A Letter to Our Patients and Community

With our latest infection control measures now in place, the Dental College of Georgia is pleased to open all dental appointments to both current patients and NEW patients.

The Dental College of Georgia at Augusta University remains committed to ensuring the health and safety of our patients, faculty, residents, staff, students, and visitors. During the COVID-19 pandemic our highest priority has been working diligently to provide a healthcare delivery environment that is both safe for our patients to receive care and safe for our staff and providers to be able to deliver it.

We were mandated by Augusta University and the University System of Georgia to close in March, and since then we have been busy preparing to resume full operations, beginning with phased treatment opportunities for emergency care and other high priority procedures for our patients of record. As we have continued to progress towards providing a full scope of elective dental treatment, we wanted you to know what we have done to safely open our doors to both current and NEW patients.

Infection control has always been a top priority at the DCG, and you will see this demonstrated during your visits to our college. Our infection control processes are based on the latest healthcare guidelines to enable us to provide you with safe and reliable care.

The DCG follows infection control recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the American Dental Association (ADA), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and Augusta University Health. These agencies are current with any new COVID-related guidance.  By following their activities, we can ensure that our infection control procedures are current and adhere to each agencies’ recommendations.

We look forward to seeing you again and continuing as your oral healthcare provider. We are ready to answer any questions you may have about these steps and other actions we have taken for your health, safety, and confidence in returning to our clinics. Please take a moment to review some of the changes and updates to our facility and our patient appointment process that we have implemented.

To learn more about COVID-19 resources and other changes that have been made by Augusta University for our health and safety please go to this link- https://jagwire.augusta.edu/coronavirus/

Thank you for being our patient, we value your trust and loyalty as your partners in health.

Sincerely,
The Dental College of Georgia students, residents, staff, and faculty.


DCG Patient Appointment Process

Photo: DCG staff screening patients and employees as they enter the building. At your next appointment, you will notice and experience several changes that have been implemented to protect our patients and staff. For example:

  1. We will communicate with you 2-3 days before your appointment to ask some COVID-19 screening questions. You will be asked the same questions again upon arrival for your appointment as well as having your temperature assessed, and your provider (dentist, student, resident, and hygienist) will review your responses to those questions as part of your health history update for your health record.

  2. Appointments will be managed to allow clinical distancing between patients in our clinics and social distancing in the common spaces (hallways, elevators, etc.) throughout our building. That means you may be offered fewer options for scheduling your appointments than existed pre-COVID-19.

  3. In order to comply with acceptable social distancing protocols in the building, visitors will not allowed to accompany adult patients to their appointments. There may be exceptions based on individual circumstances (such as adults requiring care-giver assistance) to be determined on a case-by-case basis. Pediatric patients and minors may be accompanied by one adult parent or legal guardian.

  4. You will be required to wear a face covering throughout your visit to the DCG, except during active treatment. If you do not have an acceptable face covering, one will be provided for you.

  5. There will be new signage outside and throughout the inside of the DCG with instructions about your appointment and to provide information about safe practices as you move through the building.

  6. We will provide hand sanitizers for you to use when you enter the DCG. There will also be hand sanitizing stations located in other areas of the building for you to use as needed.

  7. You will see that our clinic reception areas (“waiting rooms”) will have floor spacing markers and reduced seating for social distancing, and they will no longer include magazines, children’s toys, and other small, high-touch items that are difficult to clean and disinfect.

  8. You will notice that a limited number of chairs will be used in our clinics. This change is to help us maintain appropriate clinical distancing in our treatment areas.

  9. You will notice different types of masks and personal protective equipment (PPE) such as face shields, hair bonnets, shoe covers etc. being worn by providers and attending faculty during your appointment for your safety and the safety of our students, residents, faculty and staff.

  10. We have installed clear barriers (“sneeze guards”) in our business offices and at our reception desks for the safety of both the patients and the staff that you will normally interact with before and after your appointment.

Infection Control Behind the Scenes

We have implemented several other changes that you may not be able to see, or be aware of to add additional measures of safety for your health and well-being.

  • We have installed thermal sensors at our entrances to provide fast and reliable monitoring of all individuals upon entry. Anyone showing an elevated temperature will be directed to a separate screening area and may be denied access depending on the outcome of the follow-up screening.

  • We have installed upgraded engineering features to our air-handling system to purify the air and improve the health and safety of our internal environment.

  • We will be using new equipment and modified evacuation techniques in the dental clinic treatment rooms to reduce the generation of aerosols and to control the spread of aerosols.

  • The AU Department of Environmental Services is providing enhanced infection control measures in their daily cleaning and housekeeping regimens to control for the presence of the COVID-19 virus and other microorganisms.

  • DCG staff will perform frequent daily sanitation of all high-touch surfaces in common areas.

  • DCG clinical staff will perform enhanced sanitation and disinfection of all treatment areas following patient appointments.

  • DCG students, staff, residents, and faculty have been instructed to stay home if they demonstrate any symptoms consistent with COVID-19. They must go through daily screenings with temperature assessments just like those performed on all of our patients and visitors.

AU Jaguars Mask Up

Get more information and AU Resources
on
COVID-19
AU Badge Required for all Employees and Students.

Entering the DCG Facility

NO ENTRY WITHOUT FACEMASK

With the emerging concern of the COVID-19 virus, the Dental College of Georgia is taking extra precautions for the safety of our patient and providers.  

 

Please DO NOT ENTER THIS FACILITY if you are experiencing:

 

Fever within the
last 14-21 days
Shortness
of breath
Persistent
cough
Loss of
taste or smell
Flu-like
symptoms
gastrointestinal upset,
headache,  fatigue
Contact with
confirmed COVID-19 patients
within the last 14-21 days

PLEASE NOTE:

  • Guests may not accompany patients.  
  • Minors may be accompanied by one parent/guardian. 
  • One caregiver may accompany patients requiring assistance.

 

Questions? Please contact your specific clinic office or student provider for more information about scheduling.

Safety Precautions