Hamden dentist explains how he’s made his office safer for patients, staff

New Haven

HAMDEN, Conn. – As the debate rages on in Hartford about how and when dentist offices should reopen, News 8 found one Hamden dentist who is revamping how he does business.

RELATED: CT dental hygienist fears reopening for non-emergency work during pandemic

Cosmetic and Implant Dentistry of CT’s Dr. Aaron Gross said dental hygiene is vital for overall health, but he also stresses it’s vital to keep staff and patients safe in his office.

So, he said he’s doing his best and working to follow and exceed guidelines from the American Dental Association. In addition to the normal daily sanitizing, he’s taking a lot of extra measures.

First off, they’re planning to keep people apart. They’re scheduling half the number of patients they normally see and to keep waiting rooms empty. Everyone will have to wait in their cars until the room is ready.

Next, he said he’s tracking down gowns, face shields and N-95 masks for his staff.

Lastly, he’s ordered and is working to install three different ways of cleaning the air. One is a UV light that will tackle the air that’s recirculated within the office. Next, he has HEPA filters on the way for the waiting room and finally he ordered what’s called and Extraoral Dental Suction System.

They promise to quickly suck out any splatter or any other aerosols that come out of a patient’s mouth during a visit.

“What they do is they is they effectively take all of the aerosols out of the air that are not captured by the assistants suction unit,” said Dr. Gross. “So, right now, we’re in the middle of this fighting this really, really nasty pandemic. So, we’re not really in any hurry to get back into elective dentistry right now until we can ensure that our office is completely safe for our staff and for our patients.”

   Dr. Gross recommends asking these questions before you go to your dentist:

  1. What are you doing now to adhere to the social distancing guidelines set forth by the governor and CDC?

             Ask about plans for the waiting room and how many patients they’re seeing in a day.

  1.   What are you doing to ensure that the recirculated air in the office is safe? 

               Are they adding any air filtration systems?

  1. Protective Equipment.

                What should you bring to the appointment?

                Will the staff have on PPE?

Governor Ned Lamont said his advisory board is meeting with dentists and dental hygienists on Wednesday to come up with a plan after many dental hygienists expressed concerns that offices are not doing enough to protect them or patients.

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