July 11, 2021
Well, it's been a while since our last update which may be a testament to how the office has been running. Smoothly! Patients still ask us daily how we are coping with the changes to our protocol which we implemented what feels like a decade ago! Again, not much has changed in regards to the disinfection of our dental rooms/operatories. The standard of infection control in dental has always been high which includes double wipe-downs of all surfaces in our dental rooms and sterilizing all instruments. Our Hepa filters still run and we still love them. Some of our patients have even opted to buy them for personal use for themselves (think forest fires). Our beautiful large windows are open and give us a constant breath of fresh air as well.
What has been hard is all the gear we wear which includes face shields and gowns. This translates to a very hot and sweaty environment for us and head and neck discomfort from the weight of the shield and even motion sickness believe it or not. But, we are always grateful for that heavy face shield when we get a surprise splash in the face of water and saliva. Thank you face shield, we love you, despite the extra physiotherapy we need! Despite these challenges, we have adapted and don't think twice about all these things anymore. We are a well-oiled machine.
One of our favourite improvements is the management of our patient flow. We still check patients in and escort them directly into and out of our operatories. This ensures our office feels spacious and calm for the amount of people we have in there (occupancy control). We are present for our patients from arrival to departure, ensuring solid communication during the hand-off from assistant (Litsa) to dentist (Anna) to hygienist (Holly) to receptionist (Sandy).
Things have changed again as more and more people get their second shot and case numbers plummet. The four of us received our second vaccination more than a month ago and it feels like spirits are high in Vancouver.
What to Expect
At this time we will not be changing our office protocol and masks will still be required upon entry of our office and in our common areas. We will still be doing our prescreening and consent forms as we like to be slow and cautious. You guys are so good at it anyways, you could fill out the forms in your sleep! We will re-evaluate and adjust in the coming months. Your safety and our safety is the only thing that matters. Let's keep it up! Thank you all for your patience and cooperation. We truly believe we have the most thoughtful and kind patients out there.
October 19, 2020
Airflow and Ventilation
When we returned to work in May we were lucky to have large windows to open in each dental room. These open windows enhanced ventilation and air exchange in our office. With the weather getting colder and wetter, we opt to close our windows and install HEPA-filtration units to keep up with the ventilation and air exchange we want. Each of our three filtration units purifies 350 cubic feet of air per minute. Believe it or not, these air purification units are just a small part of everything we are doing to keep our patients and community safe. Although it's hard to ignore these large whirring machines in our dental rooms, it is the not-so-glamorous things like patient screening, rubber dam, and high-volume suctions (think mouth vacuums), that does all the heavy lifting! Thank you all for being so cooperative with our new protocols which keep us safe, you safe, and our office open.
August 18, 2020
It's been a long time...
Boy, we have come a long way since March. We now have several months of operation under our belt and with every day, week, and month we grow more confident with our process. Although all these health forms can feel tedious, many of you have commented positively and have appreciated our thoroughness and diligence. We appreciate everyone's patience in this. It is this screening (and your honesty when filling out the forms) that keeps everyone safe.
As the case numbers rise we are reminded to stay vigilant in our social life and to be level-headed and responsible in our actions. Many are suffering from "covid fatigue" and are struggling with ways to cope with the stress of the pandemic. We can definitely relate as it affects us all. Here at the office, we are fortunate enough to be able to rely on the systems we put in place. Our enhanced protocol and strict adherence to the rules we have committed to gives us a sense of relief. This is our new normal and we have embraced it.
As most of our patients are aware, we are now seeing patients for hygiene appointments. At this point it is still hand instrumentation only, no cavitron and no polish. Luckily, the therapeutic value lies in the scaling and root planing. We are very cautious as a team, so although there are some offices that are providing these services, we just have not decided to do this yet. Whenever we can, we want to limit aerosol production.
It seems like many patients are wanting to have their cleaning appointment before our second wave, but there are still a good number of people who still prefer to wait. If you are unsure about what is best for you, feel free to call the office and speak to us and we can work through it together.
June 9, 2020
Come Get Your Phase 2 Cleanings!
We are happy to announce the re-opening our hygiene program next week. Availability will be limited so we deeply appreciate your patience in the process. Dr. Pranata will review your chart to determine that your need qualifies you to take priority in scheduling a cleaning during this time. If you qualify, please book an appointment only if you are comfortable. If you have decided that staying home is in your best interest, we support you.
At the office we have adjusted our schedule by creating hygiene-only days and times to control the flow of people and to manage physical distancing. We are carefully screening each patient and limiting entry into the office in order to keep ourselves and our patients safe. Read below to see what else we are doing to keep our space safe.
June 1, 2020
And We're Back!
We are excited to re-open our office after more than 2 months of temporary closure under the direction of our public health office. Although we have always provided emergency dental support for our patients, we can now carefully provide a larger range of in-person treatment. This is the beginning of a careful reopening as we expand our range of services under the guidelines of our College. Please be patient as it will not be instantly back to “normal”. Our hygiene program has yet to be fully reinstated.
Changes We Have Made
1. Managing patient flow - we will be seeing fewer patients in one day to maintain physical distancing requirements. Only one patient will be allowed in the waiting room at one time. Patients will be asked to phone the office when they arrive for their appointment and wait in their car or outside if they are early.
2. Limiting entry to the office - We have provided an area for delivery people to drop off our parcels and mail at the door, eliminating the need for entry. Patients are asked to come alone, with the exception of a caretaker. Less foot traffic means a safer space for all of us.
3. Enhanced screening - All staff will review their symptoms, take their temperature and make a health declaration at the start of every day. Every single patient is screened twice before they are allowed to attend their dental appointment. When they arrive, their temperature is taken, hands sanitized and a mask is given to them before they are allowed to enter
4. Patients are booked only after a risk assessment is conducted to ensure the suitability of dental care during Phase II. Your medical history will be reviewed to decide whether dental treatment is in your best interest at this time.
5. Protective barriers - We have installed a plexiglass barrier to protect our reception area and we have implemented the use of more protective coverings to be placed over high traffic areas.
6. Frequent disinfection - We have divided the office into different zones and have implemented a, disinfection schedule for high touch areas.
7. Enhanced personal protective equipment and protocols - We have everything we need to keep us safe from you and you safe from us. All staff members will be in a mask and protective eyewear at all times.
8. Increased air flow - Our windows will be open to allow for increased air circulation and ventilation
9. Join us in maintaining physical distance between one another in our office. Use our floor markers for guidance.
10. There will be multiple hand sanitizing stations throughout the office and we will advise you when and how to use them.
11. Patients will be required to rinse with a 1.5% hydrogen peroxide solution before dental treatment.
12. We ask that patients leave their cell phone in their pocket or bag during their appointment as they tend to collect and transfer a lot of germs.
13. If you are feeling sick, please do not come to the office. Call us at 604-261-2220 and you will receive support and guidance from us.
Thank you again for all your support and patience during this time. We look forward to seeing you soon!
Dr. Anna Pranata, Litsa, Sandy, and Holly