On June 1, 2020, Governor Scott ended the ban on elective dental care in VT. Implant and General Dentistry of Vermont reopened on June 2, 2020 providing emergency, urgency treatments, previously paused by the coronavirus pandemic. On July 8th dental hygiene and health maintenance care resumed. Is there any new wisdom for us, living with COVID-19?
Neowise: New Wisdom in Dentistry
Did you see the comet Neowise through the month of July?
On clear evenings and nights, we were treated to a celestial observation that will not happen again until year 8,786!
It is curious that Neowise emerged just when the world was beginning to understand and be more effective battling the SARS CoV2.
You see, Neo Wise also means:
- Neo- new
- Wise- having or showing experience, knowledge, and good judgment, wisdom
What reality has come about with COVID for which comet Neowise reminds us?
Safety First is the New Wisdom
Reducing Risk of Infection
Since the COVID-19 outbreak, CDC, VT Dept. of Health, ADA and Vermont State Dental Society have gathered volumes of information about the coronavirus that started in China, last quarter of 2019. Parts of the country continue to surge with new cases. But, in Vermont, our case level is low!
Public and professional safety recommendations have kept most Vermonters healthy and safe from COVID-19. Compared with other States, Vermont continues to rank at the top for safest States in our country.
Vermont citizens have done an excellent job honoring easy common-sense health guidance including:
- Social distancing and mask barriers to minimize person to person transmission
- Travel and contact screening then quarantine with infection risk
- Self-screening for COVID-19 symptoms
- Willingness to test early rather than suffer consequences of severe infection
What about your dental office?
Cleanliness Notching Up
Dentistry has been on the cutting edge of cleanliness for years, especially since the early days of the AIDS epidemic, 1981. Since COVID-19, the dental profession “upped its game” for patient and personnel safety. “Safety first” protocols emphasize reducing risk of all infection, thereby preventing spread of communicable disease.
Steps to Reduce COVID Risk
- Patient Pre-screening– Lack of COVID related symptoms, acceptable travel and contact history are important to secure an appointment with our office.
- Appointments granted for symptom-less patients. Low travel or contact risk individuals can appoint.
- Individuals with high risk potential will be deferred until physical symptoms clear, quarantine satisfied or a COVID test proves negative.
- In-office Temperature Screening– Patients with fever are currently being reappointed. Simple testing for SARS CoV2 infections is available. Once cleared medically, appointments can resume.
- Personal Protective Equipment– Our attire is clinical and geared towards safety.
- We currently wear N95 or or a KN 95 mask covered with a surgical grade secondary mask and facial shield! You will see scrubs, gowns, and cuff to surgical glove closure.
- Doc has finally dropped his tie for your safety!
- Airborne Contaminant Reduction– COVID-19 can, potentially, be spread through aerosols. We take steps to minimize aerosols.
- First, our new Active Pure, air purification technology, cycles, and cleanses air. It scavenges virus, bacterial particles along with molds, pollen, and other airborne particulate matter throughout the office.
- Secondly, we hired an additional team member, whose primary focus is to assistant our hygienist and control aerosols during dental hygiene visits.
- Sterilization and Surface Cleanliness Protocols– Our sterilization and surface disinfecting measures in clinical areas of our office proved perfectly capable of dealing with today’s virus. However, public use items in our reception area, like magazines and fun puzzles have disappeared. Any non-essential clutter has been eliminated to reduce surface contamination risk.
A Future- New Wisdom Applied
Many individuals are asking, “When will we return to normal?” Is there a silver lining to this gloomy, lingering COVID-19 cloud?
For the dental profession, the evolution towards a safer profession continues. This is the new wisdom with COVID-19. We are, currently, living the new normal!
Positives come out of any challenging circumstance, if you look for them. The COVID-19 pandemic has been no small challenge for anyone. We are happy to be open, serving the needs of our patients. And, we are pleased for the opportunity to make our office environment safer for you and our office personnel!
In the meantime, we will continue to pray for an effective vaccine to help the worlds population put an end to this pandemic!
- NASA Neowise Article- How to See Comet NEOWISE
- NY Times Article- Vermont Coronavirus Map and Case Count
- CDC COVID Data Tracker
- Vermont Department of Health- Current COVID-19 Activity Map
- Air Purification- Beyond ActivePrue Technology by Aerus, ActivePureVermont.com
- Rutland Regional Medical Center- RRMC
- Johns Hopkins University- HOW CLOSE ARE WE TO A SAFE, EFFECTIVE COVID-19 VACCINE?