Our Infection Control Protocol
Information about infection control at West Annapolis Family Dentistry.
Infection controls and universal precautions protect patients and team members alike. Everyone benefits from rigorous infection control—you, your dentist, and the dental team. Furthermore, the cornerstone in a good and safe dental practice is the element of trust, and you should feel free to discuss infection control with your dentist and receive straightforward answers.
West Annapolis Family Dentistry follows procedures recommended by several federal agencies: the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Our infection control measures include:
- Disinfectant hand soap
- Gloves and face masks
- Chemical disinfection of countertops and surfaces
- Sterilization of all equipment before every use
- Finally, we use disposable materials whenever possible
We sterilize all reusable equipment, including dental handpieces. We use an autoclave, a device that kills bacteria and viruses by steam, heat, and pressure.
The best defense against disease is information. Then, the more you know, the better equipped you are to make wise decisions about your health care. In addition, the more you know about our daily procedures and policies, the more comfortable you will feel.
Workflow Update & Infection Control Protocol (Post COVID-19)
Provider and staff
- Limited staff availability: Out of an abundance of caution, we have requested our providers/staff who may have pre-existing medical conditions to stay home for a few extra weeks. This might limit the ability to see your preferred dentist/hygienist. We appreciate your patience and understanding.
- Updated training on infection control: Throughout this pandemic, we have closely followed safety guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the American Dental Association (ADA). Our staff has gone through updated training to stay informed about changing requirements.
- Daily screening: As part of the newly-implemented protocol, each staff member will have their temperature taken in the morning.
Before you arrive
- Patient screening: Our front office will be performing a rigorous screening of incoming patients. This includes inquiry of recent travel history, medical history, exposure to any known coronavirus patient, and more.
- Curbside check-in: Patients can now check-in via curbside text. You have the option to wait in your car until an operatory is ready. A member of our staff will call or text you when ready so that you can minimize exposure to other areas of the office.
- Teledentistry: We have recently implemented a teledentistry feature through our practice management system. If you are unsure whether you should come into the office or would rather speak to your dentist from home, we will send a secure link to your email for the video consultation. Please be advised that the system is HIPAA-compliant and does not require installing any additional technology.
Reception area/waiting room
- New flooring: To reduce the risk of infection, we have removed all carpets in our office. The floor has now been replaced with washable laminate boards. We request that you remain cautious of the different surface when you first arrive.
- Screened patients only: We have reorganized our front office to set up a screening window. Patients will only be allowed into the waiting area once they have been cleared at the front desk.
- Electronic forms: You now have the ability to complete all medical and dental forms from home or using your phone. No more paper forms, clipboards, and pens – should you choose so.
- Social distancing: Inside the waiting area, we have reduced the number of seats. Chairs will be spaced six feet apart to maintain social distancing.
Inside the operatory
- KN95 masks, face shields: Inside the operatory, every dentist/staff will be wearing KN95 masks and face shields.
- Air purifier: We have installed air purifiers within the office to limit the spread of aerosolized particles.
- DryShield isolation system: We have introduced the DryShield isolation system for better suction.
- Coats and gowns: Our providers and staff will use washable scrubs, lab coats, and gowns in the office.
- In-office laundry: We have installed an in-office washer and dryer.
- Contactless payment: Our front office can help you process payments with little to no contact.
- Protective screen: We have placed a sneeze-guard between the patient and the front office.
- Online portal: All patients have access to an electronic patient portal. If you have not received an invite, please request our front-office to re-send it. You can use the patient portal to fill out patient forms and make payments online.
- New practice management system: In preparation for the changing times, we have upgraded our practice management system. We are now a digital, paperless practice. The new system has features such as teledentistry, direct text messaging, online appointment requests, and a patient portal.
- Enhanced patient communication: The new system allows us to stay better connected with our patients. We will send you periodic updates about the practice as well as your dental needs.
- In-house membership plan: We have introduced our in-house dental membership plan for those who do not have insurance. We are excited to send a separate correspondence with details.
- Learn more about our Infection Control Protocol (PDF), and what our team members are doing behind the scenes to keep you safe.
If you have any questions about our infection control protocols and standards, then please contact West Annapolis Family Dentistry by calling (410) 263-3700 or visit our contact page. Finally, ask your dentist any questions that you may have during your first visit, or any regularly scheduled appointment.