Dr. Ross Anderson, Lake Superior Dental in Duluth, Minnesota, discusses the hit the dental industry has taken since being force to shut down over the pandemic.

How is LSD keeping you and our team members safe?

Dental care is considered a very high-risk interaction requiring close contact by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).  Dental offices have traditionally had high adherence to infection control procedures using PPE and cleaning surfaces with high level disinfectant. This combination has resulted in a history of safety. Additional PPE and disinfection is required for safe care during the COVID-19 pandemic, including use of N95 respirators. We are following all guidelines issued by the Center for Disease Control (CDC).All patients and team members will be pre-screened before their shift or appointment with questions supplied by the CDC as well as their temperature taken. In addition, we have elected to invest in a clinic wide patient localized Hepa and UV air treatment system.  It will collect the air and aerosols while dental work is being done, and trap and disinfect bacteria and viruses.  This will help to protect our team and patients.

What is an aerosol?

Aerosol is a spray of fluid droplets. During some procedures in dental care, such as cleanings and fillings, an air-water spray is produced. COVID-19 is thought to be transmitted through respiratory droplets. When someone with the infection coughs, sneezes, or speaks, particles or droplets containing virus material may be transmitted to another person, or may be transmitted to a surface, which is touched later by another person.

What are you doing to screen your employees to make sure that “me” the patient is protected?

All team members have their temperatures taken upon arriving and leaving work, and are asked to not come to work if they have any symptoms or live in a household with someone with symptoms. PPE in accordance with CDC guidelines will be worn at all times when the team is in the office.

Why are some offices open for cleanings and you aren’t?

Lake Superior Dental cares about safety over profits. We need to make sure we have all of our new protocols set and the proper PPE ready and stocked before we can open up our doors to elective dentistry.

What can I expect to see my dentist wearing at my appointment?

The proper PPE to keep you and themselves safe. You will see your dentist wearing a mask or two, some masks may utilize a frame, gloves, gown, face shield, goggles and maybe even hair coverings.

Why is my filling/crown appointment being scheduled months out?

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic we had to close our doors to many patients for 2.5 months. We have to prioritize emergent and urgent care first. If your tooth starts to cause pain or swelling please call our office and we will get you seen as soon as possible. As soon as we can get our emergent patients taken care of, we will start to get prior treatment planned work scheduled.