Frequently Asked Questions
COVID-19 Patient Q&A:
- I am still anxious about bringing my teen into a dental or medical office setting because of COVID-19. What options do we have?
Our practice offers several options to decrease your contact with other patients. First, we offer online registration so you take your time at home to enter all of the needed information. Just go to www.drcruzoms.com to register your information in English or Spanish. We also limit the patients that enter our office, we do screenings on everyone entering our office, we constantly disinfect patient areas (waiting room, restroom, patient rooms, etc.), and we maintain a safe distance between patients.
- Can I bring my other children with me to the appointment? (Why can’t I bring someone else with me to the office?)
To avoid unnecessary contact with others, we would prefer you leave family members home or, if appropriate, they can stay in the car instead of coming into the office. It is easier to provide space for social distancing with fewer people present. One person may accompany an underage child, or any patient that requires special assistance, into the office. However, overage (18+ years) patients can only come to the office alone. If you require someone else with you, please inform the front staff in advance.
- What should I do when I get to the office?
We ask that you stay in your car and call the office when you arrive to the parking lot, then, someone will go get you to your car. We ask that you wear a mask while inside and that you not enter the office if you have a fever or COVID-19 symptoms. We will provide you with a hair net before you enter the office, and one of our assistants will give you a COVID-19 pre-screening questionnaire.
- What are you doing to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus?
We are limiting the number of people we allow in the office including patients and staff. We also prescreen patients when they get to the office with several coronavirus-related symptoms and exposure questions. We are confirming that patients are negative for symptoms of COVID-19 infection for the past two weeks: Do they have a cough, fever or traveled to high-risk areas? We are having patients fill out paperwork in their cars if they prefer or were not able to complete it online. We have hand sanitizer available in every room for patients to use. We also placed “sneeze guards” (clear Plexiglas) between front staff employees and patients. Our office has posted directions about wearing face coverings and recommending not to enter if you have a fever. The staff will take the temperature of all patients along with any other people who accompany them. All surgical team members are wearing masks and face covers. Surgical team members and Front Staff are having their temperatures taken daily as well as their oxygen. The reception area does not have magazines and clutter to make it easier to clean surfaces and prevent transmission of coronavirus by contact with multiple surfaces. We are disinfecting the reception room multiple times a day and – as we have always done – all surgical rooms are disinfected and instruments sterilized before and after use. For surgical procedures, we are keeping doors closed, wearing disposable gowns, protective eyewear, face shields, hair coverings and N95 masks. We also are having patients rinse with 1.5% hydrogen peroxide for one minute prior to surgical procedures to limit the amount of virus they shed if they have COVID without any symptoms. We have arranged the office to allow for 6-foot distancing between people. We also are paying extra attention to disinfect surfaces such as door handles and restrooms.
- I’ve heard dental procedures increase the spread of coronavirus. Is that true?
Dental procedures are done in a part of the body that is likely to have coronavirus present. When drills are used in dentistry, they create an aerosol mist that may contain coronavirus if working on an infected patient. To decrease the spread of the coronavirus in the dental setting, we have patients rinse with diluted hydrogen peroxide before they sit in the chair for a procedure and we use suction evacuation to vacuum the aerosol mist. Oral surgery drills produce less aerosol than a general dentist’s drill because they do not use the same type of air-water spray. We use suction devices to vacuum away most of the mist that is created. We may close the doors of the treatment room as well to contain any mist that isn’t vacuumed away. All instruments have always been sterilized before they are used on a patient to help prevent the transmission of any disease. Many items are single use and are disposed of after each patient visit. And at the end of every procedure the room is fully sanitized and disinfected.
- What if someone in your office has coronavirus?
We try to prevent anyone with the coronavirus infection from entering the office by using our patient screening questions and rescheduling them if necessary. Staff members known to have an active illness are not allowed to be in the office until fully recovered. Staff members are screened each day for signs of illness including fever and oxygen levels. We have always practiced frequent hand-washing and sanitization throughout the day. Surgery staff wear protective equipment that decreases the risk of transmission of diseases both to and from the patient.
- I have recently been exposed to the coronavirus/have the coronavirus. Can I come to the office for an appointment?
Anyone tested positive, or at high risk for being positive, for coronavirus infection should not come into the office. We can discuss your situation over the telephone, or use tele dentistry, and determine if there is a need for emergency care. If there is an emergency need, the doctor will advise you on the best course of action.
- I had surgery in your office recently and now I feel sick, what should I do? Did you give me coronavirus?
Thank you for letting us know. If you feel that you have symptoms of coronavirus infection, call your medical doctor and arrange for the necessary testing if appropriate. If you test positive, please let us know so that we can take the necessary actions. We are aware that every precaution was taken to prevent transmission of any disease while you were being treated in our office.