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.
Infection control has always been a top priority for our practice. Our office follows the recommendations set forth 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 do this to make sure that our infection control procedures are current and adhere to each agencies’ recommendations. Given the world’s recent COVID-19/coronavirus pandemic, our infection control processes have been enhanced, ensuring that when you receive care, it is both safe and comfortable.
We want to tell you about the heightened infection control procedures we will follow in our practice to keep patients and staff safe.
- Personal Health: We ask that if you are experiencing any flu-like symptoms (fever, sore throat, cough) prior to your appointment, to kindly cancel and reschedule your visit.
- Enhanced Personal Screenings: Our office will be conducting patient health screenings over the phone prior to your scheduled visit. You will also be asked those same questions again when you are in the office for your appointment.
- No Waiting Room: You may see that our reception room is closed to minimize the number of patients in our office at one time. Instead, we are asking our patients to remain in their car and to give the office a call when you have arrived at your appointment. Only the patient that is scheduled may enter the office for their appointment. Spouses, friends, caregivers and parents need to wait outside our office. They may assist the patient to the front door and hand off the patient to the dental assistant. However, if someone else must be coming with the patient to their appointment, the same screening questions will be asked to them.
- Taking Temperatures: We will be taking temperatures of all our staff and patients as they arrive to the office.
- Personal Protective Equipment: All patients will be asked to wear a mask to our office. We have hand sanitizer that we will ask you to use when you enter the office. You will also find more throughout the office for use as needed.
Our staff will look a bit different to you, too. While continuing universal precautions, we will be wearing supplemental protective equipment, including disposable gowns, face shields, head coverings, and specialized masks
- Increased Infection ControlWe developed a multi-tiered approach to managing potentially hazardous or contagious particles and droplets in the office that greatly exceeds official recommendations. We have placed medical-grade air purifiers in each operatory, front desk and reception areas to filter residual aerosols and circulate clean air. Our reception areas will also have plexiglass barriers to help with social distancing between you and our front desk team. Each office will also employ a sanitation assistant, who will continuously disinfect common areas and frequently touched surfaces. And each operatory will have the option for a specialized advanced high-volume evacuation system used intraorally to remove aerosols by 90% at their source.
- Pre-Rinse Chairside: All patients will be asked to rinse with a solution of 3% hydrogen peroxide and water for 60 seconds prior to treatment. This rinse decreases potential viral transmission in an asymptomatic patient.
- Scheduling: We will be taking several measures to space out both our dental hygiene and restorative appointments to minimize the number of people in our office at one time. We will be increasing the amount of time between patient appointments to ensure proper disinfection of operatories. While we pride ourselves on accommodating patient needs for appointment times, we may offer you fewer scheduling options than in the past.
Starting May 13th, we will begin seeing patients for some routine care, but will not be seeing patients for routine dental hygiene appointments. We are calling this our “soft opening” so our team and doctors can align and practice using our new personal protective equipment (PPE) and protocols safely and efficiently. Of course, if you have an urgent or emergency problem, we will be happy to take care of you.
During the week of June 1st, we anticipate increasing the number of appointments available to see our doctors while slowly bringing our hygienists back to see patients on a reduced schedule. Over the next several weeks and months, we will gradually ramp up our schedule to whatever our “new normal” will be. While it is difficult to predict exactly how this schedule will work, our guiding principles are to maintain optimal safety while providing exemplary care.
If you currently have an appointment scheduled, you should expect a call from our administrative team in the next few weeks either confirming or modifying that appointment. Please understand that some patients that missed appointments may have dental needs that require sooner appointments. We thank you for your understanding and flexibility while we manage the schedule in these upcoming months.
We look forward to seeing you again and are happy to answer any questions you may have about the steps we take to keep you, and every patient, safe in our practice. Thank you for being our patient. We value your trust and loyalty and look forward to welcoming back our patients, neighbors and friends.
All existing patients will need to fill out these updated forms before your next appointment: COVID-19
Springfield Lorton Dental Group