As a practice, Smile Connections has always taken infection control very seriously. We have very high standards in place and pride ourselves on strictly adhering to the Australian Dental Association Infection Control Guidelines and the Australian Standards for infection control in small healthcare settings. Running a good dental practice is like running a mini hospital – there’s lots to do before our first client of the day, and even more to do when our last client leaves to ensure that our practice complies with all of the statutory requirements. You may be surprised to know that it takes us over an hour and a half to reprocess instruments that we have used. If you wonder why there is a gap between one person leaving a dental surgery and another going in, it’s because we are wiping over all of the surfaces that we can wipe and changing the plastic barriers on all of the areas we can’t wipe down. So in many ways, the time of COVID-19 is not a big deal for a dental clinic to manage – we have always taken infection control very seriously.
So….what are we doing differently (aside from the mandatory social distancing)?
Well, here’s how it goes from the moment you come into the building:
- We will ask you to sanitise your hands when you enter.
- You’ll notice that the reception area is a bit empty – we’ve removed most of the chairs to comply with social distancing rules, you may even be asked to wait in another room to minimise the number of people at reception. We have also removed our much loved and very up to date magazines L
- When you are taken to the dental surgery you’ll be asked to sanitise or wash your hands again – just in case you have touched your face or mouth (lots of people point out which tooth is sore to the receptionist!).
- If you have come with a “support person”, they may be asked to wait outside the room for your procedure.
- You’ll then be given a “pre-procedural” hydrogen peroxide mouth rinse which kills up to 95% of the viruses and bacteria in your mouth for at least a couple of hours (including the virus that causes COVID-19). Why are we doing this? Less germs in your mouth means less germs end up in the air which is safer for our staff, you and the client after you.
- After your treatment, you’ll return to reception where we will ask you to sanitise your hands again.
- When we process your account, the EFTPOS machine will have been wiped down with alcohol before you touch it and after you touch it, as will the pen you use and the reception counter. You will see our receptionist sanitise her hands before she interacts with you.
- After you leave, the door handle you touched will be wiped with alcohol as will other commonly touched surfaces.
We know that you will understand that this is not personal, as we always have, we assume that everyone is infectious! Together, with understanding and a good healthy smile, we will all ride this bumpy road and come out on the other side of the curve happy and healthy. If you have any questions about the extra things we are doing or our routine procedures, we’d love to answer them – we have always been passionate about this topic.