As Illinois and Chicago have entered Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois response to the COVID-19 pandemic, dentists have expressed concerns that patients will continue to put off routine dental care and minor problems such as cavities.
However, according to Dr. Joe McCartin, a member of the American Dental Association, postponing dental treatment for something minor can lead to bigger problems, and patients can rest assured that it is safe to visit their dentist.
McCartin said dental offices such as his have used personal protective equipment (PPE) that follow CDC guidelines, and they have instituted additional guidelines and protocols to ensure the safety of patients and staff members.
Because dentists don’t want to spread the virus, McCartin and other dentists have taken many precautions to protect their patients.
“We’ve instituted the required protocols in keeping with CDC guidelines,” McCartin said. “Things may look a bit different in our office, but it is all about keeping our patients and staff safe and healthy.”
McCartin has served the community from his office at 10401 S. Kedzie Ave., in Mt. Greenwood, for over 36 years.
In response to COVID-19, McCartin’s staff has received training on infection control and patient management procedures. He said dentists across the nation have instituted new protocols that include the following:
•Personalized arrival procedures to reduce contacting surfaces.
•Maintain distancing in reception area for essential caregivers and parents of minors if they cannot wait outside the clinic.
•Removed magazines and items that can harbor or transfer germs. Hand sanitizers are positioned throughout the office.
•Require a mask to be worn by all patients entering the office.
•Installed sneeze guards or droplet barriers at reception areas.
•Require hand washing and hand sanitizing by patients before appointments.
•Provide an oral pre-rinse for patients to reduce exposure to germs.
•Record temperature of every patient upon entering the office.
•Record the temperature and lung efficiency of every team member each day at beginning and end of work period.
•Make payment arrangements with patients in advance to avoid delay and allow a no-contact exit from appointment.
•Enhanced operatory disinfection procedures of all surfaces between patients.
•Use ambient air management with HEPA 13 air filtration continuously in treatment rooms and common areas to remove germs from circulating air.
•Enhanced HVAC disinfection with UV light or HEPA filtration units.
•Enhanced operatory disinfection procedures before and after all appointments with mist or fogging devices to access hard-to-reach places that may be missed.
•PPE for staff such as visors, gowns and masks.
•Initiate protocols to reduce or eliminate airborne aerosols during all dental procedures.
•Enhanced disinfection procedures by nightly fogging with hypochloric acid of equipment and office fixtures such as computers, keyboards, telephones, tablets, chairs, doorknobs and buttons.
•Disinfection of all outside mail and packages that enter the office.
•Longer appointment times for the staff to prepare and complete all appointment tasks in the safest and most comprehensive manner.
•Provide tele-dentistry services for follow-up on lab reports or communications that can be done online or through video education.
He uses air-filtration systems from Surgically Clean Air. The six-stage filtration system captures viruses, dust, pollen and other pollutants that can be in workspaces.
McCartin said that, in providing the total range of services as a general dentist, he is dedicated to following such precautions to keep patients safe, healthy and smiling.
Dr. McCartin provides implant surgery and restorations, invisible braces, and teeth whitening (one-hour laser). He treats tempormandibular joint disorder and occlusal disorders, and provides root-canal therapy (using the state-of-the-art Buchanan endodontic system), obstructive sleep apnea and snoring, porcelain veneers, crowns, bridges, dentures, tooth-colored fillings, comprehensive dental hygiene and laser gum surgery.
Patients also get a big smile when they realize that modern dentistry doesn’t have to hurt. Because Dr. McCartin uses state-of-the-art equipment such as laser therapy, his patients know their treatments will be pain-free and deliver the best results.
Dr. McCartin was born and raised on the South Side. He is an alumnus of St. Margaret of Scotland Elementary School and Marist High School. He earned his bachelor’s of science degree from Marquette University and his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the Marquette University School of Dentistry.
He has trained at the Dawson Center of Advanced Dental Studies and has studied “The Art of Endodontics” with Dr. Steven Buchanan. He has completed the curriculum and is an alumnus of the Kois Center for Advanced Dental Education in Seattle, Wash.
Dr. McCartin is currently affiliated with the American Academy of Implant Dentistry, American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, American Dental Association, Illinois State Dental Society, Chicago Dental Society, American Equilibration Society, Academy of General Dentistry, Academy of Laser Dentistry, American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine, and the American Academy of Craniofacial Pain. He is also a Fellow with the Academy of General Dentistry.
He also completes several continuing education classes each year, and in 2019, Dr. McCartin received recognition from the Pikos Institute in Trinity, Fla., for completing its surgical and technology-based training in advanced techniques for implant dentistry.
On staff with Dr. McCartin are his wife, Office Manager Suzanne McCartin, and their dedicated staff of Stella Talaga, Meagan Peterson, and Aneta Mac.
The parents of three and grandparents of three, Joe and Sue take pride in the level of clinical care and technology at their office, but they’re also dedicated to providing a friendly atmosphere where patients feel like a member of their family.
For more information or an appointment, call Dr. McCartin at (773) 238-2906.