allows dental staff to complete their original job duties and provide patients with the most complete dental care possible.

If you have any questions on my blog or the Soleran automated dental compliance program, please reach out to me or one of our representatives to provide you with further information. We’ll help close the loop.

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