Enhanced Infection Control Measures

By April 21, 2020 No Comments

We have previously mentioned how, as dentists, we are highly trained in infection control measures which are in place 24/7 and not just during a pandemic. Our sister practice, McIntosh Dental in Henderson, is one of the dental clinics in Auckland that has remained open for emergency dental appointments throughout the Alert Level 4 lockdown period. The safety of our patients and staff continues to be our top priority and we have implemented additional infection control measures to allow us to provide these essential dental services.

Some of the procedures and protocols which are in place include the phone assessment process, sanitising all surfaces and touch points in-between patients, spacing out appointments and using a double surgery set up.

One measure that is extremely important in infection control is the use of personal protection equipment, or PPE. COVID-19 has brought the effectiveness of gloves and particularly masks in helping to prevent the spread of viruses into the world’s spotlight. At McIntosh Dental each staff member’s PPE consists of medical-grade:

  • Masks
  • Gloves
  • Eye protection
  • Long-sleeved gowns
  • Head covers
  • Shoe covers

Everyone in the clinic is required to wear a mask at all times. This includes providing a mask for every patient to wear from the time they enter the door until they are in the dental chair, and wearing it again to leave the dental surgery until they exit the building.

Demand for PPE has increased beyond all precedents and suppliers are working around the clock producing the necessary products so clinics like McIntosh Dental can continue to provide essential dental services safely. And while the increased usage and requirement for additional PPE items has resulted in rising costs, these measures are absolutely essential to have in place. As always, we continue to monitor and adhere to government and New Zealand Dental Association requirements and guidelines, and it is possible that these enhanced infection control measures may remain in place until a vaccine for COVID-19 is available.

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