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We are all doing the best we can to navigate the changes brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. For those of us in the dental profession, this means looking to organizations like the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO), and American Dental Association (ADA) for guidance on how to keep patients safe and prevent the spread of infection at our offices.

Recently, the WHO issued a recommendation that routine dental care should be delayed until the COVID-19 pandemic is under control. This is at odds with recommendations from both the CDC and ADA. When these organizations issue conflicting guidance, it can be confusing for patients and, even worse, it may lead to them putting off much-needed dental care.

Massachusetts Dental Society’s Response to WHO Dental Care Recommendations

The Massachusetts Dental Society (MDS) issued a statement this month to weigh in on the debate. Our team at NSBENDO agrees with MDS’s position: oral healthcare is essential and should not be delayed due to COVID-19.

The risks involved in delaying dental care are much higher than the risk of going to the dentist, particularly in Massachusetts where there is currently no evidence of community spread. Residents of Massachusetts can safely receive both routine and emergency dental care.

Our team has always prioritized infection control, even before COVID-19, and have implemented additional safety measures to keep our patients and team members safe. These measures have been designed to address the specific ways in which COVID-19 spreads—we’ve reconfigured our office, increased the use of personal protective equipment (PPE), and continue to minimize the production of aerosols and prevent transmission via respiratory droplets.

Although we believe that oral health and overall health are closely linked and all dental care is essential, we also know that endodontic care is especially necessary, as putting off treatment can lead to severe pain, infection, and further damage to the teeth and surrounding tissues. Our doctors are in agreement with the CDC, ADA, and MDS—the WHO guidelines put patients at risk.

We will continue to monitor the situation locally and look to professional health and dental organizations for guidance.  You can feel confident knowing that your safety and the safety of our team members is our top priority.

Learn More About How NSBENDO Is Keeping Patients Safe During COVID-19

We understand that many of our patients have concerns about receiving endodontic treatment during the pandemic. We’ve shared our COVID-19 safety protocols on our website and we also welcome the opportunity to discuss any concerns you might have prior to your appointment. Contact us to learn more or schedule an appointment with one of our doctors.

Patient safety has always been at the forefront of everything we do at North Shore & Brookline Endodontics, but in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve had increasing interest from our patients regarding our infection control procedures. While we’ve consistently followed guidelines from the American Dental Association and the Centers for Disease Control to create a safe, sterile environment, we’ve also implemented new protocols specifically designed to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

You can read our COVID-19 safety measures brochure for more details, but you’ll find the most important points below.

Standard Infection Control Procedures

Prior to COVID-19, most patients didn’t give much thought to infection control, but it’s something our team has always taken seriously. These are the protocols we’ve had in place to keep patients safe:

  • Annual training in OSHA, HIPAA, and infection control
  • Sterilization of instruments after every procedure
  • Operatories are disinfected with an EPA-approved surface cleaner between patients
  • Staff follows strict hand hygiene, respiratory hygiene, and cough etiquette guidelines

New Infection Control Protocols for COVID-19

Our doctors have closely monitored the latest research on the coronavirus and developed protocols that exceed current CDC guidelines for our patients’ peace of mind. These practices include:

  • Training in the appropriate use of personal protective equipment (PPE) and decontamination procedures
  • Strict mask protocol, with face masks required in clinical and front desk areas
  • Ongoing health screenings and temperature checks for staff
  • Scheduling that limits the number of people in the office at any one time
  • Offering early morning appointments for high-risk patients
  • Waiting rooms have been decluttered and modified to accommodate social distancing
  • All high-touch areas will be regularly wiped down with an EPA-approved surface cleaner
  • Electric fogger sprayers will be used between patients to sanitize entire rooms in minutes with the touch of a button

What We’re Asking of Our Patients

Finally, we ask all of our patients to also do their part to help limit the spread of COVID-19. We’re asking that you:

  • Complete pre-appointment screenings
  • Reschedule your appointment if you develop symptoms of a respiratory infection
  • Fill out paperwork online to limit time spent in the waiting room
  • Wear a face mask at our office—they are required by law
  • Use hand sanitizer prior to check-in and entry into the waiting room
  • Follow social distancing guidelines
  • Come to your appointment alone, unless prior arrangements are made (as may be the case for minors or patients with special needs)

Schedule an Appointment

Our practice is open and scheduling appointments for both new and current patients. Contact us today to schedule an appointment at one of our six greater Boston area locations.