Updated Safety Procedures

**Effective Monday, 5/4/2020**

While many things have changed, one things has remained the same: our commitment to your safety.

Infection control has always been a top priority for our practice and you may have seen this during your visits to our office. Our infection control processes are made so that when you receive care, it’s both safe and comfortable. We want to tell you about the infection control procedures we follow in order to keep our team and patient family safe.

Our office follows recommendations made by the American Dental Association (ADA), the Montana Dental Board, the 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 guidance that may be issued. We do this to make sure that our infection control procedures are current and adhere to each agencies’ recommendations.

As most of you have heard, Governor Bullock’s Phase I of reopening our state was effective on Monday, April 27, 2020, and Phase II will be starting Monday, June 1st. In addition to the strict infection control guidelines that have been in place for many years, some new procedures have been added for us to be allowed to open. We assure you that our team has been hard at work researching these guidelines to come up with a plan to ensure that our patients and team remain safe.

NORMAL PROCEDURES:

  • All clinical team using face masks, gloves, and clinical attire during patient treatment
  • Office air filtered, new filters installed in April 2020
  • Treatment room surfaces and fixed equipment cleaned with high-level disinfectant after each patient
  • All instruments heat-pressure sterilized
  • Commonly touched surfaces (door handles, light switches, toilet handles, water faucet controls, counters, etc) cleaned with high-level disinfectant through the workday
  • Our dental treatment water is distilled and sterilized to make sure it is pure

NEW PROCEDURES:

  • Only patients will be allowed in the building for their reservation
    • Exceptions: parent/guardian or Power of Attorney (POA) of patient, and those needing assistance (limit to one per patient)
    • If needed, we’ll allow an additional guest to come inside at the end of the visit to aid with the patient’s checking out process
    • Our front doors will remain locked and a team member will control patient flow in and out of the building
    • You’ll be asked screening questions and have your temperature taken
    • Hand sanitizer will be dispensed and you’ll be given a personal pen to use during your visit
    • You’ll be asked to sit in our reception area where social distancing will be maintained
      • If our reception is full, we’ll ask you to wait outside/in your vehicle and we’ll call, text, or wave you in when ready
  • Prior to treatment, all patients will swish for 60 seconds with a pre-procedural anti-microbial rinse (at least 10 seconds for children) and wash their hands for 20 seconds
  • Our team will have their temperature taken and symptoms recorded upon arrival
  • Clinical team using face shields
  • To minimize aerosols:
    • Our dental hygienists will only be using the ultrasonic instrument judiciously and, if so, with high-volume suction
    • Our dentists & dental assistants will be using primarily high-volume suction (may be in the form of a mouthpiece) or a rubber dam

As per Governor Bullock’s Phase I & II Directive, we are recommending for any vulnerable patients to postpone treatment (unless urgent or a dental emergency).

  • Vulnerable Individuals: people over 65 years of age and/or those with serious underlying health conditions, including high blood pressure, chronic lung disease, diabetes, obesity, asthma, and those whose immune system is compromised such as by chemotherapy for cancer and other conditions requiring such therapy.

We have been told that as new information develops, there may be new guidelines added. We’ll keep you informed as they occur. 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.

~ Your MT West Dentist team


[ Updated 5/28/2020 ]