March 20, 2020
Our office has always strived to maintain a safe and clean environment for our patients and staff in order for you to continue to receive dental care without fear or concern. Dr. Lee’s background working with infectious diseases at the NIH and graduate school has created an office that has always been a leader in implementing asepsis and protection for patients and staff.
In accordance with the guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), American Dental Association (ADA), and the State of Maryland we have enhanced our procedures for patient and staff protection. We are only allowing emergency type procedures at the present time. The procedures are listed at the end of this page.
We ask patients who answer YES to the following questions reschedule their appointment(s) to a later date.
1. Have you traveled outside the U.S. to an area with COVID-19 present in the past 14 days?
2. Have you exhibited fever, signs of respiratory illness, coughing, or difficulty breathing in the past 14 days?
3. Have you been in contact with anyone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 or come in contact with individuals who have been suspected or diagnosed with COVID-19?
4. Have you been in close contact or live with anyone who exhibits the symptoms (see 2.) of COVID-19.
5. Have you been in large gatherings or crowded airports (greater than 50 people) in the past 14 days?
We will continue to perform standard infection control techniques in our office.
1. Our staff routinely clean and disinfect public areas frequently; reception area, bathrooms, common areas.
2. We ask that you avail yourself to the many hand sanitizing stations (Purell) throughout our office.
3. We will ask that you rinse with our antiseptic mouthwash before any dental procedure is initiated.
1. We recommend our patients maintain a distance of 6 feet from others if possible.
2. If our reception room is crowded, you may wait in your automobile and we will notify you via a call, text message, or a staff member will contact you.
We understand your decision to seek dental care is personal and many factors are involved. Our office is committed to the importance of your dental healthcare, welfare, comfort, and safety. We will continue to monitor this dynamic situation and will follow the guidelines of our infection control, epidemiologists, public health authorities, and other healthcare professionals to provide you great dental care in a safe and comfortable setting.
For further information:
The guide is meant to provide additional guidance following an Association recommendation that dentists nationwide postpone elective procedures to do their part to “mitigate the spread of COVID-19.” It was included as part of an ADA issues alert that went to all dentists in the ADA’s database.
Dental emergencies, according to the ADA, “are potentially life threatening and require immediate treatment to stop ongoing tissue bleeding [or to] alleviate severe pain or infection.” Conditions include uncontrolled bleeding; cellulitis or a diffuse soft tissue bacterial infection with intraoral or extraoral swelling that potentially compromises the patient’s airway; or trauma involving facial bones that potentially compromises the patient’s airway.
“The guidance may change as the COVID-19 pandemic progresses,” according to the Association. “Dentists should use their professional judgment in determining a patient’s need for urgent or emergency care.”
As part of the emergency guidance, the Association added urgent dental care which “focuses on the management of conditions that require immediate attention to relieve sever pain and/or risk of infection and to alleviate the burden on hospital emergency departments.”
Examples of urgent dental care treatments, which should be treated as minimally invasively as possible, include:
• Severe dental pain from pulpal inflammation.
• Pericoronitis or third-molar pain.
• Surgical postoperative osteitis or dry socket dressing changes.
• Abscess or localized bacterial infection resulting in localized pain and swelling.
• Tooth fracture resulting in pain or causing soft tissue trauma.
• Dental trauma with avulsion/luxation.
• Dental treatment cementation if the temporary restoration is lost, broken or causing gingival irritation.
Other emergency dental care includes extensive caries or defective restorations causing pain; suture removal; denture adjustments on radiation/oncology patients; denture adjustments or repairs when function impeded; replacing temporary filling on endo access openings in patients experiencing pain; and snipping or adjustments of an orthodontic wire or appliances piercing or ulcerating the oral mucosa.
“The American Dental Association recognizes the unprecedented and extraordinary circumstances dentists and all health care professionals face related to growing concern about COVID-19,” according to the March 16 statement from ADA President Chad P. Gehani. “Concentrating on emergency dental care will allow us to care for our emergency patients and alleviate the burden that dental emergencies would place on hospital emergency departments.”