The COVID-19 pandemic is unlike anything we’ve experienced before. A lot of us never expected something like this to happen in our lifetime. It’s impossible to predict how this will affect us socially, economically and even culturally or for how long. People are understandably concerned as there is a lot we don’t know about the virus. It’s new so we still don’t have a body of data. The only thing we can do is to take all necessary precautions as we attempt to get back to our lives.
Over the last few weeks, we have been closely following the developments on the news and looking for updated guidelines and protocols so we can take all the necessary precautions. We have reviewed and observed recommendations from organizations like the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the American Dental Association (ADA), OSHA, NC Dental Society, as well as state and local government instructions on how best to limit the spread of the Coronavirus.
Following the recommendations, we have had to close for over a month except for emergency cases. We set up a dedicated emergency line and saw patients as necessary for emergencies. While we couldn’t be in the office daily, we were constantly checking emails and phones so we could still be there for our patients. We were able to accommodate emergencies in a safe and timely manner upon request. We hope no one ever felt like we were more than a phone call away.
In keeping up with the latest guidelines as we prepare for re-opening, there will be a few changes in order to keep everyone safe:
Before the appointment
- Patients will be given a COVID-19 questionnaire to assess risk.
- In the past 14 days have you experienced any fever, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, cold or flu-like symptoms, loss of taste or smell, or persistent coughing?
- Did you test positive for COVID-19 in the past 14 days?
- Were you in contact with anyone who tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 14 days?
- In the past 14 days have you traveled abroad or to areas deemed to be pandemic epicenters such as New York?
- All necessary forms will be provided electronically before the appointment. They are available on our website and can also be emailed to patients. They can be filled and sent back to us via email or fax.
At the appointment:
- Call us from your car when you arrive so we can check you in. Once we are ready, we will call you to come inside the office for your appointment.
- We ask that please only the patient who the appointment is for should come into the office. We will make reasonable exceptions as necessary (minors, patient needs extra assistance, etc.)
- Peroxide rinses will be given prior to starting dental work.
- All entering will have their temperature taken at the door including dentist and staff daily.
- It is very important to call and reschedule if you are feeling symptoms. Stay home if you are sick!
We will keep the waiting room clear of magazines, coffee/drinks, toys and anything that might be handled by multiple people. You will also notice we will look a little different with our added protective gear. We will be limiting the number of scheduled patients so we can maintain social distancing among patients in the office.
Some of these changes may be inconvenient but they are in place to keep everyone safe. The changes will remain in place until we receive further guidance. We will keep patients updated as necessary. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask. Stay safe!