Teach Your Team
Environmental Protection/PPE Updates
Prepare the practice with proper safety measures, including the correct PPE for staff, as recommended by the ADA, CDC, and your state governing agencies.
Meet with your team again remotely to review protocols and safety measures; this allows the team an opportunity to feel safe and better explain safety measures to patients (see “Patient Reassurance“). This may include the following:
- N95, or level 3 surgical masks, in addition to face shields for high aerosol producing procedures
- Front desk team members should follow the guidelines from ADA and CDC regarding PPE
- High vacuum use for high aerosol producing procedures, including ultrasonic instrumentation by hygienists. Dental assistants should support hygienists with the HVE during ultrasonic scaling procedures.
- Incorporate rubber dams whenever possible
- Pre-procedural rinses
- Air purifying systems
- Extraoral HVE options
- Temperature checks on all staff members and patients at arrival
- Disposable gowns
- Antibody testing
- Shoe coverings
- Additional guidance: Monitor the ADA website for the latest recommendations regarding PPE and sterilization protocols.
Once Patients Are Appointed
Teach your team these additional ADA recommendations:
- Patient and dental healthcare workers should perform hand hygiene (e.g., hand washing with non-antimicrobial soap and water, alcohol-based hand rub, or antiseptic handwash) after possible contact with respiratory secretions and contaminated objects/materials.
- Avoid or minimize operations that can produce droplets or aerosols.
- Use rubber dams whenever possible.
- Rinse the oral cavity slowly, avoiding unnecessary splatter.
- Use high-speed evacuation for all dental procedures producing an aerosol.
- Autoclave handpieces after each patient.
- Have the patient use an antimicrobial rinse before appointment; ADA suggests using 1% hydrogen peroxide.
- Avoid or minimize procedures that may induce coughing, such as taking routine intraoral X-rays.
The WHO released a series of videos focused on protecting the team and patients from COVID-19 during the current pandemic and beyond.
Q&A on PPE and Insurance Reimbursement with Theresa Duncan (Dental Assistant Nation Podcast)
Join listeners as Theresa Duncan – dental insurance expert from OdysseyMgmt.com – joins the show to talk about PPE and the potential opportunities for reimbursement. She discusses which code to use and how to address it with your patients.
Catch webinars and on-demand videos from the ADA with the latest guidance for managing your practice and caring for your staff and your own mental health and well-being. New events are added regularly.
On-demand Webinars for ADA members:
- Infection Control Protocols and Procedures (with OSAP experts)