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Providing Dental Care During COVID-19

The State of Tennessee is a phase 1 State; what that means is we have been declining in new cases of COVID-19 for two weeks. The government is going to the first phase of re-opening. The state of Tennessee has done an excellent job so far, and we should start to see things start heading back in the direction of normal. While we don’t think it is time to let our guard down and act recklessly, we can start doing things again under the “new normal.”

So what does the new normal mean for McOmie Family Dentistry?

We would love to share some of the things that are being implemented and some of the things we have always done to keep our patients safe. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the American Dental Association (ADA) have worked together to come up with guidelines to minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission from a dental office. We have searched, and we can not find a single case of COVID-19 being transmitted in a dental office. 

Some of the things that are going to change at McOmie Family Dentistry as we incorporate the “new normal.” These changes will be implemented for the safety of our patients and our staff. We hope you will find them easy to adopt and understand why we need to implement them for everyone’s safety. We will lead the Chattanooga area dentists with our changes. 

  1. First, we will ensure that all our staff will be healthy when they are at work. No one will be, nor have they ever been allowed to work if they are sick or show symptoms of being sick. We will do temperature and symptom checks on our staff each day before work. If they have a temp or a symptom, they won’t be allowed to work.
  2. When you arrive for your appointment, please don’t come into the building. Please call our office at 423-899-1112 and let us know you have arrived. We will come out to get you, or we will call you when we want you to come into the building. This procedure is meant to minimize the contact of people in our office, and reduce the number of people in the waiting room.
  3. You will be asked some screening questions by our front desk staff and have a “no-touch” temperature check at the front desk.
  4. We will have you use hand sanitizer gel when you enter the building.
  5. You will notice for the time being there are no magazines, books, or toys in the waiting room. We have removed these items to help reduce cross-contamination.
  6. In the waiting room, the chairs have been placed at least six feet apart, and we won’t have people in the waiting room as we normally have. 
  7. The CDC guidelines state that all patients use a 1.5% hydrogen peroxide rinse before dental procedures. 
  8. We will ask that when you come to your dental appointment that you don’t bring companions unless they are necessary. A necessary companion is a parent of minors, people with special needs, or elderly patients who need assistance. Per the CDC, the person accompanying a patient can’t be in the dental operatory during dental procedures. 
  9. If you are a high-risk individual such as a person with an underlying lung condition, are under cancer treatment, immunocompromised, or elderly. Please let us know when you call to schedule, we will keep you isolated in our office and maybe schedule you on a day when we can bring you in with no one else in the office. 
  10. If you have tested positive for COVID-19 and do not have a negative test yet and you have a dental problem. Please call the office, and Dr. Mark McOmie or Dr. Tori Hall will call you and discuss your needs. Please do not come to the office first.
  11. We have a new air filtration system we have installed in the office to clean our air further, and it will remove the Novel Corona Virus from the air. It provides operating room clean air for our entire building.

Things that you may or may not of known we have always done to keep our patients safe and healthy. 

  • Our building is negative pressure. This means we have fans that pull the air out of our building and bring in the fresh air. We have always had these fans that move fresh air through the building. The Novel Corona Virus doesn’t like moving clean air, and it thrives in stagnant air that is not moving. 
  • We wipe down door handles, counters any surface that is continuously touched. 
  • Our instruments are sterilized between every patient. We have two state of the art Midmark MD 11 steam autoclaves at McOmie Family Dentistry they are constantly running throughout the day. 
  • Our operatories are disinfected with hospital grade disinfectant that easily kills coronavirus. We do this before and after each, and every patient no matter how small or big the procedure was. Even if only speaking with a patient occurred in the room, it will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. 
  • Our staff washes their hands and or uses hand sanitizing gel before and after each procedure.
  • We wear masks. We have added to this we have N-95 masks for our staff. These are the top of the line masks. Not only do these masks protect our staff from patients, but it is virtually impossible to catch the coronavirus from someone wearing an N-95 mask. So this protects you the patient.

As always, our goal is to provide top-of-the-line dental care in a state-of-the-art facility conveniently located right here in Chattanooga. We have always done everything possible to provide the best in infection control for our patients. In the ever-evolving world that we live in, we will continue to update and change as necessary our infection control to be on top of this COVID-19 pandemic. We will do what needs to be done to be safe. 

Additional services from Hamilton County

If you think you have or have been exposed to COVID-19, you can be tested without a healthcare provider referral. Through the Hamilton County Health Department. The following is from the health department website.

“COVID-19 testing is available for anyone through our drive-through testing site by appointment only. Anyone interested in getting tested for COVID-19 should call our scheduling number at (423) 209-8393 to make an appointment.

  • You do not need a healthcare provider referral or symptoms.
  • Testing will be performed at our drive through testing site at the Emissions Testing Center, 7460 Bonnyshire Drive.
  • You will be notified of your result in about 48 hours. 

If you believe that you are experiencing symptoms of or have been exposed to COVID-19, please contact your primary care doctor or an urgent care clinic. Please do not show up unannounced at an emergency room or health care facility.”

CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) HOTLINE – (423) 209-8383

Hours: Monday-Friday, 8AM-6PM | Saturday, 10AM-3PM | Sunday, 10AM-2PM

McOmie Dentistry is here for all your dental needs

We want to thank all of our patients for your ongoing support and patience during this difficult time. We miss you all very much, and we can’t wait to see you again to hear what you did during this time.

If we had to cancel your appointment because of the government-mandated shut down of all elective dental procedures, we will call you to re-schedule soon. We will be offering more cleaning appointments and extra Friday appointments while we attempt to catch up. 

We look forward to seeing you for your dental needs, we love what we do, and we can’t wait to see you soon.

If you need an appointment, please call 423-899-1112, and we will be happy to get you scheduled. We have people at the office answering the phones throughout this shutdown period.

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