Here in the United States, cases of COVID-19 continue to rise. What does this mean for your dental practice? Simply put you need to remain vigilant now and into the future.
Even with initial vaccinations for COVID beginning to roll out, we are still facing variants of this virus that prove to be even more contagious. Equipping your dental office with the systems and technology you need to keep viruses at bay and the marketing to communicate to your patients that your dental office is safe will put you in a good position for the future.
Dental offices that follow OSHA’s strict guidelines have always been a safe place to be; however, OSHA’s guidance has changed drastically over the last few decades.
Although this sounds outrageous to us now, some dentists may remember a time when they didn’t wear gloves or even face masks when treating patients. These days, even our patients are wearing face masks!
Sterilization practices have also improved over the years. Some seasoned dentists might remember the carefree old (and less informed) days of the bare-handed scrubbing of dental instruments to the packaging, equipment, and time-stamps we use to ensure instruments are sterilized today.
The stringent guidelines you follow to keep your dental office clean, sanitized, and safe is great information you can share in building confidence with your patients, even in a pandemic.
HEPA Filters and Air Purifiers
HEPA air purifiers improve air quality and protect against viruses by removing toxic gases and bacteria. You can use air purifiers, or some dentists have added HEPA filters to their HVAC or ventilation systems.
UV Light Sanitizers
Ultraviolet light is a chemical-free way to inactivate bacteria and viruses by damaging the DNA of their cells, which prevents replication. This product often comes in a lamp design that you can move throughout treatment operatories.
Ozone Air and Water Purification
Keep the water in your treatment rooms purified with Ozone, which dissolves in water and then eliminates bacteria and viruses.
You can also use Ozone as an air purifier to disinfect, deodorize, and remove viruses and other particles in the air.
Aerosol Reduction Systems
Keep aerosols in your treatment rooms to a minimum with high-powered aerosol reduction systems like HEPA air suction or dental evacuation mirrors.
HEPA air suction devices remove aerosols with forceful suction and capture bacteria, viruses, and other particles in a HEPA filter that is medical grade.
Dental evacuation mirrors combine the benefits of vision and retraction with high-velocity evacuation to assist you in dental procedures while keeping aerosols at a minimum.
The truth is, your patients probably don’t know about all of the sterilization and safety guidelines you normally follow. This also means that they won’t know about new precautions you’re putting in place or the ones that have been protecting them all along, so it’s time to get the word out with your marketing resources.
Reassure your patients that their visits are completely safe by adding COVID information to your website. Consider including a new service page outlining safety protocols you’ve always followed combined with new guidelines and equipment you’ve put in place.
You can also keep patients updated on your safety protocols with monthly blog posts or office newsletters. Patients will be more apt to return to their regular recall schedules and treatment plans when they understand and feel confident that their dental office is a safe place to be.