See below for updates. If you have any questions, please feel free to call us, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact us online.
Latest COVID-19 closure order does not impact dental practices.
May 11: Back to practice!
The California Department of Public Health has released operational guidelines and protocols that enable dentists to resume non-urgent and routine dental care in a safe way (Guidance for Resuming Deferred and Preventive Dental Care), so we now have the framework to resume regular care. The San Mateo County Shelter In Place Order does not place any additional restrictions on dental services. As result, and with an overabundance of caution, we are methodically reopening the practice for routine care.
As we re-open...
We are taking the precautions recommended by the California Department of Public Health and adding other precautions as follow:
- Scheduling one patient at a time. While we have two operatories, only one will be occupied at any given time. Exceptions might be made for family visits.
- Lengthening appointment times as needed to give us more time to clean and prepare for the next patient. If patient appointments are closer together, we may ask patients to wait in their car before entering our building.
- The time in between patients is used to wipe all surfaces down to prevent cross contamination. As per our usual procedure, all surfaces are wiped down with a disinfectant that is certified to kill the virus and all instruments are sterilized. In addition, we are wiping down pens, door knobs and pretty much any surface that could be touched by a patient.
- We performed maintenance on our suction and air lines and replaced all filters so the units work at maximum capacity.
- For some procedures, we use an Isolite. The Isolite significantly reduces the amount of aerosol generated by certain dental procedures. We will soon have a dental aerosol vacuum that we will use routinely during aerosol generating procedures.
- Each operatory has a H13 grade True HEPA filter.
March 20: CDA urges California dentists to provide emergency treatment only
The California Dental Association strongly recommends that dentists practicing in California suspend all in-person dental care with the exception of emergency treatment, until further notice.
Given the gravity of this health care crisis and national emergency, CDA implores dental practices to suspend all dental care with the exception of emergency cases that present as life threatening. The purpose of this recommendation, consistent with the statewide shelter-in-place order, is to minimize the risks of virus exposure to patients and the dental team and to preserve critical health care workers’ personal protective equipment (PPE), which are currently in extremely short supply. If this situation changes, we will adapt the recommendations accordingly.
March 17: Shelter-in-place: What does it mean for dentists?
Residents of nine counties in California are now under orders to shelter-in-place for three weeks to help curb the spread of the new coronavirus. The orders took effect the morning of March 17 in Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties, which currently have the largest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the state.
What do the orders, which are enforceable by law, mean for dentists who practice in one of those counties?
- Dentists and other health care providers are considered essential personnel and are exempt from the order to shelter-in-place.
- Likewise, individuals who require essential health care services are exempt from the order to shelter-in-place and may leave their work or residence to obtain care. According to the order, that exemption is "applied broadly to avoid any impacts to the delivery of healthcare."
Although dentists who reside in the nine counties are exempt from the order to self-isolate in their place of residence and are allowed by law to continue the practice of dentistry during the order’s enforcement, the California Dental Association urges California dentists to voluntarily suspend non-urgent or non-emergency dental care until at least March 29 per guidance the association issued March 15.
CDA’s guidance is intended to help “flatten the curve” of new coronavirus infections and is aligned with the most recent state and federal guidance, including Gov. Gavin Newsom’s recommendation that seniors age 65 and older and individuals with heart or lung disease self-isolate at home for 14 days. The governor on March 15 also strengthened social-distancing practices, asking night clubs in the state to close and restaurants and breweries to limit their service to delivery and take-out.
The California Dental Association issued the following statement on Sunday, March 15:
The California Dental Association strongly recommends that dentists practicing in California voluntarily suspend nonessential or non-urgent dental care for the next 14 days. As always, it is expected that dentists will continue to be available as needed for emergency care and services. CDA does not make this request lightly, and it is being done out of an abundance of caution during this historic public health emergency. As health care professionals, we all have a role to play in slowing the spread of the new coronavirus and “flattening the curve” in order to follow sound scientific, public health advice, to help limit infections and slow the spread of the virus. Our collective actions now will determine the spread of COVID-19, and this recommendation is being made after careful deliberation and in consultation with state and national public health experts. We believe by taking these extraordinary precautions, dentists can make a difference in helping to preserve the limited supply of personal protective equipment critical for emergency dental care and frontline health care personnel responding to the pandemic.