Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Infection Control Update
As the Coronavirus (COVID-19) is beginning to grow and affect our area, we want to assure you that we are taking every precaution possible to keep our patients and staff safe and healthy.
As part of our regular practice, we follow federal (OSHA, CDC) and state (Iowa Department of Health) guidelines. The last part of this blog includes photos and descriptions of the main techniques and protocols we incorporate at a Joiner and Zwart Dentistry.
During this time of heightened concern with the Coronavirus, we are also taking the following extra steps to decrease the risk of spread and put our patients at ease:
- Social Distancing - If you prefer to avoid the reception room, you can call our office once you arrive in the parking lot at 712-737-3521 and we will call or text when it is time to go back to the treatment room so you can bypass the reception room altogether
- We have hand sanitizer for you when you enter and leave the office.
- We are minimizing paperwork so no one will have to use a pen used by another patient.
- We have removed magazines, toys and more from our office to prevent contamination.
- We have always wiped doorknobs and surfaces with disinfectant, but will now do so even more often
-We accept Apple Pay and Google Pay so you never have to touch a credit card machine.
We are now asking our patients to assist us. If you have been sick, or have been around someone who is ill, especially someone who is positive for Coronavirus, please call us at 712-737-3521 to reschedule.
If you have an upcoming appointment and have recently traveled, especially if it was outside of the United States or an area of the country that is heavily affected at this time, we ask that you call us to see if we need to reschedule your appointment.
Symptoms of Coronavirus include:
Fever Runny nose Sore throat Cough Difficulty breathing
Behind the scenes of Joiner and Zwart Infection Control
By no means is the following inclusive of all the techniques and protocols involved in infection control in our office, but hopefully will give you a glimpse to how serious we have always considered infection control at Joiner and Zwart Dentistry:
For years we have contracted with an outside consultant who specializes in infection control, OSHA and CDC guidelines. We take yearly training and verify compliance as regulations change and techniques improve.
We have a state-of-the-art sterilization and instrument processing center – this was a priority when we designed our new facility:
- After treatment, any debris cleaned off instruments with disinfectant wipes in treatment room before being brought to sterilization for processing.
- The instruments are placed in one of two ultrasonic cleaners to remove any remaining debris and kill the bugs.
- They are then washed in the sink We use cassettes for our instruments which is considered the gold standard to allow full cleaning and sterilization.
- After washing in the sink, the cassettes are then wrapped in a special single use wrap for sterilization.
- The cassettes are placed in one of four top of the line sterilizers at high heat with pressure which sterilizes.
- They are then dried in the sterilizer which ensures they stay sterile. We verify sterilization in three ways: 1) we place tape on the cassette wraps that turns color when properly sterilized. 2) we place special test strips inside the wrapped cassettes that ensures the temperature was adequate to sterilize inside the cassette. 3) We use an outside lab to verify our sterilizers are working properly once per week Instruments are dated and resterilized if not used before the they are considered no longer sterilized.
Our staff is highly trained to follow guidelines for maintaining clean working environment in the treatment room:
- Rooms are disinfected and waterlines are cleaned out before and after every use
- Nothing is touched with bare hands – always clean gloves Disposable covers are used everywhere possible.
- We wear proper masks and gloves along with washing our hands and using hand sanitizer.