COVID-19: Frequently Asked Questions
Pediatric Dental Associates is 100% committed to the safety of our patients, families, and staff during these unprecedented times. Like just about everything these days, a trip to the dentist isn’t the same as it was before the pandemic.
We understand that you may have questions about how we’re keeping our offices safe. Below are some of the most frequently asked questions we’ve received from our patient families. Should you have any additional questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us.
Is it safe to go to the dentist right now?
According to a recent study by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), “Oral health care is a medical necessity and has been found to be safe for patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
What precautions are the offices taking?
Our offices are taking an abundance of precautions to minimize the risk of spreading infectious diseases, including the coronavirus. This includes enhanced sterilization and cleaning procedures, stringent PPE requirements, adding physical barriers to our front desks and hygiene bays, and changes to our check-in procedures.
What Personal Protective Equipment do the Dentists and Clinical Staff wear?
Our dentists and clinical staff wears a full kit of personal protective equipment (PPE) including, but not limited to:
- a KN95 mask covered by a surgical mask,
- a face shield and/or goggles
- Single-use gloves,
- Disposable protective gowns
Our front desk and non-clinical staff also wear a surgical mask while in our offices.
How do you allow for social distancing in your offices?
Our waiting rooms can be busy places. To limit the number of people in these spaces, and to allow for proper social distancing, we ask that only one parent or caregiver accompany the child(ren) to their appointment.
We have also implemented a buzzer system to allow families to wait in their car after check-in until they are ready to go back. If you’ve arrived at our office by public transportation or another means that doesn’t allow you to wait in a car, please notify the front desk for accommodations.
Does the office staff get tested before coming in every day?
Our staff is not subject to a COVID-19 test every day, but prior to starting work each day, their temperature is taken and they must complete a screening questionnaire.
How are employees being screened for COVID-19?
At the start of every day, all employees have their temperatures taken. Any employee with a temperature above 100.4 degrees is not permitted to enter the facility. Employees must also complete a screening questionnaire before beginning their shift. Employees that do not pass the questionnaire are not permitted to enter the facility.
How are patients being screened for COVID-19?
Patients and parents must have their temperatures taken before being seen in our office. They must also complete a pre-appointment questionnaire at the time the appointment is scheduled, in addition to arriving at the office on the day of their appointment.
Is the staff also getting asked the same questions for COVID-19 as the parents are?
Employees and parents/patients are subject to the same screening questionnaire and temperature checks.
What infectious disease and sterilization standards do you have in place?
Pediatric Dental Associates has always followed stringent infectious disease controls, even before the coronavirus pandemic. Our offices follow the standards and guidelines set forth by our state Boards of Dentistry, the Centers for Disease Control, and the American Dental Association.
Have any of your dental procedures changed due to COVID-19?
Because the coronavirus is spread through airborne droplets, we have made changes to some of our in-office dental procedures. During the teeth cleaning portion of your child’s appointment, we may clean and brush your child’s teeth using a manual toothbrush instead of a motorized or pneumatic device that creates more airborne particles.
How long do patients have to wait to schedule if they came out positive for COVID-19, or were exposed to it?
Based on recent guidance from the CDC, we are able to treat a patient that previously tested positive for COVID-19 if it has been at least 14 days since the diagnosis AND at least 10 days since the symptoms subsided.
Are the offices disinfected daily?
Our offices are cleaned at least once per week by a professional cleaning company in addition to our standard daily cleaning and sterilization protocols.
Are the dental chairs sanitized after each patient?
Following each appointment, the dental chairs are wiped down with a healthcare-grade disinfectant wipe. We also rotate appointments throughout the office whenever possible to allow for necessary disinfecting and cleaning measures.
Do you have air filtration systems in your offices?
Yes, we operate air purifiers in our clinical areas and hygiene bays.
Should parents go into the office to check-in?
Parents should report to the front desk to check-in for their appointment. The front desk will complete the temperature check and screening questionnaire. You will be provided with a buzzer and asked to wait in your car or another location to limit the number of individuals in our waiting room.