We hope you and your family are healthy and well. The pandemic has required certain changes in our routines and practices. While we have always used the strictest hygiene and sanitization methods, you will notice several changes on your next visit. Our team has spent several days training and preparing for this new normal, and we hope these additional precautions will offer further protection to every person who walks through our doors. We thank you in advance for your cooperation and compliance with these new guidelines.
MANAGEMENT OF APPOINTMENTS
- Treatment: If you had an appointment for dental treatment during the shutdown, we will call you in the next few weeks to reschedule. Due to new protocols, we may have limited availability on appointment times. Therefore, we will attempt to combine multiple procedures in one visit so that your treatment is not further delayed. If you do not hear from us soon, please call our office.
- Hygiene: If you missed a hygiene appointment during the shutdown, please call our office to reschedule. If you have an upcoming appointment, we look forward to seeing you on your scheduled day! Please pay attention to confirmation calls or messages for your appointment time as we may need to adjust some appointments by 30 minutes to stagger the schedule. We will contact you 24-48 hours prior to your appointment to pre-screen (see below). If you would like to make a change to your upcoming appointment, please call (707) 449-3777 and notify us at your earliest convenience.
INFECTION CONTROL GUIDELINES
- Face Coverings: Everyone entering the building MUST be wearing a face covering.
- Patient Screening for COVID-19 Risk Factors (including Temperature Check): Patients will be screened for COVID-19 risk factors 3 times: (a) when scheduling appointments; (b) 24-48 hours prior to an appointment; and (c) upon arrival. Online screening forms coming soon! At check-in, we will also take your temperature using a no-contact thermometer.
- Daily Employee Screening for COVID-19 Risk Factors (including Temperature Check): Like our patients, every member of our team will answer daily health screening questions and perform temperature checks.
- Reception Area: To facilitate social distancing, the reception area is currently closed for seating/waiting. We have also staggered appointments to limit the number of people in the reception area at a given time. For this strategy to be effective, please arrive 10 minutes before your appointment to allow for proper check-in procedures. In the event someone is in the reception area when you arrive, floor markings will guide you to stand 6 ft apart.
- Pagers: For your convenience, we can provide a pager while you wait in the car for your appointment time, or while a family member waits during a minor’s appointment.
- Hand Hygiene: Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are available throughout the office. At a minimum, please exercise hand hygiene (hand sanitizer or hand washing) immediately as you enter, after completing paperwork, and as you exit.
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): Our team wears PPE to protect your health and theirs!
- Sneeze Guards: There is an additional layer of protection at our front desk.
- Improved Air Quality Investments: We have installed HEPA air purifiers with UV lights throughout the office and upgraded our dental suction units for improved air quality and reduced aerosols.
- Only Patients Allowed in the Clinical Area: To limit the number of people in the office, only the patient will be escorted back for their appointment. Chairs for guests have been removed.
- Patients Under Age 18: Parents must be present during check-in and must wait outside during the appointment. There is no seating in the reception area at this time.
- Pre-Procedural Mouth Rinse: Before beginning any appointment, all patients will be given a hydrogen peroxide rinse to help reduce bacterial and/or viral concentration in the mouth.
- Reduction in Aerosol Producing Procedures: During hygiene appointments, polishing and use of ultrasonic scaler will be reduced and you will notice more hand scaling.
- No Blankets: The air conditioning is on and our team is geared up in their PPE! Please wear layers or bring your own blanket/shawl for use during your appointment if you tend to get cold.
- Disinfection Schedule: We have increased the frequency of wiping and disinfecting hard surfaces throughout the day, including countertops, door handles, pens, clipboards, sinks, faucets, and soap dispensers.
- Brush at Home: To reduce the risk of aerosols, we can no longer permit brushing in the office and ask patients to brush at home before arriving for their appointment.
- Restrooms: Restrooms will be limited to pre-screened patients only.
The above are a few ways our office is going above and beyond to safeguard you and your families. These guidelines may be modified as the coronavirus pandemic evolves. It is possible, however, these precautions will not always block the transmission of viruses or communicable diseases, including but not limited to, COVID-19. Physical distancing may not be possible between patient, dentist, hygienist, dental assistant, office team, and/or sometimes, other patients.
While some change is inevitable, rest assured that our commitment to you remains as strong as ever. We will continue to treat our patients the way we would our own family – with compassion, care, and the highest level of dental excellence. We have missed you and look forward to seeing you in our office again soon!