To all of our valued patients,
As everyone is aware, most businesses in Massachusetts and around the country, including our dental office, have either closed completely or reduced their service schedules due to the Corona virus pandemic.
Although we have temporarily closed our office, I would like to assure you that we have not rested. I can only view this downtime as an opportunity to improve the protocols for safety, service and excellent treatment results for our patients. Along with my staff and experts in dental office infection control, I am in the process of incorporating the latest and most effective equipment and protocols to keep my patients and staff safe.
In over 35 years of practice and treating thousands of patients of all ages and wide ranging medical conditions, we have never infected a single patient nor had any staff member infected from any patient. We have achieved this through the A.I.D.S., S.A.R.S, swine flu, avian flu and many other epidemics. We have achieved this stellar record by treating every single patient as if they were infected with a highly contagious disease. We call this method of caring for patients and staff “Universal Precautions” and it is the only way to ensure that we do not have a chain of infection from patient to patient, staff to patient or patient to staff. We have lived by this understanding of infection control for my entire career. Our protocols are continuously updated as new research becomes available. It has always been this way and in my practice, it always will.
Many of our efforts in this regard are invisible as they take place behind the scenes. For example, my entire staff receives training every year on infection control, hazard communication, material and chemical safety, HIPPA, CPR and other safety measures. Some of the invisible measures that we have taken include installing devices that continuously disinfect our dental equipment water lines and changing our disinfecting agents as soon as research shows that there is a better product that can be utilized. We have four hospital grade instrument sterilizing autoclaves in our office, which is rare for an office of our size.
As we are always moving forward, there will undoubtedly be improvements in the way we practice when we reopen. I have decided on some measures such as taking body temperatures of all patients at every visit and all staff members at the beginning of every shift. This can be done with devices that do not touch anyone’s skin and takes about three seconds. We will be using N95 or KN 95 masks for all patients. I am currently evaluating other measures such as pretreatment mouth rinses and air purification systems.
Lastly, let’s not forget that this situation is temporary and we are looking forward to once again caring for our patients and making the patient experience in our office better than ever!
Dr. George Salem and Staff