Dental Office Safety Protocol – Whitinsville, MA
Our patients’ safety, oral health, and peace of mind are our absolute top priorities! Dr. Jason Tubo and the Team at Whitinsville Family Dentistry have been hard at work creating systems and employing new technologies to make our work environment healthy, still pretty, but above all SAFE. We’re using these technologies to begin taking the focus away from the virus, and instead go back to focusing on our clients’ oral health needs and their smiles.
What we’re doing differently now:
Electrostatic Air Purifiers
We have added photochemical and electrostatic air purifiers to every single room. These 10 new purifiers are in addition to the large Molekule systems we have had in the common areas of our practice since 2018. They actively pull virus particles out of the air and destroy them.
Negative Pressure Isolation
Negative pressure isolation and air purification systems. For procedures that create mist and aerosol (which could *theoretically* carry coronavirus particles), we have created the first private practice negative pressure rooms in Massachusetts in response to SARS-Covid-19. The system draws air our of the room, treating it through oxidizers and ionizers. The air in each NP treatment room is exchanged a minimum of 12 times per hour! That means the air you breathe is always pure and treated. It also means the air you breathe can’t travel to other rooms, or remain from one appointment to the next. The CDC and ADA have already made statements that (“at this time”) systems like this are not required in dental practices, but that they do provide ultimate-level protection.
This is in addition to the negative pressure system… We have installed a CENTRAL air-scrubbing purification and treatment system to our existing HVAC system, filtering to HEPA MERV-16. The system also uses environmentally friendly oxidizers, and a negative ionization system to safely and effectively create maximum level Indoor Air Quality.
Starship Enterprise Air Quality
The combination of the central air treatment system, the in-room air purifiers, and the negative pressure systems in treatment rooms means the air you breathe at Whitinsville Family Dentistry is less like the International Space Station and more like the Starship Enterprise. That means that once you’re in the room, you can take your mask off and breathe easily.
Dr. Tubo of Whitinsville Family Dentistry in Northbridge, MA and Dr. Miguel Ortiz at Lit Dental in Wayland, MA are the FIRST dental practices in Massachusetts to install independent “Negative Pressure” isolation and air purification systems in response to the Covid-19 Pandemic. Though these systems are above and beyond CDC and ADA Guidelines, they provide the ultimate in virus protection and air quality control.
What we’ve ALWAYS done differently:
Small Reception Area
We have always said that we have a small reception area (and not a large “waiting” room) for a reason! We work hard to be on time and to have a room ready for you as soon as you arrive for your visits. That’s always been to provide you better service and comfort - but now it serves to keep our patients safer as well :)
1+ Hour Appointments
We have never worked like a “dental factory” with 30 minute cleanings, or the doctors working on 3 patients at a time. Our doctors’ schedules are always built to focus on one patient at a time. That has always meant that we can offer more attention to detail, but in the post-covid age that also means less traffic in the building.
The running joke here has always been that we’re a little (OK a lot) OCD about clean. We always clean, sterilize and disinfect above and beyond CDC Guidelines. Dr. Tubo even has it written into our business values; and behind the scenes we review our cleanliness goals at regular huddle meetings.
High Volume Evacuation (HVE) systems
This gets a little technical, but you will hear more about this as other dentists are starting to install this equipment in their offices in response to Covid-19. In addition to the small straw which is LVE, the HVE is the “big suction” (or the “Big Mr. Thirsty”) we have in every single room even the hygiene rooms. HVE systems in every room is not required in Massachusetts, but that’s how we chose to build our practice. We have always used them to keep you more comfortable, but now they are being shown to protect from spreading Covid in treatment rooms. We have been using the PureVac HVE system at Whitinsville Family Dentistry since 2018.
Regular maintenance of our HVAC HEPA systems.
We are also a little obsessive about clean, filtered air; and making sure our office doesn’t “smell like a dentist.” This is also a quick shout-out to our amazing HVAC technicians from ABC Air. Brandon Allard at ABC Air has been on top of our systems ever since we brought him on in 2017. Meticulously cleaning and maintaining our air handlers, changing filters, and keeping us breathing fresh clean air… we’re adding EVEN MORE to our system in response to Covid-19, but our system has been top notch all along thanks to Brandon and his team!