Coronavirus (COVID-19) Dental Update from Dr. Furlan
As the Corona virus (COVID-19) situation is evolving, we want all of our wonderful patients to know that we are staying informed and are following all precautions to keep our patients and staff safe. Following recent media coverage about masks and dentistry, I’d like to let you know that we have a healthy stock of masks and we are relieved to hear some good news!
Last Sunday, the Australian Dental Association (ADA) President Dr Carmelo Bonanno announced that a portion of the government’s emergency mask stock has been earmarked for dental practices as a result of the ADA’s advocacy efforts.
Your Safety Is Our Priority
The risk of exposure to the virus in our dental surgery is extremely low to nil, as we must practice ‘Universal Precaution’.
This means that we sterilise all our instruments and disinfect all clinical and front office areas in between every patient to ensure that all viral and bacterial cross contamination is not possible, not just for the current COVID-19 Coronavirus, but for all communicable diseases.
Our staff are fully trained and certified to do this to the highest ‘Hospital’ standards.
For more information on our infection control protocols, read: Guidelines for Infection Control posted on https://www.nhmrc.gov.au/about-us/publications/australian-guidelines-prevention-and-control-infection-healthcare-2019.
This ensures the utmost safety for all our patients, staff and our families. While there are many websites that have information on COVID-19, I urge everyone to only use reputable sources like the Australian Medical Association website.
What specifically are we doing at our practice to protect patients?
Our strict protocol includes assessing if patients:
- Have a fever/history of fever AND shortness of breath or a cough or a sore throat.
- Severe acute respiratory infection.
- They have travelled overseas in the last 2 weeks, especially to China, Iran and South Korea, where the number of infected cases has risen dramatically.
- Been in close contact with anyone who has had confirmed Coronavirus (COVID-19) or who has been in a health facility treating them. We urge that patients relating to the above hold off urgent dental treatment for at least 2 to 4 weeks after the potential exposure. This is also applicable to all staff members.
Our Protocol Effective immediately: (until further notice)
- If you have been overseas recently, you will be required to delay your appointments for at least 14 days from your arrival to Australia.
- Any patients who has been overseas at high-risk countries where the virus is spreading fast such as Italy, Iran & South Korea will be requested to delay their appointments for a recommended period of 28 days from the date of their arrival to Australia. More countries will be added or removed from the list in future updates depending on the close monitoring of the situation.
- Patients who have any cold or flu like symptoms are required to delay their appointments until they have fully recovered.
- A sign will be placed at the reception desk as a reminder to any patients of the above requirements.
What can you do to help limit the spread of Corona Virus (COVID-19)?
- Hand hygiene. The single most important protection is to make sure that you are washing your hands before touching food or your face.
- Don’t touch your face. This limits the virus from entering your mouth and eyes, thus infecting your lungs
- If you do cough or sneeze, make sure that it is into a disposable tissue or the nook of your elbow
- If you are unwell, wear a mask to stop the spread of any infection to others.
- The use of masks should be limited to medical/health personnel.
Once again, I assure you that, your safety and our staff’s safety is our utmost priority. If you have any other questions, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org
Be safe and I look forward to seeing you again soon at your next dental visit.
Dr Camelia Furlan