Even though 2020 has seemed like there were new challenges we must face every day, week, or month, there’s always going to be light at the end of the tunnel. It’s with great excitement and confidence that we prepare to open our doors to our Lakeland dental office to our family of patients once again.

During these uncertain times and closure, we’ve missed seeing each and every one of you. Dr. Blanca Fernandez and team have always taken sterilization and disinfection extremely seriously at Highland Dental Clinic. Now, we’re adding even more precautions are being taken around the office because we always want you to be and feel safe and protected.

About Our New Safety Standards

When you come to our dental office in Lakeland for your next appointment, you’ll notice that things might seem a little different. We’re going out of our way to ensure you and your family are safe and we also want you to feel comfortable. Please know everything we do is to prevent any harm to you and your smile. Highland Dental Clinic will be following the universal standard precautions issued by the:

This means you might be asked additional health-related questions, have your temperature checked before your treatment, and be asked to wash your hands and use hand sanitizer. We do all of this to protect every patient, staff member, and doctors from any infectious diseases that we are potentially exposed to on a daily basis. For your peace of mind, these precautions are taken EVERY time you sit in one of our patient chairs.

About Our Sterilization and Disinfection Protocol

When you come in for your appointment, whether you’re overdue for a cleaning or are going to proceed with your restorative treatment, we’re ready and able to protect and serve you using the highest, most stringent methods of sterilization and disinfection at our dental office in Lakeland.

We will be:

  • Wearing single-use gloves and masks while treating all patients.
  • Wearing full-length sleeves and laundering all work clothing on site.
  • Wiping each dental operatory including chairs, light instrument trays, countertops with an EPA-OSHA medical grade surface disinfectant that quickly kills bacteria and viruses including COVID-19.
  • Following OSHA recommendations the following items will have disposable barriers that are removed and changed after each patient:
    • Head rests
    • Light handles
    • Instrument trays
    • Power switches
    • X-ray tubes
    • Computer keyboards
    • Mouse
    • Foot pedals
  • Following the competition of each procedure, immediately after a patient leaves the room, the disinfection process begins again having all disposable barriers replaced and surfaces wiped down.
  • Placing all instruments in a special, high-tech ultrasonic cleaner along with a strong medical solution for 20 minutes that removes debris and kills bacteria and pathogens. The instruments are then sprayed with another EPA-OSHA solution for 10 minutes, scrubbed, rinsed, dried, and packed in special pouches with sterilization indicators.
  • Placing all instruments in the autoclave machine that uses high-pressure steam and heat of 275 degrees for an hour to kill any bacteria, virus, spores, etc.
  • Cleaning our autoclave with an EPA-OSHA solution and running it weekly to ensure the machine is clean and free from bacteria and viruses. We then seal the test strip and send it to a lab to determine if the machine is free from anything unhealthy or harmful. We keep records of all autoclave checkups.

If you have any questions about any of these steps, please don’t hesitate to talk to us! We’re happy to help in any way we can. We’re here for you and want you all to stay healthy and happy.

About Our Added Protective Measures for Your Health

Another difference you might notice at our dental office in Lakeland is that our team might be wearing new personal protective equipment or PPE. This is simply an added security measure to protect ourselves and you during your next visit with us. We’ll be wearing PPE such as:

  • N95 masks with an FDA-approved filter for .25 micron particles.
  • Face shields
  • Disposable gloves and gowns
  • Surgical hats

It’s also important to note that we hope your schedule allows for a little extra time for your appointment. The reason being is that, especially for the new patients joining the Highland Dental Clinic family, there are some additional documents and informed consent paperwork to complete.

We appreciate your patience through all of this as we all work together to create the new normal for you and our office staff. Please know that everything we do is to help you and your family stay safe and healthy as things seem to change daily and weekly. If you have any questions or feel concerned about coming to the office, we hope that you’ll reach out to us online to give us a call at (863) 457-1954.