April 19, 2021

University of Florida College of Dentistry Covid-19 Preventive Measures

The College of Dentistry has implemented an wide array of measures to be able to treat patients in a teaching environment. These include building and equipment, safety rules and protocols.
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University of Florida College of Dentistry Covid-19 Preventive Measures

J.- F. Roulet, Gainesville

Create Safe Environment for All

In the college of Dentistry patient treatment and clinical teaching were resumed during the Covid-19 pandemic after adjusting to the higher risk to create a safe environment for all: the patients, the care taker and the teaching faculty.

Everybody had to pass mandatory trainings to ensure that all new rules were known.

Pre screen patients and disinfecting mouthrinse:
Prior to any appointment the patients are contacted by phone and prescreend regarding covid-symptoms and–contacts. Furthermore before any treatment the patients are required to rinse with a hydrogen peroxide solution for 30 seconds

Testing and vaccinating all care takers (students and faculty):
Initially everybody with symptoms got tested, Later, when sufficient tests were available everybody could get tested any time. Students got tested when they came back to the campus. Once vaccines were available all health care takers,including teaching faculty were vaccinated.

Enforcing masks:
On campus everybody must wear a face mask.

Enforcing social distancing:
Inside and outside social  distancing is enforced with markers on the floors, occupation limits/room (eg elevators, laboratories etc.)

With all the personal protection equipment and the strict protocols, faculty feels safe to teach

Personal protection
For personal protection, the care takers have to strictly follow the recommendations of the Center for Disease Control (CDC): Gowns, caps, face masks (double), face shields, gloves etc.

Defined protocols
For setting up operatories for treatment, during treatment, and for cleaning after the treatment strict protocols are enforced. Students are working in pairs or groups to enable them to reduce aerosol generation.

Open treatment boxes were converted into closed treatment rooms

Single treatment rooms with air control (HEPA-filter) and increased suction.
The treatment rooms, originally being divided into open boxes were converted into closed single treatment rooms to eliminate aerosol contamination from box to box. Furthermore, air circulators with HEPA filters were installed in every single treatment room to enhance the air circulation and filter out the aerosols. Additional air suction operated by the assistant decreased the aerosols released into the ambient air.

HEPA filter (left corner) and additional high volume suction (tube))

The high power suction in proximity of the patients mouth is very effective in eliminating aerosols

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