OFFICE UPDATES IN RESPONSE TO COVID-19
We hope you and your family are in good health.
We understand that as the coronavirus situation has unfolded, all of us have been faced with questions about how to lead our daily lives and have been met with uncertainty and frustration. 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.
As a dental office, 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 already have very robust infection protocols in place meant to combat a myriad of infectious diseases, but given the nature of COVID-19, we’ve implemented several additions to these protocols to better protect ourselves and our patients.
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 want to tell you more about the infection control procedures we are following to keep patients and staff safe. The following are changes to our patient handling and office operating procedures:
- Our office will reach out to you before your appointment to ask some screening questions and you will be asked to fill out a Patient Screening Form, several days before your appointment.
- If we do not receive the Patient Screening Form before you appointment, we will have to reschedule your appointment.
- Upon arrival at our office, everyone will be required to have their temperatures taken and patients will need to sign a waiver confirming that they are symptom free.
- We will also provide & ask you to use hand sanitizer upon entering the office.
- Patients will be asked to wear a mask or cloth face covering to their appointment.
- For the immediate future, we will not use our waiting room for patients or family. Instead, we will utilize a “virtual waiting room” to minimize patient to patient contact.
- Patients will be asked to call or text our office when they arrive for their appointment, but remain in their car or outside until we call or text them to come in.
- A member of our team will greet them at the door, and bring them straight back for screening and their appointment.
- We ask that patients avoid bringing friends and family with them to their appointments as they will be asked to stay outside or in the car.
- Exceptions will be made for children or those with special needs, and those attending the appointment with them will also be required to go through the screening process.
- To keep the spread of germs to a minimum, we are also making changes to our office environment.
- All magazines and communal refreshments have been removed from the front office. Bottled water will still be available upon request.
- Additional hand sanitizers have been placed throughout the reception area and other places in the office for you to use as needed.
- We have increased frequency of disinfecting commonly touched surfaces such as doorknobs, countertops, pens, ipad, etc. (anything someone might touch from the front desk to the treatment room).
- We have also added additional disinfecting protocols to ensure our office environment and all patients are safe. These include:
- We will be providing patients with a pre-treatment rinse prior to any aerosol generating procedure. This has been shown to be effective at killing bacteria and viruses for a short time, so even if a patient does happen to be a silent carrier of the virus, this will significantly decrease the viral load in their mouth and the environment!
- We have added 8 UltraHEPA air filtration units. These units are individually equipped to filter a room size larger than our entire office 1x/hour, so in our smaller space the air will be filtered multiple times per hour and will filter particles down to 0.003 microns (the smallest COVID-19 particle is thought to be 0.06 microns)!
- We have also purchased extra high volume suction equipment for our hygienist to minimize aerosols created during cleaning appointments
- We’re protecting ourselves as well. We are also using strict protection measures with our own staff to protect us and you. Like patients, all team members will be screened daily with temperatures taken, and asked to stay home if they are not feeling well. We are also fully equipped with all the necessary PPE required for our protection.
Be Patient! The number of patients in the office will be limited with extended time between appointments to support patient distancing and leave extra time for air filtration and disinfection. That might mean that you’re offered fewer options for scheduling your appointment or slightly longer wait times than usual.
In order for us to handle and manage all these special accommodations, we kindly ask you to be on time to your appointments.
And please remember, it’s ok to reschedule. Kindly reschedule your appointment if you are not feeling well or have been in large groups of 10 or more in the past 7 days.
Please reach out to our office if you have any questions or concerns about anything. We will be a resource for you in any way that we can, even if it doesn’t pertain to your dental visit. We will remain available by phone as we have been throughout this time for emergencies, scheduling/rescheduling appointments, and any general inquiries you might have.
We truly appreciate your trust and loyalty, and hope to return that with the honest, high quality care we love to provide to you and your family. We have all missed our patients as well as each other, and are very excited to see everyone back at the office!
Best wishes to you and your families!
Dr Rader and Team