Monday, 22 June 2020

Safety precautions in dental clinics during the Covid-19 crisis

With the Covid19 pandemic not seemingly abating, The Union Health Ministry, India, recently, announced a set of unified guidelines for all dental medicine professionals.

The Indian Dental Association has also, on its website, published a very detailed list of recommended guidelines for its members. Following are some of them:
  1. Provide alcohol-based hand sanitizer, tissues, and non-touching waste disposal containers at entrances and patient waiting rooms.
  2. Reduce Chances of Exposure: This is easier said than done in the dental environment. If you patients have been travelling overseas recently, or, if they are showing symptoms of respiratory infections, then instruct them to contact their physician and reschedule the appointment.
  3. Make it mandatory to take temperature readings of the patients before any procedure.
  4. Insist on full contact details of all the patients.
  5. Install physical barriers to reduce the chances of physical contact between patients.
  6. Clean and disinfect public areas, frequently, with emphasis on chairs, door handles, and bathrooms.
  7. Have patients use a 1% hydrogen peroxide solution to rinse their mouths.
  8. After each patient, sterilize the tools in an autoclave.
  9. Wear surgical masks, face shields, and goggles to protect the eyes, face, and mouth during all procedures.
  10. Always wear a protective gown to prevent the splashing of bodily fluids during procedures. If soiled, remove immediately and perform hand hygiene.
  11. If linen is used, make sure to handle, transfer and process in a safe manner.
For a more complete list, we suggest visiting either the Union Health Ministry, Indian Dental Association,  or Centre for Disease Control websites.

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