What to expect at your dental appointment during COVID-19
What to expect before you visit:
- Patients will be screened via phone call before their appointment about COVID symptoms.
- Patients will be asked to sign a patient consent form, as well as other necessary paperwork prior to their appointment.
- Upon arrival, patients will be asked to practice social distancing and wait for a staff member to provide screening.
- Patients will have their temperature taken before entry at the clinic and are required to wear a face mask / face covering and perform proper hand hygiene. The clinic will provide face masks for patients who do not have one of their own.
- Only the patient, unless a minor or a guardian is required, is allowed to enter the clinic. If someone is accompanying the patient, they are required to be screened, have their temperature taken, wear a mask, and perform proper hand hygiene.
What to expect during your visit:
- We no longer offer magazines and newspapers, or coffee or tea.
- You will be asked to rinse with an antiseptic mouthwash before beginning your care to reduce the amount of bacteria and viruses residing in the mouth.
- You will notice that all staff members will be wearing extra layers of personal protective wear during procedures (gowns, gloves, masks, eye protection, face shields, and protective draping). These precautions ensure everyone is safe and healthy.
- Contact-less transaction is encouraged to limit social contact
What has changed
Patient & Staff Screening
All patients will be screened according to current Public Health guidelines to minimize the risk to our patients and staff. Patients will be screened before the appointment, upon arrival in the clinic, and in the operatory. Staff members will be screened daily before reporting to work.
Personal Protective Equipment
In addition to increased PPE for staff members in the clinic, patients will be asked to wear a mask when entering the clinic. Masks will be provided to patients who do not have one of their own. PPE in a dental clinic can include but is not limited to: gloves, eye protection, masks, gowns, and protective draping. Appropriate PPE will be selected for each procedure and according to guidelines and regulations created by Dental Regulatory Colleges and Public Health.
Patient Waiting Rooms
All non-essential items such as magazines and newspapers will be removed from waiting rooms. Coffee and tea service will be suspended.
Physical Distancing will be in effect to help maintain a 6 foot (2 meters) distance between all people.
The clinic is sanitized daily before the beginning of each workday, in between patient appointments in the operatory, and before the end of the day.
All equipment used to clean, disinfect, or sterilize meet the standards established by Health Canada, the Public Health Agency of Canada, the Canadian Standards Association, and any local IPAC guidelines. Dr. Michael Handler Dentistry maintains the manufacturer’s instruction for equipment use and undergoes regular inspection and preventative maintenance and logs.
Breaking the chain of infection
Dr. Michael Handler Dentistry uses routine practices to help break the chain of infection. This includes personal protective equipment (PPE), aseptic techniques, cleaning, disinfection, sterilization, proper hand hygiene, risk assessments, screenings, environmental controls, administrative controls, and immunization. Any patient may be infectious even if they display no symptoms.
To help break the chain of infection all reception areas are equipped with:
- Alcohol-based hand sanitizer
- Disposable masks
- Patient safety & etiquette posters
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it safe to visit the dentist?
- Dr. Michael Handler Dentistry follows strict infection prevention and control protocols outlined by dental governing and public health bodies. These protocols help break the chain of infection keeping you and your family safe.
How is your dental clinic adapting to the new changes?
- We have added additional measures so we can provide you with the safest care possible. Our staff are provided with increased training and education on proper hand hygiene, proper procedures of dental equipment use, and proper use of all personal protective equipment (PPE). Our priority is and will always be the safety of our patients.
What will be different at the clinic?
- Appointments will be limited and staggered to avoid crowding and allow for proper social distancing
- Your temperature will be taken prior to entry to the clinic
- Some of our clinic’s waiting area will be closed. Magazines and newspapers will no longer be displayed. Coffee and water service will also be suspended
- Physical distancing signage will be displayed to help everyone maintain a 6-feet (2 meters) distance
- Alcohol-based hand sanitizer will be available in every treatment area
- Only the patient, unless a minor or a guardian is required, is allowed to enter the clinic
- You will be asked to rinse with an antiseptic mouthwash before beginning your care to reduce the amount of bacteria and viruses residing in the mouth
- Contact-less transaction is encouraged to limit social contact
Is a face mask/face covering required?
- Yes, a face mask/face covering is required before you can enter the clinic. The clinic will provide you with a face mask if you do not have one.
Are staff provided with appropriate PPE?
- Yes, staff will be wearing more protective gear than usual including gowns, gloves, masks, eye protection, face shields, and protective draping to ensure your safety and theirs.
Are staff being monitored for COVID-19 symptoms?
- Yes, staff will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms daily before reporting to work.
I have an appointment but I am experiencing flu-like symptoms.
- If you are experiencing flu-like symptoms, please call us at 416-267-4661 to reschedule your appointment.
- If you are having difficulty breathing or experiencing severe symptoms, call 911 immediately.
- Get tested for COVID-19 if you have not done so already.
I just had an appointment and I am now experiencing flu-like symptoms.
- If you are experiencing flu-like symptoms within 14 days of your appointment, please call us at 416-267-4661 immediately. You may have been carrying the virus prior to your symptoms and risk infecting anyone who came into contact with you.
Can I book same-day or emergency appointments?
- If you need urgent or emergency care, please contact us at at 416-267-4661. We will be able to provide further guidance and help you find an appointment time.
What is a dental emergency?
- A dental emergency is a potentially life-threatening condition that requires immediate treatment, such as:
- An injury to the mouth and face;
- Severe infection;
- Bleeding that continues for a long time;
- Severe dental pain that can’t be managed by over-the-counter medication like Tylenol or Advil.
Do I need to keep going to the dentist?
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- Yes, it is vitally important to maintain proper oral health care by visiting your dentist regularly for checkups and hygiene appointments. Oral health directly associates with many diseases. The mouth is often the first passageway for bacteria and viruses.