The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in collaboration with dental organizations, released new recommendations for personal protective equipment (PPE) for dental personnel on March 24, 2020. The updated guidance reflects updated information about COVID-19 and PPE, and incorporates new data from a PPE needs assessment conducted by the American Dental Association (ADA), CDC, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
What is PPE?
Personal protective equipment, or PPE for short, is to be used to prevent exposure to bodily fluids and droplets containing the virus that causes COVID-19.
Why is PPE important?
The Centers for Disease Control and Protection recommends all patients wear a face mask when they visit the dentist’s office, especially those who are at higher risk for complications from COVID-19. While your general dentist doesn’t provide treatment for patients with COVID-19, they can help protect you from the virus by following proper infection control procedures. That includes using a facemask or physical barrier when they examine you.
Over six million Americans have tested positive for COVID-19, but the CDC estimates that number is closer to 16 million. This means when you’re at your doctor’s appointment, you may be exposed to someone who has the coronavirus. If you’ve already been diagnosed with another health condition, such as asthma or COPD, you are at a higher risk because you already have compromised lungs. By wearing a mask when you come for your routine care, you’re protecting yourself from spreading the illness to those around you.
What Is PPE guidance?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued guidance on the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) by healthcare providers for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19. While the CDC has not issued specific guidelines for dental practices, it has recommended that all healthcare workers use appropriate PPE for individuals suspected of having or confirmed to have COVID-19.
At our practice, we are taking the following steps to protect the health and safety of our patients and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic:
Why is PPE guidance important?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are warning Americans that COVID-19 is spreading rapidly throughout the country and urging people to stay alert and practice social distancing to avoid contracting the virus. In order to reduce the risk of infection, the CDC is recommending the use of face coverings in public settings where other preventative measures are not possible.
At Rosemont Dental, we are following the guidelines set forth by the CDC regarding safety in caring for our patients. This includes wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves and masks in order to protect ourselves and our patients from the spread of COVID-19. We are also maintaining six feet of distance from patients whenever possible, as well as keeping waiting areas free of unnecessary items to decrease the amount of contact between patients and our staff. As an additional precaution, each of our staff members is required to wear gloves in all patient care areas.
We also recommend not to visit the dentist if you suspect that you have contracted the coronavirus. If you are experiencing symptoms such as a fever, cough, shortness of breath, runny nose, or muscle aches, we recommend contacting your primary care physician as soon as possible to be evaluated and treated appropriately. If you are unable to see your physician due to extreme circumstances, you should call your local health department for assistance.
Visit Rosemont Dental Center, 2090 Old Farm Dr #C, Frederick, MD 21702, or contact the Dentist in Frederick, MD, by calling us at (301) 663-1144 to learn more about oral health and stress.