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Dentistry in the Time of COVID

 
(805) 682-5600

 

Valued friends and patients.

We've entered a new phase on the world stage and the dental theater, specifically. My practice, originally under Drs Yeoman and Williams, has safely treated patients for the past 75 years and we in this for the long haul, though we find ourselves hauling down a new and unexpected road! We are taking the steps necessary to safely treat our patients, following guidance from the CDC, Public Health Departments and the State of California. Overall, we expect to prioritize treatment until June 15. We have put in place systems for patient care, like rotation of treatment rooms, 1 hour sterilization downtime between patient visits and HEPA filtration throughout the office. We are adding UV light disinfection as well.

I anticipate needing to expand our office hours to M-F, with additional hygiene hours, to accommodate our patients, when we do return to work. If you call the office you should have an employee answer your questions, get a recording or even get me (lucky you!). Regardless, you can text me directly at my cell # 403-9103 in the 805. Feel free to leave a message!

HOW WE WILL CONDUCT YOUR APPOINTMENT:

At Home/Online:

1. Take the ADA self assessment query: Click Here.

2. Download the treatment information and Informed Consent Form to sign and return: COVID Patient Consent Form

Please do not come in if you are possibly sick with cold, coughing, fever, recent loss of taste/smell or have traveled by plane in the past 2 weeks. We are happy to reschedule with 48 hrs notice.

At the Alamar Dental Center Parking Lot:

1. PLEASE ARRIVE 10 MINUTES EARLY. Call our office from your car, give us your car's description and we will come out to your car for a screening. Please wear a facemask. We will take your temperature and review your paperwork.

2. We will escort you into our office, and have you use the hand sanitizer at the front counter.

3. We will then escort you into your treatment room and review your conditions before we start.

4. You will rinse for 30 seconds with a mouthrinse. Dr. Mintzer or his hygienist will don PPE before beginning.

FOR HYGIENE APPOINTMENTS:

We may lengthen your appointment by 10-20 minutes to "catch up" with possible hygiene lapses and provide room turn-around precautions for the coronavirus. This will be at the discretion of either Dr. Mintzer or Carrie McKinney, RDH.

HOW HELPFUL IS COVID-19 TESTING?

We all want to find out if we, or our patients, are now or have had contact with the COVID-19 virus and can transmit this disease. The tests that are being used are not very good at helping us, unfortunately. There are two basic types of tests, one looking for parts of the virus itself from nasal swabs (Q-tips) and one from the blood (serology) looking for antibodies against the disease. The former is more accurate, and can show if you're "shedding" virus from your respiratory tract, but only if the swab is a good sample. If it's not, this may lead to a false negative result. There aren't many "false positives," however, if you get a positive result then you're contagious and may know it! The second test type requires a small amount of blood to see if you've had contact with the disease over the past weeks to months but not within the last week or two, when you could be contagious. Again, more false negatives can be produced. In the article by the Atlantic Magazine, they report that the CDC has reported mixing the data from both reports, creating a lower total incidence. Testing really tells us who is already sick/contagious and should be quarantined but has not been used effectively to locate the asymptomatic "super spreaders" who are most responsible for infecting others. The idealized, best way is to have 330,000,000 tests given to everyone in the country, on the same day, with results given that day, and actions taken afterwards to quarantine or treat those affected. NOT a possibility.

Atlantic Magazine:  How testing may be of limited usefulness.

HELPFUL COVID-19 LINKS:

Country & State Comparisons

US - Overall Mortality Rates & COVID Animation

Map - Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center

This has happened before. SARS-1: Why traveling by plane is a hazard

  


 

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