Along with Governor Kay Ivey’s announcement to reopen portions of the Alabama economy, came the new guidelines for businesses that never closed, but had restrictions place on them concerning how to conduct business.
Essential businesses included dental offices. Local dentist Dr. Anthony Vizzinia M DMD remained open for non-elective procedures. Now with the restrictions lifting, it is back to business as usual when it comes to the procedures that may be performed, but not back to normal when it comes to the procedures surrounding the care given.
“Guidelines have been set in place by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and by the Alabama Dental Association,” said Dr. Vizzinia. “We have new guidelines to follow to keep everyone as safe as possible.”
Dr. Vizzinia’s practice has placed an outdoor covered station where dental assistants wait for patients to arrive for check-in. The patient is greeted curbside and given the appropriate paperwork to fill-out concerning their current health. Questions concerning exposure to COVID-19 and symptoms linked to the virus are now part of the new paperwork to be filled out.
Each patient has their temperature taken and are required to wait in their vehicle instead of the waiting room. When it is time for the patient to enter the building, they are escorted by one of the dental staff members.
While more than one patient is allowed in the building at a time, measures are taken to avoid contact between two patients.
“We use our headsets to keep in communication with each other to prevent two patients from being in the same space at the same time,” said Dr. Vizzinia. “We also take measures when payment is made to protect everyone as much as possible by covering equipment and sanitizing the items used.”
Each patient is given a peroxide rinse to use before the examination begins. The dental workers are required to wear personal protection equipment, and Dr. Vizzinia says they go above and beyond to protect both themselves and their patients. “We wear the N95 masks recommended by the CDC and we wear a cloth mask over that and then a face shield as well,” said Dr.Vizzinia. “We also wear disposable lab jackets.”
Each exam room is thoroughly cleaned in-between patients and given the appropriate amount of time for the sanitizers to work properly.
“We are glad to be back to help our patients with all of the routine dental procedures and those that help them remain pain free,” said Dr. Baugh, dental associate at the practice. “We are thankful for the loyalty of our patients during this of ‘new normal’ and the cooperation they are showing in these uncharted waters.”
Dr. Vizzinia’s office is located at 302 4th St. SW in Fort Payne. 256-845-7300
— Marla Ballard’s Spotlight on Business appears in the Times-Journal weekend edition.