We hope you and your family are doing well and in good health. Our community has been through a lot over the last few months, and all of us are looking forward to resuming our normal habits and routines. While many things have changed, one thing has remained the same: our commitment to your safety and well being.
We have been cleared by the Kern County Health Department to re-open our office. Infection control has always been a top priority of our practice and you may have seen this during your visits to our office. Our infection control processes have always exceeded the recommended guidelines and that when you receive care, it is both safe and comfortable. Due to COVID-19, we have taken further steps to ensure the safety of both our patients and our team members. We have appropriate PPE: N95 masks, face shields and gowns for doctors and staff to wear while seeing patients. In addition, we have installed HEPA filtration units In every room, sneeze guards at the reception areas as well as using Isolite high vacuum suction devices to reduce aerosols. In every room, we have installed Upper Air Ultraviolet Light UVC units. Throughout the day we are fogging and sterilizing patient areas with HOCL, a powerful disinfectant that is 100 times more powerful than bleach and is harmless to humans.
Our office follows infection control recommendations made by the American Dental Association (ADA), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). We follow the activities of these agencies so that we are up-to-date on any new rulings or guidelines that may be issued.
You may see some changes when it is time for your next appointment. We made these changes to help protect our patients and staff. For example:
Our office will communicate with you beforehand to ask some screening questions. You’ll be asked those same questions again when you are at the office. We will be taking temperatures of patients and staff using a non-contact thermometer. Per CDC guidelines, we will reschedule those who exhibit a fever over 100.4 degrees F, or have symptoms associated with COVID-19.
We have hand sanitizer that we will ask you to use when you enter the office. You will also find some in the reception area and other places in the office for you to use as needed.
You may see that our waiting room will no longer offer magazines, children’s toys and so forth, since those items are difficult to clean and disinfect.
Appointments will be managed to allow for social distancing between patients.
We will do our best to allow greater time between patients to reduce waiting times for you, as well as to reduce the number of patients in the reception area at any one time.
We look forward to seeing you again and are happy to answer any questions you may have about the steps we take to keep you, and every patient, safe in our practice. To make an appointment, please call our office at office 661-833-0101.
Thank you for being our patient. We value your trust and loyalty and look forward to welcoming back our patients, neighbors and friends.
Anthony Ching, DDS and the staff at Southwest Family
American Dental Association Responds to World Health Organization Recommendation: Dentistry is Essential Health Care
August 12, 2020
CHICAGO, August 12, 2020 —The American Dental Association (ADA) respectfully yet strongly disagrees with the World Health Organization’s (WHO) recommendation to delay “routine” dental care in certain situations due to COVID-19.
“Oral health is integral to overall health. Dentistry is essential health care,” states ADA President Chad P. Gehani, D.D.S. “Dentistry is essential health care because of its role in evaluating, diagnosing, preventing or treating oral diseases, which can affect systemic health.”
Dr. Gehani added that in March, when COVID-19 cases began to rise in the U.S., the ADA called for dentists to postpone all but urgent and emergency care in order to understand the disease, consider its effect on dental patients, dental professionals and the greater community.
Both the ADA and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) then issued interim guidance for dental professionals related to COVID-19. The ADA’s guidance calls for the highest level of PPE available—masks, goggles and face shields. The ADA’s interim guidance also calls for the use of rubber dams and high velocity suction whenever possible and hand scaling when cleaning teeth rather than using ultrasonic scaling to minimize aerosols.
Dr. Gehani concludes, “Millions of patients have safely visited their dentists in the past few months for the full range of dental services. With appropriate PPE, dental care should continue to be delivered during global pandemics or other disaster situations.”
The WHO provides guidance worldwide, and its recent document “Considerations for the provision of essential oral health services in the context of COVID-19” is not specific to the United States, nor California. Guidance from the CDC and the California Department of Public Health, along with the ADA and CDA provide the resources and tools necessary to help dental teams practice safely during the pandemic.