Infection Control at ALFIE Dentistry
You may have noticed in the recent past, we've screened every person booking for any symptoms of respiratory issues, fevers, coughs, etc in light of the coronavirus situation. We've also added some updated signage to the washrooms on hand hygiene. We're screening a second time, once patients come in and we're taking everyone's temperature. We use plasmacluster ion technology to purify the air - which is said to inactivate airborne mould, viruses, bacteria and dust mite allergens. We've conducted regular spore testing for over 5 years - a habit we established way back at our Yonge & Steeles location. We're wiping down door handles and table surfaces and chair handles with disinfectant wipes (which we've always done as a clinical practice, by the way!) Because you know what? This not only protects us as service providers, but it also protects you, the patient.
Since we all have to do our part to contain communicable diseases, here are steps that we can all follow - not just to fight off a pandemic, but at all times to ensure that we all stay healthy.
1) Follow good hand hygiene
This means that you are washing your hands with warm, soapy water - being careful to lather up to the elbows. Scrub for at least 20 seconds (about the time it takes you to sing 'Happy Birthday' to yourself!), then rinse well. Pat your hands to dry and moisturize to keep your skin from cracking or drying out (which can give microorganisms another chance to get at you).
Hand sanitizer (with at least 60% alcohol) can be used in addition to washing with soapy water (not as a substitute, though!) throughout the day. Please note that while it does get rid of some germs, it is not as effective as using soapy water - here's the CDC's official statement on the matter. We ask that all visitors to our offices sanitize their hands at front desk upon arrival, but feel free to also pop into the washroom to wash with warm soapy water.
2) If you are not feeling well, please stay home.
In most cases, if dental treatment is not urgent (e.g. in the case of routine hygiene, etc) and you are feeling sick, please postpone your appointment(s) until you are better. Obviously, if there is a dental infection, pain, redness, swelling, etc and it is more urgent, please notify our staff in advance if you are also sick.
3) Within the last 14 days, if you have travelled to a COVID-19 impacted area, have been in contact with a person who has or been in contact with a suspected or confirmed case, please engage in self-quarantine practices.
Since symptoms can range from mild to severe, it is important to be cognizant of not spreading germs to others - especially the more vulnerable populations like seniors and children, who may experience it more severely.
4) If you are sick, but you need to go out, please wear a face mask to protect others. If you are healthy, you do not need a mask. Having said that, as dental professionals, we need masks to perform dental examinations and dental treatments!
It is important to note that in terms of mask-safety, if you are not wearing it properly, it reduces effectiveness and can make you more susceptible to illness. So, if you are covering your mouth but not your nostrils, you are vulnerable to infections at the nose. If your nose is covered, but the mask doesn't taper to the upper ridge of your nose, this is also a vulnerable area. If you are constantly removing it, putting it back on, removing it and putting it back on (e.g. to snack or drink water or because it bothers you), you are likely transferring germs from your hands to your mouth, which can lead to greater chances of illness. If you are reusing the same mask over and over and over again, please don't - these are designed to be worn once and then tossed out for a reason. Again, it's the same transfer of microbes from surfaces to your hands, to the mask and around the mask, which makes its way to your nose and/or mouth.