Protecting You During COVID-19
We at Lincoln Smiles hope that you are safe and healthy during these past couple months while being in shelter in place.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, our office has postponed routine care and is only open for emergency services and teledentistry phone calls until we re-open early May. Please contact us, 916-543-8800, if you have a dental emergency or any questions. We are always just a phone call away.
Re-Opening Information & Procedures
We will be resuming normal business hours and meeting patients again early May. When you come in for an appointment, we are asking you to follow certain procedures to allow “social distancing” for the protection and safety of fellow patients and team members.
When You Come In
- Please come alone. Do not bring your spouse, children, or any other people, unless you need assistance.
- Please reschedule your appointment if you are feeling ill or have COVID-19. Do not come in if you have a fever or cough, or have been exposed to someone who has COVID-19.
- If you arrive early, we will ask that you wait in your car until we are ready to see you.
Steps We Are Taking
We have always complied with strict OSHA-mandated protocols to maintain a highly sterile environment within our dental office. These guidelines were created to safeguard against the spread of severely contagious diseases. Below is a summary of the steps currently in place to ensure patient and employee safety:
- Employee Health Screening: All team members undergo health history screenings before commencing employment. In addition, we strictly enforce sick policies that require employees suffering from communicable illnesses to stay home from work until they have clearance by a physician. At this time, employees are required to wear masks at all times. Employees are also having their temperatures monitored daily prior to starting their shift.
- Patient Health Screening: Due to concerns about patient and employee safety, we ask that all patients experiencing flu-like symptoms (fever, cough, sore throat, nausea, vomiting and difficulty breathing) to reschedule their appointments. Patients will be asked to complete a COVID-19 screening consent form upon arrival and temperature check prior to all visits in accordance with CDC and American Dental Association recommended guidelines.
- Sterilization Procedures: The foundation of our infection control procedures is based on requirements established by the CDC that state that all body fluids are treated as infectious because patients with bloodborne infections can be asymptomatic or unaware that they are infected. This includes body fluids in airborne droplets from coughs or sneezes. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) used in our office, which includes gowns, eye-protective wear with side protection, face shields, masks and gloves are designed to ensure that no blood or body fluids can be passed between staff and patients. These items are washed and disinfected or discarded between patients to prevent any patient-to-patient transmission. Strict surface sterilization procedures are followed to clean and disinfect all operatory surfaces between patients and, after each use, all dental instruments are cleaned and heat sterilized in steam autoclave machines in individual sterile pouches.
- Common Area Disinfecting: As a result of the current coronavirus concern, we have taken added precautions in the common areas. All magazines and pamphlets have been removed. Lobby surfaces are disinfected every hour. This includes a thorough wipe down of all hard surfaces, such as door handles, door knobs, tables, chairs and front office counters with a disinfectant wipe. In addition, patients are being advised to practice social distancing in our lobby area or wait in their cars if preferred. According to the CDC, the most important steps we all can take to avoid infection from airborne diseases are frequent hand washing with soap and water and regular cleansing of highly-used surfaces with disinfectant. We recommend that all our patients take these basic precautions.
We appreciate your support and understanding. We look forward to seeing you in the near future!
Dr. Eloisa Espiritu & The Lincoln Smiles Team