SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Dentists and orthodontists in Sacramento County are getting ready to welcome patients once again now that the county has given them the green light to reopen their offices.
While California is formulating statewide guidelines for all of these medical offices to reopen, Doctor Mark Holt said things will be different when current patients come for appointments at their offices – and yes, that means plenty of social distancing.
“We want patients to go in with the mask on and only take the mask off when they’re going to be treated,” Holt said.
Holt told CBS13 that he and his son, Dr. Tyler Holt, are partners in their practice.
The father-son duo will be training their staff for three days on how to properly social distance their patients, wearing personal protective equipment, and a couple of different ways of eliminating germs while performing procedures like removing and repairing braces.
“When we do use the drill, something we haven’t always done all the time is use high-speed suction,” Dr. Mark Holt said. “We just read a study where it can pick up 90 percent of the aerosols.”
Orthodontists will also be asking patients to rinse their mouths with hydrogen peroxide to further cut down on the possible spread of the coronavirus.
Dr. Tyler Holt said their clinics will be adding equipment like air purifiers to cut down on potential COVID-19 droplets in the air.
“Basically, it shoots the air with the UVC and basically sterilizes the air, he said. “It makes it clean again so that’ll kill the virus and whatever else is out there.”
The Holts said there’s still one constant amid all of this change before reopening: Instruments and tools will still be sterilized by high-temperature steam, a cleaning method used to kill any virus particles – not just the coronavirus.
“Doing these same things will continue to kill the COVID-19, TB spores, anything like that,” Dr. Mark Holt said. “You’ll be perfectly safe with the instruments we are using.”
Reopening can be exciting but also nerve-racking. The Holts said practice and preparation will wash away any concerns people and staff should have.
“That’s why we’re doing a couple of days of training – a slow rollout – so we can pick it up slowly, making sure everyone is on board,” Dr. Mark Holt said. “It’s all about technique and the right equipment.”
Dr. Mark Holt said they’ll be screening employees and patients once they reopen. They’re also not taking on any new patients but will be doing virtual consulting.