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Update on Future Re-Opening for Routine Dental Treatment

June 3, 2020

Update on future re-opening for routine dental treatment

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Shawnee Health Care, Dental will remain closed at this time until we can adopt strategies to protect the health and safety of our patients and staff.

 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our offices stopped all routine dental care in March, providing emergency dental care only.

 

Recently, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and the American Dental Association (ADA), in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), lifted restrictions on dental offices and provided guidance for resuming routine care while minimizing the risk of transmission of COVID-19.

 

The CDC recommends that oral health facilities reduce potential risk of aerosolized (converted into a fine spray in the air) COVID-19 by using the following strategies:

 

  • Reducing aerosolization- such as high-volume evacuation
  • Minimizing and neutralizing strategies – such as HEPA (high efficiency particulate absorbing) filters and ultraviolet germicidal irradiation

 

We are aware that many local dental offices have opened for routine dental care by implementing practices such as screening and use of personal protective equipment (PPE) to minimize the risk of transmission of COVID-19. Shawnee Health Service does not feel that these strategies effectively meet the CDC recommendations.

Based on the CDC recommendations, Shawnee Health Care, Dental will adopt the following strategies for re-opening, in order to protect the health and safety of our patients and staff.

 

  1. Installation of surgical air purifiers with HEPA filters and germicidal ultraviolet light, which filters and destroys contaminants and viruses (in each treatment room, sterilization area, front desk and waiting room).
  2. Installation of high-volume evacuation devices which further reduce the aerosol produced during the dental treatment.
  3. Increased infection control measures.
  4. Additional PPE based on the level of risk of aerosol production.
  5. Screening – prior to the appointment and on the day of the appointment.
  6. Testing – all patients will be screened and tested three days prior to the appointment. No treatment will be provided on patients who test positive.
  7. Temperatures will be taken prior to the appointment. Patients or visitors with temperatures over 100 degrees will not be allowed in the office.
  8. Visitors will be limited.
  9. The number of patients in the waiting room at the same time will be reduced.

 

We have ordered the necessary equipment, but have been notified that it could be more than 60 days before it is shipped.

 

Please understand that our goal is to provide dental care in the safest environment possible, for both our patients and staff.

 

We are still here to help with dental emergencies.  If you are experiencing a dental emergency (severe pain, loose tooth, chipped or cracked tooth, swelling or knots in gums, etc.), please call (618) 519-9200.

 

For more COVID-19 updates from Shawnee Health Service, click here. 

 

 

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