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Bridgewater’s Smiles for Life ensures its office is safe to visit

Smiles for Life Office Manager and Hygienist Becky McIntyre says its office is actually very safe compared to a lot of other places in the community.
Published: Aug. 26, 2020 at 2:54 PM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) — For the first six weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic, many states, including Virginia, required dental offices to close except for emergency care.

Bridgewater’s Smiles for Life dental office reopened to patients during the first week of May and has been very busy ever since. Although many may be hesitant to visit the dentist during the pandemic, because you are exposed with your mouth open, Smiles for Life Office Manager and Hygienist Becky McIntyre says its dental office is actually very safe compared to a lot of other places in the community.

“I am absolutely convinced and pretty passionate at the fact that the dental office is one of the safest places you can be,” McIntyre said.

She also explained how dentists have always followed what is known as “universal precautions,” which includes mask and glove-wearing, disinfecting and sterilization of tools, prior to COVID-19. She added, “dealing with germs is not something new for dentists.”

Because of the coronavirus, Smiles for Life has added to their current safety precautions, with many more such as patient and employee screenings upon arrival, Plexiglas barriers, a socially distant waiting room, new suction tools and complete office air filtration.

“There’s a unit on the entire air conditioning/heating system that’s in the ductwork, that’s supposed to clear 99% of molds, bacterias, viruses,” McIntyre said, “And then we also in every room have portable air filtration units, and about every four minutes it actually cleans the air in that room.”

In addition to this, staff also has the option to shower and change their clothes before returning home. McIntyre says the surgeons typically shower, and many other staff members bring a change of clothes as to not wear their dirty scrubs home.

Smiles for Life has had one team member test positive for COVID-19, but are confident the safety measures in place are working and the office is safe, because no one else in the office, not even the doctor she works right alongside, tested positive for the virus afterward. The team member only worked one day while unknowingly contagious, and then got tested for the virus after having minor cold-like symptoms, and everyone else in the office has since been tested and received a negative result. McIntyre believes the air filtration system at Smiles for Life really does help eliminate germs and prevented anyone else from getting sick.

For more information on Smiles for Life, or to schedule an appointment, visit www.smilesforlifeonline.com

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