Beyond ergonomics- microscopic dentistry in COVID-19

COVID-19 as an accelerant to a new model in dentistry

Dr. Feisel Haji, General Dentist

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Staff and Patient policies inside the clinic

The COVID-19 Pandemic has changed the dental practice dramatically. With new guidance in place, there is training required for staff to manage and implement new protocols with patients. Many are now managing multiple responsibilities inside the clinic and adapting to staggered schedules to ensure social distancing amongst each other. Apart from installing new barriers and distancing measures in the clinics, Dentists must deal with face shields, goggles, masks, gowns, and much more in a new model of "enhanced PPE". However, dentists have always been aware of aerosols and the possibility of infection transmission even before COVID and thus, have been remarkably quick to adapt. Universal precautions, which assumes that every patient potentially has a communicable disease, has been dentistry’s approach to infection control for many years now.

Technology and processes to support new workflow and preventative measures.

Visualization has always played a key role in treatment quality whether it is a simple procedure such as teeth cleaning or a root canal. A dental microscope allows a customized shield to be placed on it without obstructing the lens and dentist’s vision. Further, it increases the distance between doctor and patient without affecting visualization and final treatment output. The ZEISS EXTARO 300 for dentistry has a maximum working distance of 430mm and is built for single-handed operation - a valuable feature in today's encumbered dentistry.

Dr. Feisel Haji: Practice measures and technology for patient care during the coronavirus pandemic

COVID-19 related PPE requirements

The ZEISS Connect App connects wirelessly to transfer images from the microscope to an iPad. In addition, it allows the assistant to have a view of the treatment and recognize the doctor’s needs without hindering the workflow. It also allows the management of patient information and allows the practitioner to share treatment images and videos.

HEPA air filtration units have been useful in reducing the aerosol concentrations in the room and shortening the turnover time between patients. A medical grade HEPA filter can eliminate 99.97% of all particles as small as 0.3 microns and 95% of particles 0.1 microns. Based upon the unit selected, the air exchange can be calculated for the operatory and the correct turnover time can be respected according to the guidance provided. The HEPA air filtration units can be used during and immediately after the patient has undergone an aerosol generating procedure.

PPE use in this volume is a new entrant into the clinic environment. It is important to ensure its correct use, storage and disposal to benefit from protection. Introduction of separate bins for each member of the clinic team can help to prevent cross contamination and make the process of using the PPE more efficient. Specific designated areas to put on, take off and clean the PPE can also encourage correct use and prevent infection spread.

Patient engagement and education is still top priority

Inside the dental clinic, patients are also adapting to the new reality. Not only do they go through a screening questionnaire before and at the time of the visit, but they are also being asked to limit number of companions, wear masks and to practice social distancing within the clinic. It has been important to communicate and connect with the patients about the need for these changes and requirements.

Despite the changes, patients have shown tremendous cooperation and resilience in adapting to the new normal and they have so much gratitude to be seen again regarding their dental problems. It has been obvious that continuity in dental care and health care in general is vitally important during these difficult times.

ZEISS Connect App: Your patient communication

Communicate interactively by showing images of past and current conditions. Use the ZEISS Connect App to highlight areas requiring treatment and enable patients to make informed decisions.


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Educational webinar

You will find out how ZEISS EXTARO 300 Microscope can now help you to better communicate treatment information through high-quality photos and videos. Transfer images and video easily to improve the perception and impact of your outcomes with patients.

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