Important Information Regarding COVID-19
To our patients and colleagues,
To our patients and colleagues,
We, at Zumbro Valley Endodontics, take of the utmost seriousness our responsibilities to our patients, referring dentists, staff, families and community amidst the challenges brought by COVID-19. We face this pandemic together, and would like to outline how we as an endodontic team will proceed in service of these responsibilities.
We certainly feel a responsibility to be here to provide emergency dentalcare for pain and infection. Though most endodontic treatments are not considered elective, some are more urgent than others. We are particularly compelled to support essential personnel, including our healthcare workers. They are on the front lines fighting this virus, so we will do what we can to keep them uninhibited by a dental infection. We also have the capacity to treat dental emergencies and thereby decrease demand on emergency room visits or other healthcare venues that are not best suited for dental pain.
Statements issued by the Minnesota Board of Dentistry, American Dental Association, and American Dental Associations indicate that dentist should postpone dental procedures for three weeks starting March 17, 2020, and we will comply with this recommendation. To be clear, we will be available to treat endodontic emergencies, such as severe pain not controlled by medication, swelling, and fever caused by dental infection. This is provided that no further recommendations are issued by presiding governmental or professional organizations.
Please be assured that we are taking every precaution in infection control. In addition to all the routine personal protective equipment and disinfection protocols, we will be initiating policies that go above and beyond the basic requirements of OSHA and infection control. Throughout the day we will be sanitizing door handles, electronics, and surfaces that patients contact in common areas. We will remove magazines and brochures from the reception and operatories. We will make hand sanitizer available to patients at the front desk when they arrive.
Every patient will be screened for a temperature. Every patient will rinse with a prescription antimicrobial mouthwash before consultation or treatment. We employ rubber dam isolation on every case, which helps to minimize the generation of aerosol from saliva. In endodontics, there is relatively less aerosolization of fluids compared to other dental specialties, and of course high evacuation suction will be utilized. Patients may also prefer permanent restoration to decrease follow-up dental appointments for restoration during this period.
We ask that any patients experiencing cough, nausea, difficulty breathing, fever, diarrhea, or sore throat seek medical evaluation and postpone dental treatment. We ask that any patients who have traveled to a Zone 2 or 3 country or on a cruise to schedule at least 14 days after arriving home. For such patients, and others for whom it is reasonable to postpone treatment, we as a community may need to consider in the larger context of this pandemic to determine if the risk of exposing individuals to coronavirus outweighs the risk of prescribing an antibiotic and analgesic to help alleviate symptoms from a dental infection in the short term. It may be another way we can “flatten the curve”, and limit the number of close person-to-person contact during this time.
We will be paying attention to the recommendations of our government, dental board, and medical experts. We will comply with official recommendations, which may impact our hours and policies.
Ultimately, these measures are modes of common sense and precaution will help get us, especially the vulnerable groups in our community, through this as healthy as possible.
Dr. Deborah Majerus & Dr. Michael Regan Anderson