Patient Safety

Taking Every Precaution to Keep Panama City Smiles Safe

We are so excited to see you and your family return to our Panama City dental office. It’s been too long since we’ve seen your smile! Please know that the entire staff at Panhandle Dental Care has been working tirelessly to ensure your health and safety are a top priority, now more than ever before. We want to reassure all of our patients that we never compromise when it comes to taking care of you and your oral health.

New Pre-Screening Protocols

To protect you and our team members, we have new pre-screening protocols in place. When we call you to confirm your appointment, we’ll be asking you some health-related questions including:

  • Do you have a fever or shortness of breath?
  • Have you experienced a loss of taste or smell?
  • Have you traveled in the past two weeks to any COVID-19 affected regions?
  • Have you been in contact with any confirmed COVID-19 positive patients?

We’ll also ask you some of the same questions when you arrive at the office for your appointment. At that time, we ask that you remain in your car until we are ready. One of our friendly team members will be waiting for you at the door for a quick temperature check. We kindly ask that all patients wear a cloth mask upon entry to the office.

Updated Sterilization and Disinfection Protocols

Before the COVID-19 outbreak, our Panama City dental office was already practicing very stringent procedures for infection control protocol. We’ve taken it even further, installing two Reme-Halo® air purifiers in the office’s HVAC unit. Our team will also have extra-oral suction units in each operatory. These units are specially designed to evacuate aerosols and pass them through a true HEPA filter and UV germicidal light. You’ll also notice that we’ve added stand-alone HEPA filters to all of our treatment rooms, reception area, and sterilization area.

We’ll now be fogging treatment areas and other places that patients have passed through with hypochlorous acid — a disinfectant 80 to 100 times more effective than bleach, but much safer and non-irritating. All of our dental instruments are cleaned in an ultrasonic bath before being steam autoclaved. We track dates that instruments are sterilized to ensure sterility is not compromised by long storage times. All contact areas of treatment rooms are covered with disposable barriers, wiped with hospital-level disinfectant, or both. Items that are difficult to sterilize are single-use disposables. Our autoclave is tested weekly, four times more often than the state requirement.


Personal Protective Equipment Protocols

You’ll also notice that our dental team will look a little different. Our clinicians will be wearing N95 respirators (if available or Level 3 with custom, face-hugging frames), full-face shields, and cover gowns. With all of these added safety measures and precautions, we expect that appointments should run smoothly and on time. We’ll be making every effort to limit your time spent in the chair and the office. Our team is expecting to spend one-third more time for our disinfection procedures in between patients. Please note that there will be a small $10 per visit PPE fee.

As things continue to change, these regulations may have to be updated. Please know that no matter what, our entire team will be providing professional, personal, high-quality care to you and your family.

We appreciate your patience and understanding during these trying times. If you have any questions or concerns about an upcoming appointment, please feel free to reach out to us online or by phone at 850-763-5817.