As dedicated healthcare professionals, we want you to know that we remain as diligent as ever in protecting the health and safety of our patients and staff. Our practice adheres to the standards for infection control and follows guidelines and recommendations of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Centers for Disease Control, Illinois Department of Public Health, American Dental Association and Illinois State Dental Society. We use personal protective equipment (PPE), hospital-grade disinfectants, many single-use disposable materials and utilize the appropriate sterilization protocols for our instruments in our clinic area. We frequently disinfect the front desk area, door handles, light switches, countertops and the patient bathroom. Every effort we have in place has always been to ensure the safety and comfort of our staff and patients. Rest assured, none of what we have instilled over the past couple of months will compromise your clinical care. You may see some changes when you come to our office for your next appointment. We have made these changes to adapt to the new environment for our community during the COVID-19 pandemic. Once there is a vaccine and/or herd immunity, it is expected that we will be able to relax some of the new protocols we have instituted in our office at this time.
The following is a sample of the patient management, administrative and engineering controls you can expect to encounter at our office.
- Twenty-four to 48-hours hours prior to your dental appointment, you will be telephone screened for signs/symptoms of COVID-19. You will be screened again on the day of your appointment in addition to having your temperature taken. The screening form we use is available here for you to review. For patient privacy, please do not send via email.
- We would like you to call the office upon arrival and stay in your car until retrieved from it by one of our doctors or staff members.
- We ask you to leave any unnecessary items in your car and keep your cell phones in your purse or pocket while in the office. During the summer, you may want to bring a sweater to wear in the office since we will keep it cool.
- We request only the patient being treated come into the office and any visitors wait in the car.
- You will see we have removed all seating from our waiting room as well as any magazines. In addition, you will always see the doctors and staff members wearing face masks.
- Patients are requested to wear a mask while in the office unless being treated in a dental operatory. If you do not have one, we will provide one for you.
- You will be asked to wash or sanitize your hands at the beginning of your appointment and again after your appointment.
- You may be asked to use a preprocedural mouth rinse.
- You will see the staff wearing face shields in addition to the usual personal protective equipment of facemasks, eye protection/magnification, scrub clothes and lab coats or covered arms.
- The office has a UVC Air Purification System installed in our heating and cooling system. In addition, you will see HEPA air filtration systems in the dental operatories.
- We have asked our dental hygienists to avoid the use the cavitron or prophy jet for dental cleanings until further notice.
- There has been extra time allotted between patient appointments.
- We offer preferential treatment times such as first appointment in the morning and after lunch for those patients who are at a higher risk.
- We have extended dental cleaning hours from 7 am – 5:30 pm. In addition, we have added Friday appointments from 7:30 am -5:00 pm for dental cleanings to accommodate the patients who missed their appointments due to our closure to routine care for 8 ½ weeks.
- Teledentistry has also been added so that you can have a consultation with the doctor or staff in the convenience of your home or workplace.
We have always prided on staying on schedule for your appointment times, however, this may prove to be difficult under the current circumstances. A 5th operatory is being equipped to help us with maintaining appointment times as close to scheduled time as possible. However, please be patient with us it is added, and we all work through the new protocols. The COVID-19 virus will eventually pass, and we will get back to our normal business of lingering with you over a cup of coffee, tea or bottle of water and chatting about your family and life. We look forward to smiling, laughing and seeing your full face without mask as you walk in the door hopefully one day soon.