To all our patients, doctors, referrals and guests:
Due to the contagious nature of the COVID-19 virus, Dr. Boese’s office decided to immediately adopt all safety measures required in the next two years by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the American Dental Association (ADA) and the California Dental Association (CDA).
Dentistry has forever changed due to the nature of COVID-19. When I graduated in 1994, from the University of the Pacific School of Dentistry in San Francisco, we were the first dental class that had been trained to use “Universal Precautions” when treating all patients. That term refers to the practice of avoiding contact with patient’s bodily fluids, by wearing nonporous articles such as medical gloves, eye wear and masks or face shields. This precaution required every doctor and staff member, who treated patients, to wear new loves for every patient, wear a mask during a dental procedure and wear protective clothing to stop any aerosols, saliva or blood transmission.
In the age of COVID-19, we know this virus is highly contagious. We must protect our patients, staff, employees, the public and the doctor, “against potentially infectious aerosol transmission. The only way we can eliminate, reduce and contain aerosol production and protection during patient care is creating an aerosol free environment.”
In mid-March of this year, during the early stages of the pandemic, I was warned by a practicing colleague in Italy about this very dangerous and highly contagious virus. Dr. Lampani shared a personal email telling me of a lethal virus that had infected not only her entire staff but she, herself. Dr. Lampani was hospitalized and her parents, who were in their early 70’s, and were stricken and died weeks after exposure. After consulting with the CDA and the Merced Health Department, we were one of the first dental practices to close our office until we better understood how to combat this virus. During our 75 days of being closed, we hired an infection control specialist who recommended that we seek a new office environment. We, visited many buildings and our current site, a former oncologist’s office, provided us the best place to develop a strategy that would enable us to treat patients with greater improved safety.
Dr. Boese’s practice relocated to a very well-established medical building. The two entrances allow the medical doctors to monitor and control who enters the building. Every night, this facility is closed and disinfected to protect everyone who enters against potentially infectious diseases.
In order to control the spread of this virus, Dr. Boese’s office has reduced the size of our waiting room to an area that we can easily manage. We have adopted a very minimalist environment to better organize and control our facility. Once you leave our waiting room and enter the clinic, you pass through our first of many surface barriers. This magnetic entry barrier creates a self-closing flap door containment entry. Every individual is tested by taking a temperature and using a pulse oximeter that measures their oxygen saturation. Based on over 1000 tests, that I have administered, our office has prevented two asymptomatic COVID positive individuals from entering and potentially contaminating our facility.
Our patient operatories have completely changed. Every patient is in a self-contained room or bubble which uses negative pressure to control the air and helps eliminate 99% of airborne aerosols establishing efficiency in cleaning after every patient. We have purchased new dental chairs made in the United States. Also, we are excited to be using new state of the art aerosol free handpieces. We also have equipped every room with dental carts that deliver an internally equipped sterile water system for every patient, a compressed air system and suction system. These ASI carts meet every current safety standard and will most likely be mandatory in the state of California, in the immediate future.
We also are very excited to introduce FDA registered medical suction pumps that not only clean the air but sanitize and disinfect the air a person breathes in the room. Each extraoral suction device has HEPA filtration and UV-C light sterilization. Our devices are made in the U.S. and have FDA registration.
The ventilation system, in the entire office, is equipped with hospital grade electrostatic filters which protect persons who enter from bacterial and viral protection without a moisturizer. This ventilation system helps us to address cross-infection, a concern commonly associated with mechanical ventilation. Finally, when removing braces or performing any type of oral surgery, patients will be placed in a 12×12 clean room, with one doctor and one assistant, equipped with safety equipment and the ability to exchange the air after every patient. We hope these timely and critical renovations meet with your satisfaction for your visits and safety concerns to our newly improved orthodontic office.