Practice Update with COVID-19
Dear Patients and Friends,
It’s been a busy 2 and a half months since reopening after our 8-week Covid-19 shutdown. I want to thank you for your patience as we have established new protocols and adjusted our schedule and staffing to accommodate new systems. Many of you have returned to keep up with your preventive treatments, and I want to thank you for prioritizing your oral health during this strange and unusual time in history. Although numbers of Covid-positive cases are unfortunately spiking in our county and state, I want to let you know about everything we’ve done in the office to keep you safe.
- All staff have mandatory temperature checks daily when they enter the office and are required to wear a mask at all times while within the office space.
- All patients are asked screening questions before entering the office and are asked to wait in their cars as needed to avoid too much traffic in the waiting room. Any person entering the office is required to wear a mask and sanitize their hands including delivery and repair people.
- Any shared objects such as magazines and the coffee maker have been removed for the time being, and “high touch” surfaces like door knobs are disinfected regularly.
- Clinical staff are required to wear N95 respirators that have been professionally fit-tested to make sure they seal properly around the nose and mouth.
- Eye protection, face shields, hair coverings and washable isolation gowns are worn by all clinical staff for every patient appointment.
- The hygienists have been given high speed evacuation (suction) to use during cleanings to minimize aerosol production and splatter.
- Portable extra-oral suction tubes are used during any dental treatment that may produce aerosols. These large suction tubes have a HEPA filter to clean and turnover the air in the treatment rooms.
- New filters have been installed within our HVAC system to clean the air that is sucked up into the return ducts before it is cooled and circulated down into our space.
- All disinfectants used to clean surfaces throughout the office are FDA approved to be virucidal. We continue to sterilize and disinfect all instruments and equipment with very strict protocols.
We have also had some changes in our Hygiene department over the past few weeks. We have a new Registered Dental Hygienist, Christine, who has joined our practice seeing patients 2-3 days per week. Please help me to welcome her! She joins our excellent team of Hygienists: Joyce, Amy, Carol, Emily and Katie. With the uncertainties of school and childcare, we’ve had to make some accommodations for our staff members who are also parents. Thank you for your flexibility and understanding while we’ve worked through these adjustments that have required rescheduling some of you, our valued patients.
I hope all of you are finding the “silver linings” in our new way of life. I have a renewed sense of appreciation for my amazing staff who has worked tirelessly over the past few months to make the office run seamlessly and efficiently. I am also incredibly grateful to our patients who have been flexible and positive about the changes and happy to be able to receive care. The Dental community as a whole has received very strong guidance from the American Dental Association and CDC. To date there have been no documented cases of Covid transmission coming from a dental office. If you have previously been unsure of the safety of our office, I hope this letter will help give you peace of mind that it is safe, and important, to receive regular dental care. If you’d like to schedule an appointment, please call the office, (916) 966-4341 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
It’s been wonderful to see and catch up with so many of you over the past few months. Stay healthy and enjoy the rest of your summer!
All the best,
Stefanie Shore, DDS