We hope this letter finds you and your family healthy and in good spirits during this challenging time. All of us at my dental practice are looking forward to seeing you again soon and we thank those of you who have offered words of support and encouragement.
Our efforts have always been to provide the very highest level of dental care available to our patients. Given the new challenges we face in today’s world, I am equally committed to ensuring the highest level of safety for all of our patients and staff.
Presently, our return date for regular patient care continues to be unknown but hopefully it will be soon. However, we are seeing patients for emergency and urgency needs while we are taking extraordinary measures, researching, and implementing approaches so that we are confident that we can provide your care in the most responsible manner and within the absolute safest environment.
I want to update you on our new policies and protocols that are designed to keep you safe and comfortable in our office as we continue to battle the COVID-19 pandemic. Our focus during the recent closure has been to enhance our already stringent infection control and safety procedures to comply with and even exceed directives and mandates created by the Pennsylvania Dental Association, the Center for Disease Control, and the Department of Health. We follow the activity of these agencies closely to ensure we are on top of all their recommendations and guidelines. As a result, we have done extensive investigation to find innovative technology and methodology to keep everyone in our office as protected as possible. We have always strived to keep our office at the forefront of dental care and this is no exception.
You will notice several changes in the office that are all focused to increase everyone’s personal safety:
- Patient safety starts with myself and the staff. Each of us will have our temperature taken at the beginning of each day.
- There is protective plexiglass installed at the front desk.
- You must bring a mask to your dental appointment. If you do not have one, please let us know in advance.
- The staff and I will wear the appropriate PPE(personal protective equipment) at all times including, gowns, gloves, proper respirators, and face shields.
- To minimize your time in the office, our staff will communicate with you in advance to conduct a general health screening and assess those answers. These same questions will also be asked at your appointment time.
- We are working toward developing a system prior to your appointment to ask you to remotely update all insurance profiles, medical histories, and other required paperwork online before your actual appointment, again to minimize interactions while in the office.
- To protect you and other patients we will kindly request that all patients come unaccompanied to their appointments, unless there is an expressed need for an aide or other companion.
- In order to maintain safe social distance practices, you may call us from your car to let us know when you have arrived. We will notify you when we are ready for you to come up to the office. We will complete the screening questions again, take your temperature and address any business with the front office.
- We will make every effort to bring you directly into the treatment room, avoiding any time spent in the waiting area. Once in the operatory room, you will be asked to wash your hands, put on a pair of gloves, and rinse with a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and water for 1 minute.
- We will be designing patient flow to allow for physical distancing between patients. This will result in fewer appointment times available per day. Please be patient and understanding with appointment scheduling.
- We have installed a new air filtration and decontamination system in each operatory room as well as a non-chemical ultra-low energy plasma technology in the HVAC system which are powerful enough to destroy pathogens.
- As we continue to disinfect the office more than ever, we have purchased a hypocholous acid solution which is a non-hazardous, eco-friendly, antiviral, electrolyzed water solution that can be used as a fog to eliminate airborne contaminates. This solution breaks down into salt water after use and poses no environmental or personal risk.
- We have ordered new high-volume vacuum systems to aid in eliminating harmful aerosols generated through dental procedures.
- After your treatment is complete, we will ask you to stay seated in the treatment room so that you can complete your payment and schedule your next appointment.
Change is always challenging, but our main concern is your health and safety. We will continue to approach your care with sensitivity, empathy, and integrity. As we navigate this new normal our ability to accommodate your needs, while maintaining a safe environment, will continue to be our foremost priorities.
We look forward to seeing you again. Our staff will be reaching out to you soon to resume your dental care. Warmest regards and best wishes for a quick return!