According to a recent Kaiser Family Foundation poll published on May 27, 2020, approximately 50% of the poll participants reported that they have deferred medical procedures during the recent COVID-19 pandemic. Does this sound like you? Have you been referred to an oral surgeon but have postponed scheduling an appointment because of safety concerns? While this is certainly reasonable and understandable, it is also important for you to receive the care that you need when you need it.
At Northwest Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, we are treating new and established patients and are delivering the full scope of safe and effective oral surgical care. We have anticipated our patients’ concerns and have implemented advanced measures to reduce the risk of exposure to the coronavirus.
What to expect when you visit Northwest Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery:
- Healthy patients and staff: Upon arrival and before check-in, temperatures will be taken from the patient and the patient’s guest. Additionally, we will ask for both to complete a questionnaire related to potential contact with a COVID-19 patient, travel history and health symptoms. Our doctors and employees are screened daily with multiple temperature checks.
- Preventative measures: Masks are worn by all employees, including administrative and surgical team members. We have implemented enhanced surface cleaning routines. Our waiting areas are clean and frequently disinfected throughout the day. Magazines, newspapers and other reading materials have been discarded to eliminate the potential spread of germs. Hand sanitizer is readily available for use by patients and team members.
- Social distancing: Following check-in, patients are encouraged to wait outside in their cars until it is time to see the surgeon. Appointment times are staggered to reduce the number of patients in the office at any given time.
Because of the nature of our practice, oral surgery offices are inherently clean, sanitized and disinfected. We are required to adhere to strict guidelines set forth by the CDC and OSHA for infection control. In response to the recent outbreak of coronavirus, we have implemented more rigorous surface cleaning measures and adopted additional layers of infection control which address clean air:
- Hypochlorous acid: To reduce the risk of aerosol transmission of coronavirus, each room (waiting, exam and operatory) is sprayed frequently throughout the day with a fine mist of a safe, non-toxic solution of hypochlorous acid which is 100 times more effective than chlorine bleach to kill bacteria, bacterial spores, viruses and fungi. Hypochlorous acid is an effective combination of salt, water and vinegar that does not damage surfaces, clothing or instruments.
- Air purifiers using HEPA filter and UVC light: In each room (waiting, exam and operatory), patients will see new air purifiers. To facilitate clean air, each unit uses a HEPA filter and UVC ultraviolet light to kill viruses, bacteria and other airborne pathogens. These new units run continuously throughout the day to purify the air within a room.
- Portable UV light sterilization: Between each surgical procedure, operatories will be disinfected with UV light sterilization using a portable UV disinfection lamp. The lamp will be placed in the room, remotely activated, and takes 10–15 minutes to complete the disinfection process. Using a combination of ozone and UV light, 99.9% of bacteria, viruses and other pathogens are effectively eliminated and unable to infect our patients.
Any one of these additional methods would augment disinfection and address concerns with coronavirus in the office; however, we are choosing to use redundancy in employing these additional measures which provide extra precautions for you and our staff.
How can you help?
At Northwest Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, we are pleased to be able to resume practicing the full scope of oral and maxillofacial surgery. We feel confident that the extra layers of disinfection will help minimize exposure to the coronavirus and prevent its spread to you, our patients and our employees. We appreciate your cooperation and understanding as we continue to implement these new measures.
You can help us out by:
- Completing new patient forms online before arriving at our office. New patient forms can be found at Patient Registration Form. By completing forms online, you can reduce the amount of time spent in our waiting area and eliminate touching extraneous pieces of paper, writing pens and clipboards.
- If you have valid concerns about your possible exposure to coronavirus or think that you exhibit any of the symptoms associated with the virus, please call our office to discuss your individual situation. If necessary, we will reschedule your appointment.
- Ask us questions. We are happy to address any of your concerns about your safety as it relates to coronavirus, and we strive to make your visit to Northwest Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery a pleasant, stress-free and safe experience.