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Carris Health Dental Clinic implementing new safety protocols with help from Delta Dental Foundation Grant

Published in Media Releases, Dental Care

Carris Health Dental Clinic at Rice Memorial Hospital has received a $75,000 grant from Delta Dental of Minnesota Foundation through their Continued Access and Relief Efforts (CAREs) program to alleviate financial burden during the ongoing pandemic.

Providing dental care during COVID-19 proves to be a challenge according to the CDC. Populations disproportionately affected by coronavirus are also at a higher risk for oral diseases. In addition, dental care frequently includes aerosol-generating procedures that can increase transmission.

The funds will improve air circulation in the clinic by upgrading the HVAC system and converting an enclosed space to negative air pressure. A negative air pressure room filters contaminated air and circulates new, outside air in to the room.

This program will also support staff and purchase supplies. The grant, awarded to Carris Health Foundation to support the dental clinic, will allow the clinic to meet safety protocols and access to dental care can be safely provided to patients during the pandemic.

Currently, the clinic has to operate at reduced capacity in order to wait 30 minutes in-between patients to allow aerosols to settle before cleaning the room for the next patient.

"We are having trouble keeping up with the demand for dental care because of the current air circulation," said Dr. Linda Jackson, Director of the Carris Health Dental Clinic. "With these improvements, we will be able to be more efficient and can accommodate more patients. We are thankful to the Delta Dental Foundation as these new upgrades to the clinic will help to increase our capacity and alleviate the risk of COVID-19 transmission to both our patients and our staff."