The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released its guidelines for dental settings in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Goodness Dental in Costa Rica, ranked as one of the top five dental clinics in the world, discusses how they are meeting the CDC guidelines to keep patients and staff safe in the age of COVID.
“The risk associated with treating patients is directly associated to the production of aerosols during procedures,” says Patrick Goodness, CEO of Goodness Dental.
“Surgical masks protect mucous membranes from droplet spatter, but at Goodness Dental, we are taking additional measures to protect our patients and team members from the inhalation of viral contagions spread through aerosols. To date, no case of COVD-19 spread has been linked to a dental clinic anywhere in the world. Dental care is safe and critical to your long term health. We’ve been protecting our patients for years. We’ve gotten good at it, and with the new guidelines, we’ve made even greater improvements to our safety protocols,” says Goodness.
Screening and Patient Management
Goodness Dental is actively screening for fever and symptoms of COVID-19.
“We contact patients via telephone prior to appointments and we ask all patients to fill out a COVID assessment form prior to arrival at the clinic,” says Vayolla Quiros, Business Manager at Goodness Dental.
“Telephone calls help determine if the patient has any symptoms that would require the appointment to be rescheduled. This also gives our clinic the opportunity to encourage patients to limit the number of visitors accompanying them, as well as advising the patient that they will be requested to wear a face covering upon entering the clinic. Calling our patients helps prepare the patient for the changes they will see at their appointment, including routine temperature checks. It’s best to advise the patient of what they can expect when they arrive, to help avoid confusion,” says Quiros.
Upon arrival, all patients are screened again with a questionnaire and temperature check. Patients who pass the screening questionnaire and are afebrile (defined by the CDC as temperature <100.4o F) may be provided with dental care using appropriate technology and infection control considerations.
Inside the Clinic
Goodness Dental has posters on proper hand hygiene, respiratory hygiene, and cough etiquette posted in strategic locations. The clinic also offers hand hygiene stations with alcohol-based hand rub (60% to 95% alcohol), tissues, and no-touch trash receptacles at entrances, patient check-in area, and the waiting room. Goodness Dental schedules patients to avoid long waiting times and to minimize the number of patients in the waiting room.
New equipment at Goodness Dental affirms the clinic’s commitment to safety.
“We recognized that we would need to work harder to minimize aerosols created from routine dental procedures to keep patients and staff safe. We purchased new equipment to virtually eliminate airborne contagions, by reducing the spread of aerosols during dental treatments. We have also improved all sterilization protocols to ensure a higher level of safety in the age of COVID,” says Goodness.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
OSHA PPE standards require that all reusable PPE is thoroughly cleaned, decontaminated, and stored between uses. According to OSHA, “During procedures likely to produce splashing or spattering, dental healthcare providers should wear “a surgical mask, eye protection (goggles, protective eyewear with solid side shields, or a full-face shield), and a gown or protective clothing.”
Goodness Dental has implemented PPE protocols in compliance with OSHA and CDC standards for the safety and healthy of patients and staff.
“Our team is well-versed in health and safety compliance and is constantly working to improve our protocols as we receive updates from national and international health organizations,” says Quiros.
“It’s taking time to get used to these new changes, but it is especially important that we follow these guidelines,” says Goodness. “We all want what is best for our patients. At Goodness Dental, we are taking the spread of COVID seriously. Our team is using UV lights, extraoral suction machines, air sterilizers and optimal levels of personal protective equipment to keep everyone safe during their dental care experience. It’s this commitment to caring that keeps our patients coming back.”
Dental care is an important part of overall health. Working with leading clinics committed to safety is more important than ever. As more research emerges, including effective treatments and vaccines, the guidelines for safe dental care may change. The best dental clinics in Costa Rica respond to these changes and keep their patients well-informed and protected.
Since 2017, Goodness Dental has been ranked as the best dental clinic in Costa Rica by CostaRicaDentalGuide.com and Global Clinic Rating. On a global scale, out of 126,000 dental clinics around the world, Goodness Dental is ranked as one of the Top Five Dental Clinics in the World by Global Clinic Rating.
Costa Rica is one of the most attractive dental tourism destinations, combining high quality, affordable dental care with world-class tourism infrastructure and nature tourism. Patients routinely report savings of fifty to seventy percent when compared to pricing in the USA and Canada. Goodness Dental is compliant with ADA COVID protocols and is equipped with the latest technology to minimize viral contagion.
As of September 1, U.S. citizens from authorized states wishing to enter Costa Rica must complete a digital epidemiological health pass, obtain a negative PCR-RT coronavirus test taken within 72 hours of their departure from the United States, and purchase travel insurance that covers accommodation in case of quarantine and medical expenses due to COVID-19.
U.S. tourists must also demonstrate, via a valid driver’s license or State ID card, that they live in one of the authorized states. No forms of documentation establishing residency in these select states other than a valid driver’s license or State ID card will be accepted at this time. Accompanying minors are not required to have a driver’s license.
Patients are encouraged to call one of the clinic’s patient coordinators Toll Free to schedule September or October dental care. Please mention the Tico Times to receive the special 10% discount.
- Dr. Peter Aborn: 866-218-1036: [email protected]
- Dr. Carlos Fiorito: 866-260-5196: [email protected]
- Dr. Karen Yurell: 866-367-6835: [email protected]
- Ana Lucia Morales, CPC: 888-256-1768: [email protected]
- Milena Chaves, CPC: 866-406-2744: [email protected]
This article was sponsored by Goodness Dental.