Over the past several months, the COVID-19 pandemic has quickly caused numerous changes to occur, including within various medical fields such as dentistry. At Smile Reston Heights, we have been following the changes in the CDC’s guidelines and policies as well as other federal and state authorities.
We aim to maintain the safety of our employees and patients, doing our best over the course of these challenging times to ensure our patients still have access to quality general dentistry care. While we have been providing our patients throughout Reston, VA, with distance appointments and online check-ups, recent changes have allowed us to provide direct care under strict safety guidelines.
Here’s a summary of some of the changes we have made:
Availability & Patient Management
Among the primary recommendations to combat the spread of COVID-19 is to limit the exposure of staff and patients within the dental office.
First, we screen each of our patients before their appointments, ensuring their dental conditions require immediate and non-elective treatment, as well as ensure they are not exhibiting any symptoms of COVID-19. We will also screen our own employees for symptoms.
Moreover, we ensure our office allows for proper social distancing through various changes to the waiting room, such as placing chairs six feet from each other and removing frequently-touched objects like toys and magazines.
Finally, to minimize the amount of contact between patients, we will also ensure our appointment schedule involves as little patient overlap between each appointment.
Each of these policies follows CDC guidelines and may affect our availability overall. However, it is the best way to return to normal operations and protect the well-being of our patients and staff.
Equipment for Dentists and Staff
Our practice also follows strict PPE guidelines provided by the CDC. While our staff consistently wears clinical attire within the office, they will now be wearing surgical masks and gloves while performing administrative tasks and patient screenings before patients meet with their dentist.
Additionally, our dentists will wear additional protective equipment as well, including face shields, eye protection, gloves, and clinical gowns, with a variation in usage depending on the procedures they are performing on a particular patient.
In the case of performing aerosol-generating procedures, we will require our dentists to specifically utilize face shields or higher grade face masks, such as an N95 respirator. Additionally, we use a prerinse on every patient which is effective against COVID-19.
Administrative and Dental Work Practices
Finally, by following these guidelines, we will also make some changes to our administrative procedures as well.
Our staff will ensure that all equipment and resources that aren’t necessary for a given appointment will be properly stored away. As for resources that are necessary for a patient’s dental procedure, they will ensure they are cleaned and sterilized.
Moreover, our dentists may also limit the types of procedures they can perform to limit themselves from potential exposure. Specifically, it is recommended by the CDC to perform as few aerosol-generating procedures as possible, and, if it is necessary, minimize the amount of droplet spatter and aerosols through various techniques.
Smile Reston Heights: Reliable General Dentistry in Reston, VA
Like many other businesses and essential services throughout the country, Smile Reston Heights is working through the challenges brought on during these difficult times. In following the suggestions and guidelines of the CDC and other organizations, we hope to ensure the safety of our patients and staff, while also returning to providing professional general dentistry services to patients in need throughout Reston and Northern Virginia. Smile Reston Heights employs a highly-trained staff dedicated to providing our patients with the best possible services in general, cosmetic, and restorative dentistry.
Contact us at (703) 345-1100 to book a much-needed appointment and learn about the current services we offer.