WE ARE OPENING JUNE 22nd WITH LIMITED STAFF! HYGIENE WILL OPEN JULY 6TH! (subject to change)
We hope this letter finds you and your family in good health. Our community has been through a lot over the last few months, and all of us are looking forward to resuming our normal habits and routines! While many things have changed, one thing has remained the same: our commitment to your safety and who we are. We CANNOT WAIT to smile with all of you again!
Infection control has always been a top priority for our practice and you may have seen this during your visits to our office. Our infection control processes are made so that when you receive care, it’s both safe and comfortable. We want to tell you about the infection control procedures we follow in our practice to keep patients and staff safe.
Our office follows infection control recommendations made by the American Dental Association (ADA), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). We follow the activities of these agencies so that we are up-to-date on any new rulings or guidance that may be issued. We do this to make sure that our infection control procedures are current and adhere to each agencies’ recommendations.
We completed our training with an Occupational Health and Safety instructor on June 1st, are completing our health physicals this week and will be finalizing all mandated procedures with the fitting appointment for our N95 masks on June 15th. That will give us some time next week to figure out the schedule and how much time we will be allowing for all appointments. As you have figured out by now we will not be seeing near as many patients on any given day. Patience is going to be the key for all of us.
You will see some changes when it is time for your next appointment. We made these changes to help protect our patients and staff. For example:
Our office will communicate with you beforehand to ask for some screening questions. You’ll be asked those same questions again when you are in the office. For example, have you had a fever, cough, or flu-like symptoms or been near anyone with such symptoms? If yes, then you will need to wait 14 days for a dental appointment. Should that not be possible, and you have a serious emergency please let us know so that we can make special accommodations for you.
We will ask that you remain in your car and call us on your cell phone when you arrive. We will call you up when we can minimize or eliminate your wait time in the reception area. We will not have more than 2 patients in the waiting room at one time and ask that you remain 6 feet apart. One patient at a time will be checked out at the conclusion of appointments.
We will take your temperature when you arrive. Anyone with a temperature of over 100 degrees will be asked to go home and reappoint over the phone. Each staff member will be evaluated every day prior to entering the workspace and if they have a temperature over 100 degrees they will be asked to go home.
You will be required to wear a mask or face covering into the office. Please keep your mask in place until we ask you to remove it. The mask will stay in place during your medical history update, blood pressure reading, etc. We will ask you to remove your mask when we are ready to begin treatment.
We will have hand sanitizer that we will ask you to use when you enter the office. You will also find some in the reception area and other places in the office for you to use as needed.
We are adding filtration systems and fans to direct airflow.
We are adding plexiglass to the front desk to protect Tia and Jody. We would like to take care of as much paperwork and financials over the phone as we can to reduce standing around time at the front desk.
You may see that our waiting room will no longer offer magazines, children’s toys, and so forth since those items are difficult to clean and disinfect. In general, the place is going to look sparse!
Our clothing is going to look different. We will be wearing N95 masks, gowns, and face shields and surgical caps over our hair. Because of the extra precautions we have to take, there will be an increase in our fees. It will not be a huge increase, but you will notice one. Your cleanings will be a little different. We will only use the cavitron when necessary as it generates a lot of aerosols.
Appointments will be managed to allow for social distancing between patients. That might mean that you’re offered fewer options for scheduling your appointment. We will also ask that all patients arrive without any friends or family members. Parents we would like you to remain in the car if your child is over the age of ten. Please feel free to walk your child to the office entrance and then return to your car. This is for your safety. Please talk to us if this makes you anxious. We will do our best to allow greater time between patients to reduce waiting times for you, as well as to reduce the number of patients in the reception area at any one time.
We may need to lower the temperature in the office due to all the extra gear we will be wearing. PLEASE bring a sweater, blanket, jacket, or whatever you feel may make you more comfortable. We will not be using the blankets in the office due to strict hygiene rules implemented to keep everyone healthy.
Please bear with us over the next month or so as we have hundreds of patients to reschedule. Tia and Jody will call you to reschedule. Please do not call the office to reschedule as we will be rescheduling each and every one of you who have had appointments scheduled during our absence. You may also find we will have the answering service on to allow us time to call you. Please leave a message and we promise we will return your call as soon as possible.
Please keep in mind that this virus is easily killed with soap and water. The best thing you can do is wash your hands often. While we are taking every measure we can to keep you safe, please understand the only way to ensure 100% that you don’t get sick is to stay home. If you are a high risk we encourage you to think about postponing your dental appointment until you and your doctor feel it’s safe for you to have dental treatment.
On a personal note, this has been a VERY trying time for me and my staff. Never could I have imagined that we would be closed for months and that I would have to lay off my employees. They are family to me and I could never care for you without them. This is going to be a HUGE shift in our normal, so please be patient with us as we try and put all of the pieces of this puzzle together. We have months of back log to sift through and of course now trying to rearrange all of the future appointments to fit the new scheme as well. We are always trying our best! We look forward to seeing you again and are happy to answer any questions you may have about the steps we take to keep you, and every patient, safe in our practice.
Thank you for being our patient. We value your trust and loyalty and look forward to welcoming back our patients, neighbors, and friends!! Let the laughter and friendships commence!
Dr. Sara and Team