Important Information Regarding COVID-19

As dedicated health care professionals, we want you to know that we remain as diligent as ever in protecting the health and safety of our patients and staff.  Our practice strictly adheres to and exceeds the standards for infection control by wearing personal protective gear, using hospital-grade disinfectants, practicing the latest sterilization protocols, utilizing single-use disposable materials, and more. Every effort we have in place is to ensure the safety of our patients and staff.  We have always taken great care to protect you or your child from any risk of disease transmission. Up until recently, that risk was mainly from blood-borne pathogens. COVID-19, being a respiratory virus spread through respiratory droplets and aerosols, has become a new challenge. We have made many changes, from telehealth consultations limiting person-to-person contact, to installation of systems to filter out aerosols generated during treatment. While all of this has come at a great financial cost, we have cut no corners to ensure your safety. While we could have started treating patients on May 11, we opted to fully comply with latest recommendations for infection control and are still currently acquiring, installing, and training on the new equipment and have delayed opening until after Memorial Day.   We believe we are creating the safest environment available of any OMS office in the tri-state area. If you are considering another OMS provider, we encourage you to ask if they have installed all of these technologies for your safety:

1. Specialized High Velocity Evacuation (HVE) units in each isolated procedure room. These units suction and remove the aerosol and secretions generated during surgery before they can spread throughout the room or office by creating a high velocity vacuum. The evacuated air is passed through UV-C light capable of killing viruses at 99% efficiency, then filtered through its own HEPA filter that catches 99.97% of contaminants.

2. Not 1, but 2, HEPA Air Filtration Systems running in each isolated procedure room with true HEPA filters capable of removing 99.97% of contaminants in the air. They also contain a UV-C light for secondary disinfection. These HEPA filters are a second layer of safety just in case any aerosol does make it past the HVE. While not intended to create a negative or positive pressure room environment (that is beyond the scope of an outpatient facility), these units can filter all of the air in the room up to 22 times per hour, nearly double the recommendation of isolation room air turnover by the Center for Disease Control.

3. UV-C light + ozone surface sterilization of each isolated procedure room to ensure a high level of disinfection of irregular room surfaces outside of the operative field that are impossible to wipe down and disinfect completely with normal methods (such as blinds, computer monitors, etc.)

4. Installation of UV-C light sterilizer systems on each of the three office HVAC units to disinfect the air circulating throughout the office as an additional level of public safety. The procedure rooms, consultation rooms, and waiting rooms have all been zoned separately from one another to prevent mixing of air.

5. A new disposable cover mask and gown is used for every patient to prevent cross-contamination.

6. Disposable nitrous oxide lines, rather than sterilizable, will now be used for easier handling by staff.

7. Disposable blankets (instead of laundered) are available for patient comfort.

8. We will begin to offer in-office COVID-19 testing, when indicated, as soon as it is reliably available.

9. Staff have been fully trained and are up to date on infection control and current CDC and OSHA recommendations.

By installing and implementing the above, we feel that we are actually exceeding a hospital operating room level of disinfection that could only be bettered by a true negative pressure HEPA-filtered containment room constructed within hospital walls and that is UV sterilized.

We look forward to being able to resume non-emergency oral surgery care for Southern Illinois. If you have any questions about your safety or our practices, please call (618-519-9363) or email ([email protected]). We would be happy to answer any questions and hopefully make your visit as stress free as possible.

Dr. Burton and team

For further information, including measures to keep yourself healthy, visit the following links: