Dentistry after the Coronavirus Lockdown
If you are reading this, you are probably at home following the nationwide lockdown and sooner than later you will need to get back to work and get your hands dirty (pun intended). But before you dive headfirst into a sea of patients who have waited patiently or NOT so patiently, here are a few things you should know and follow to protect your patients, staff and yourself against the pandemic that is COVID-19 popularly known as “The Coronavirus.”
1. MINIMISE THE CHANCE FOR EXPOSURE
Text messages or calls should advise patients not to come in if they have fever more than 100F.
Hand sanitisers and tissues must be made available at the front desk.
Reception staff should screen patients and family members.
Signs and posters should be posted advising patients on hand hygiene, respiratory hygiene and cough etiquette.
Click here to download this sign for your practice.
2. STRICTLY FOLLOW STERILISATION PROTOCOL
Clean and disinfect public areas frequently.
Sterilise hand-pieces after every patient.
Use alcohol based hand sanitiser before and after patient contact or contact with potentially infectious material.
3. WEAR PROPER PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT
4. TAKE DETAILED TRAVEL AND HEALTH HISTORY
A few questions about the patient’s travel history can go a long way in reducing the risk of infection. If positive, postpone elective dental treatment for upto 14 days and advise self quarantine.
Patients with flu like symptoms must be referred to a hospital for proper evaluation.
Take temperature reading during routine assessment of patients.
5. ENSURE SAFE WASTE MANAGEMENT
Treat waste contaminated with blood, body fluids, secretions and excretions as clinical waste.
Double-layer yellow coloured medical waste package bags should be used.
Discard single use items properly.
Covid-19 is not the first pandemic and it will certainly not be the last, being prepared is the only way to tackle such crises when they arise. So let’s work together to safeguard the health of our society and fight the Coronavirus.
"Your responsibility to be ready for the fight, never ends"
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