WBNS-10TV Columbus, Ohio | Columbus News, Weather & Sports |

Two months after re-opening, a look at how dentists are handling appointments

Back in April, 10TV spoke with George Tzagournis as he was getting ready to re-open his dental offices.

Back in April, 10TV spoke with George Tzagournis as he was getting ready to re-open his dental offices after they were closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said during the shutdown they were doing emergency services here and there. Now, they’re back to letting patients scheduled appointments and enter the offices.

“The only differences are a little bit of extra garb that we gotta wear. We’ve been trained so hard and so long for stuff like this, it’s kind of just always in the back of our mind,” Tzagournis said.

The office asks patients to complete an electronic form before their appointment. The form asks questions related and specific to COVID-19.

Once the patient pulls up to the office, they are asked to call first to see if the office is ready.

Once inside, the staff will take the patient’s temperature, give them hand sanitizer and then wipe everything down.

They’ve cut back on how many people are in the office at a time and they wear disposable smocks after each patient.

“We have to buy a bunch of these smocks and so everyone wears different stuff, but we have to wear face shields, goggles, masks, the smocks and then we take everything off and disinfect it or throw it away and then reuse stuff or get new stuff,” Tzagournis said.

As soon as the patient gets through all of those steps, once they are in the chair next comes the mouth rinse.

“We have a rinse with two parts Listerine, one part Hydrogen Peroxide and we have them rinse with that for 30 seconds,” Tzagournis said.

As far as the staff, he said they are highly trained to fight off germs. However, he said some were still a bit nervous to come back and adjust to the new routines.

“We have some people that have only been doing this for a year or two, where I’ve been doing it for 25 years so I was kind of ready to go and they were a little more hesitant but then once they got going, they were fine,” Tzagournis said.

From his patients, he said the offices have been pretty steady.

“Patients, for the most part, want to come back in want to get their teeth clean or want to get a toothache looked at or a broken tooth fixed. There are some patients very understandably don’t want to come in yet that don’t feel comfortable. We’re just kind of walking them along if they have a tooth problem we’ll kind of talk to them on the phone about it,” Tzagournis said.

When it comes to cleaning, he said they’ve always cleaned a lot but now it’s even more thorough.

“The way we’ve been trained is and this has been universal across the board since I’ve been practicing for 25 years. What we do is spray the office down, we spray everything down and we wipe it down and we spray it again and let it sit for a couple of minutes before the next patient comes in,” Tzagournis said.

Tzagournis said that he had COVID-19 months ago and he knows what it is like. He said and because of knowing what it is like, he is extra cautious and taking safety protocols very seriously to keep his patients safe.