R. Keith Frome, DDS
Robert M. Frome, DMD
1759 NW Kings Blvd, Suite 5
Corvallis, OR 97330
We hope that each of you are staying safe and well during this stressful time. I thought it would be helpful to create this page to let you know what our office is doing to protect our staff and patients from COVID-19. That way you will know what to expect during your next dental appointment.
We are continuing to check with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) to make sure we are following the latest health guidelines. The following are some of the changes we have made to help keep our staff and patients safe:
Reopened for regular dental care as of May 11th. Governor Kate Brown and the Oregon Health Authority have given permission for medical and dental offices in Oregon to reopen for non-urgent and elective care as of May 1st. Gov. Brown even stated, “I personally can say that I am very excited to schedule a dental cleaning appointment very, very soon.”
Return to regular dental exams and cleanings. We are now once again able to do all regular dental care such as dental exams and cleanings. That is great news because it means our patients can get back to normal preventative care that can prevent bigger problems like cavities, gum disease, dental abscesses, you-name-it. My father, Dr. Keith Frome, often uses the example of getting your oil changed. It is a whole lot less painful to pay for a regular oil change than it is to pay for a whole new engine. Preventative dental care works! Regular exams and cleanings can catch problems before they get big, saving a lot of pain and expense down the road.
However, things will probably be a little different at our office the next time you come in for an appointment. The following are some of the things we are doing to keep both our patients and staff safe!
“One Patient at a Time” Policy. To keep patients safe, we are only scheduling one patient to be in the office at a time. To make it so we can still take care of our many patients, we are expanding our hours to additional work days to still continue to provide regular care.
Individual rooms for each patient. We are lucky that our office already has this capability. Each operatory has its own individual room (four walls) and we are now closing the sliding doors during treatment to completely enclose patient care in each room.
Masks for each patient. When our patient are traveling in our hallways to or from their treatment room we are providing free masks for them to wear.
Eliminate, Reduce, and Isolate Aerosols. The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) and the CDC have identified the high speed drill, the ultrasonic scaler, and the 3in1 combination air/water syringe can cause aerosols in the office and should be isolated. We are reducing the use of dental equipment that creates aerosols in the following ways:
•Eliminate: We will not be using the ultrasonic scaler for the time being
•Reduce: We are reducing the use of the high speed drill and combination air/water syringe. Many dental problems can be stopped or slowed without the use of a dental highspeed handpiece (drill). For example, early cavities can be treated with a medicine called Silver Diamine Fluoride that can stop cavity progress for up to 6 months. We are now doing more alternative treatments to reduce the need to use “Aerosol Producing” equipment.
•Isolate: There are situations where “Aerosol Producing” equipment like the high speed drill will be needed to treat the urgent needs of a patient. In such a case, that appointment will be scheduled for the end of the work day (after other patients have left). We are following the Oregon Health Authority recommendations that rooms that are used for “Aerosol Producing” procedures be closed for at least 2 hours after treatment.
Screening all patients for symptoms of COVID-19 before their appointment. Prior to your appointment, we will call you to ask some questions. If you have had a fever or cough in the last two weeks we may have to talk to you about postponing your appointment. If you have any questions about this, or feel you may have special circumstances, feel free to ask to talk to one of the doctors. We want to ensure we can treat your urgent dental needs in a timely manner while still keeping our staff and other patients safe.
Skip the waiting room. We are asking our patients to wait in their car instead of sitting in our waiting room. We are asking them to simply call our office when they arrive to let us know they are here. When a room is available, we will come out and get them from their car.
Temperature scans prior to treatment. We are using forehead temperature scanners to check for signs of a fever prior to starting treatment.
Hydrogen peroxide mouth rinse prior to treatment. The coronavirus is particularly vulnerable to being destroyed by contact with hydrogen peroxide. Having our patients rinse with a 1-1.5% Hydrogen Peroxide rinse will make a safer work environment for dental treatment.
Increased disinfection. In addition to disinfecting our treatment rooms after each patient, we have begun doing the same for our bathroom, waiting room, and basically every other contact point our patients have in our office. Our staff is doing a wonderful job of disinfecting everything from door knobs, pens, credit cards and more.
As you can see, we are taking the threat of COVID-19 very seriously. If you have any questions about our safety protocols please do not hesitate to call our office. One of our staff members or doctors would be happy to let you know what we are doing to keep our staff and patients safe.
Be safe everyone.