Opening After Quarantine
We are updating our processes and procedures to keep you, our staff and community healthy
in light of the information we have about COVID 19. These procedures have been developed
based on recommendations made by the American Dental Association (ADA), Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration
The difference between this virus and previous viruses we have dealt with is this virus can
remain infective in an airborne droplet so small it remains aloft for a long period of time. We are
used to preventing contamination from larger droplets which fall to the ground more quickly.
Now we need to add protection against these smaller droplets as well.
Some new things you will see in our office are a stop sign at the front door asking you not to
come inside if you have symptoms of COVID 19 but call us from your phone instead, sneeze
guards around the front desk, a cough etiquette station on the front counter with tissues and
hand sanitizer and hand washing guides in the restroom. Some things you won’t see are
books, magazines, children’s toys and so forth because those items are hard to clean and
Dentistry is different than some other types of health care because we routinely work in a
plume of aerosolized saliva. So our staff will be wearing more Personal Protective Equipment
than you’re used to when they use hand pieces, sonic and ultrasonic scalers. In fact, you may
see an assistant suctioning for your hygienist in order to reduce the amount of aerosol or an
assistant using a new mirror that also suctions as she polishes your teeth. We have also added
air purifiers to each treatment room and we are running our electrostatic air filter constantly.
We are staggering appointment start times to allow only one person in the reception area at a
time. And we may ask you to wait in the treatment room until the reception area is clear to exit.
We ask you to wear a mask to your appointment and keep it on until we ask you to take it off.
Then you can put it back on before you leave your treatment room.
When you make your appointment a staff member will ask you screening questions about
exposure to COVID 19 or any symptoms you may have. She will ask you to fill out a new health
history before you come to your appointment which includes those same questions and the
receptionist or office manager will ask them again when you arrive for your appointment. I
know, it’s redundant, but we are determined to keep the virus out of the building if possible.
After you answer the screening questions for the third time you will have an infrared (no touch)
temperature check and be asked to use hand sanitizer. If your treatment room is ready you will
be taken there immediately. If your treatment room isn’t ready yet we will ask you to wait in the
car. An assistant will come to get you when we are ready.
We also ask that only the patient come into the office unless another person is needed to make
treatment possible. Exceptions would be a translator, a parent for a young child, or a care giver
for a senior or disabled patient.
When scheduling an appointment, please let the staff know if you have risk factors for
increased morbidity and mortality from COVID 19. Risk factors would be: 65 years or older,
high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, chronic lung disease, obesity and diabetes. We
will schedule your visit first thing in the morning when the risk is lower. If you are a resident of
long term care or assisted living you will be the only patient of the day.
For patients who have tested positive and are no longer infectious or who have had symptoms,
but no test, and have completed their term of isolation, you may be seen in the office after
verifying your status by phone call with one of our dentists.
We hope that knowing the steps we are taking for everyones health will put your mind at ease.
If you have questions or concerns please call 360-825-1661 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
We look forward to seeing you again soon.