Henderson Dental Clinic's Proactive Safety Measures
One Of The Safest Dental Clinics In Auckland
McIntosh Dental on Henderson’s busy Lincoln Road is very familiar with infection control measures. Although the dental clinic already had stringent infection control measures in place, the coronavirus crisis has caused these to be enhanced to the highest degree possible. The clinic is one of the few in Auckland who have remained open for emergency dental treatment during Alert Levels 4 and 3, and has safely treated more than 200 patients during this time. Now they are looking forward to providing their full range of dental treatments once again.
Although New Zealand is now entering Alert Level 2, that doesn’t mean McIntosh Dental will relax their standards. “Realistically, a COVID vaccine could be a year or more away, so we are committed to protecting the health and safety of our patients and staff as much as possible until that time,” says the practice’s founder and co-owner Dr Alex McIntosh. “So although we – like so many New Zealand businesses – have been financially impacted by the crisis, to us that’s no excuse to compromise on patient safety.”
One issue related to the pandemic that continues to be raised is the topic of aerosols: airborne particles not visible to the naked eye which have the potential to carry droplets of water, saliva, blood, micro organisms and potentially infectious materials. Bacteria and viruses ranging from the common cold through to coronavirus can all be transmitted through aerosols. Because many routine dental treatments use instruments which produce an aerosol or spray, dentists need to be extra vigilant in their infection control measures.
The standard infection control precautions include masks, eye protection, gloves, hand hygiene and sanitisation of all surfaces and touch points. McIntosh Dental, however have decided to take additional steps towards controlling aerosols and have invested in another two important measures: HEPA Air Purifiers and Laminar Airflow units. HEPA stands for high-efficiency particulate air. As the name suggests, HEPA air purifiers purify the air inside the dental clinic by filtering and destroying contaminants, helping to remove bacteria and viruses in the air. The Laminar airflow units create negative air pressure, effectively removing any aerosols produced during dental treatment from air in the surgery rooms. Laminar is used in hospital operating theatres to provide clean, sterile working conditions during operations.
“We want all of our patients - even those who are classed as being at high-risk of COVID-19 - to feel completely safe and confident when coming to McIntosh Dental,” says Dr McIntosh. “We are proactively implementing the highest standard of protection possible so we can provide the highest standard of dental care.”
McIntosh Dental was established in Henderson in 1987 and offers a full range of general dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, orthodontics, dental implants, dentures and oral surgery services.