Preparing to reopen a dental practice: A conversation with Chief Clinical Editor Dr. John Flucke

Dental Products Report editorial director Noah Levine sits down with Chief Clinical Editor and Technology Editor Dr. John Flucke to discuss the planning Dr. Flucke is undertaking and the obstacles he's facing as he prepares to reopen his dental practice in Missouri.

Between changes in personal protective equipment, workflows, and more dental practices will look a lot different when they reopen following shutdowns related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In this video interview, Dental Products Report Editorial Director talks with Chief Clinical Editor and Technology Editor Dr. John Flucke as he prepares to reopen his practice to regular dental treatments after a month of seeing only emergency cases. Dr. Flucke outlines the struggles to acquire PPE, the challenges of practicing in different gear, making patients feel comfortable returning to a dental practice and more.

During the interview, Dr. Flucke mentions a checklist of sorts he put together for his staff outlining the changes in PPE and and workflows at his practice. An adapted version of that checklist appears here:

Reopening Priorities:

  • Staff and patient safety

  • Using the highest level of PPE available when treating patients

Reopening changes:

  • Masks - N95 masks will be provided with one mask per each day of the week until supplies catch up with demand
  • Additional mask options include using 3D printed mask frameworks with HEPA filters, or 

  • Gowns - Each team member provided with two, waterproof cloth gowns to be worn over scrubs and placed in the laundry at the end of the day
  • Disposable gowns will be kept at the practice for emergencies

  • Face shields - Each team member is being provided with 2 face shield kits which can be sanitized using wipes

  • Isolation - All procedures are to be done using an isolation/suction system such as Zirc's Mr. Thirsty or the Isolite system from Zyris, or using a rubber dam

  • Aerosol reduction - Extraoral evacuation systems are now in every operatory with a hose that is placed near the patient's mouth to provide suction to capture particulate produced during treatment