The world, as we knew it before COVID-19, has changed and continues to see businesses innovating and evolving to stay open and return to a sense of normalcy. For the dental industry, this means initiating enhanced cleaning measures of their facilities and equipment as their number one goal remains to protect their patients and staff.
At PK Tech, we service several dental practices and understand the importance of these pivotal methods and the necessity to open and remain open as soon as possible.
Practices are considering adopting one particular new method of sanitation that is already being used frequently in hospitals and larger medical facilities. The process uses ultraviolet light to disinfect by sanitizing the air, surfaces, and equipment and is now being readily adopted by dental practices in the face of new COVID-19 sanitation regulations.
The UV light method is becoming particularly popular among dentists, considering the risk of disease transmission when performing dental work. With a significant vector of COVID-19 spread being saliva, there is an extra risk for dentists who are working solely in people’s mouths, according to the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology. In mid-May, the leading company selling this technology saw sales from dental practices making up 80-90% of their total sales, proving that the majority of dental offices are jumping on board with this sanitation strategy.
Despite a hefty price tag of $2,000 per unit in an already financially strained time for dental practices, many choose this UV sanitation method as a necessity to reopen their business safely during COVID-19. Still, experts state that existing sanitation (e.g., protective gear, hand washing, etc.) is still necessary, but the best way to prevent the spread of disease.
Experts understand that COVID-19 is a fragile virus, according to Dr. Richard Martinello, an associate professor at Yale School of Medicine and medical director of the Department of Infection Prevention at Yale New Haven Hospital. Cleaning products like soap and disinfectants, along with UV light treatments, are very useful in causing the virus to degrade and die. Like hospitals, dentists can also consider using different types of UV sanitizing products, such as air purifiers, disinfecting towers for rooms, and chambers for sterilizing equipment.
It’s no surprise that the most significant barrier to entry for this new method of sanitation is simple: cost. In the fallout from coronavirus, the economy is strained, and dental practices have suffered just like everything else. While a fresh new technology is excellent in concept, it becomes a delicate balance of acquiring the necessary changes to reopen (and remain open) during a global pandemic; and having the cash available to make a significant investment after potentially months of not operating.
One thing is for sure: elevated sanitation measures are here to stay in the face of COVID-19.