Reopening Update: How We’re Keeping You Safe with Enhanced Infection Safety Standards
We hope this post finds you and your family safe and healthy!
Our community in Durham has faced many difficult and unprecedented challenges in the last few months.
The COVID-19 pandemic and quarantine restrictions have affected all of us, upending daily life as we know it.
We want you to know:
Our number one priority has always been and will continue to be the health and safety of our patients, team members, and community.
We’ve looked to our government and healthcare leaders…Opens in a new window to Durham, NC’s city update page on Coronavirus… for guidance, while also taking a proactive stance in planning a safe reopening transition for our office.
On top of our already top-notch cleanliness protocols, we’ll also be implementing additional infection safety standards.
Your next visit to our office may look a little different. Read on to learn how we’re keeping you safe and what to expect.
What to expect at your next appointment
Gradual reopening plan
In accordance with Governor Cooper’s guidance for North Carolina, we’ll reopen our office in phases to allow for a smoother and safer transition.
We started Phase II of reopening on 6/4 and will remain in this phase for several weeks.
During this time, we’ll be limiting capacity on appointments.
This will allow us time to spread out and stagger appointments and continue to practice social distancing standards.
By limiting the number of patients in our office at any given time, we’ll reduce infection risk.
Staggering appointments also allows us to thoroughly clean and disinfect the office and treatment rooms between appointments.
We don’t yet know what subsequent phases will look like or how long phase I will last. We will do our very best to keep you up to date as we learn more.
Extended office hours
For your convenience, we will be offering extended office hours, including Friday hours, for all restorative and hygiene needs.
Prioritizing urgent dental care needs
While our office was closed, we had a large number of patients who had their appointments rescheduled.
As we slowly reopen, we are experiencing a high demand for appointment slots.
To prioritize care for those who need it most, all non-urgent previously scheduled appointments from May 18 through June 19 will be postponed.
This will allow patients with urgent, emergency dental needs to receive treatment right away.
Rest assured, we are here for you and your family and are doing everything we can to get you the treatment you need.
We appreciate your patience and understanding while our staff works with you to reschedule.
All elective cosmetic procedures will be initially delayed (whitening, veneers, etc.).
Call our office today to learn more about our teledentistry options: 919-383-7402.
Physical barriers to enhance infection safety standards
With infection control a continued priority, you’ll notice physical changes in our office when you return to improve our infection safety standards. This includes:
- Plexiglass barriers in our administration area
- Medical grade air purifiers in each operatory room
- Physical barriers isolating each operatory
- HEPA-grade air filters in each of the HVAC units
Managing, cleaning, and improving air quality to eliminate pathogens is critical to keeping everyone in our office safe.
All staff wearing personal protection equipment
Each of our clinical staff members will be wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) at all times, including:
- Disposable full-length gowns
- Protective eyewear/face shields
- Surgical bonnets/hats
- N95 (or similar) face masks
As part of our enhanced infection safety standards, these additional PPE requirements are intended to keep both our staff and patients safe.
Patient COVID-19 questionnaire
Before your appointment, you’ll be asked to complete a questionnaire by phone.
The goal is to identify any high-risk patients who may be sick or have come in contact with someone who is sick.
While we hate to turn people away, if there’s any chance you could put our staff or other patients at risk, we’ll have to ask you to reschedule for a later time.
Any patient forms will be available to complete electronically before your appointment as well.
All patients must receive clearance from our team before they are allowed to enter the office.
When you arrive for your appointment, you’ll be asked to park in a designated area and call our office. Please wait in your car until our team is ready for you.
While you wait in your car, a staff member will take your temperature via a contactless infrared thermometer.
They’ll also ask you additional questions to confirm you’re not sick or have come in contact with someone who is.
Once you are cleared to enter, you’ll be escorted to the lobby or asked to continue waiting in your car until we call you in to the treatment room.
No unnecessary guests
We ask that only the patient who is scheduled for the appointment come inside the office.
If an exception is needed for a minor child or otherwise, please let us know in advance.
Removal of waiting room reading materials
To limit infection from surfaces, we will no longer offer in-office magazines and reading materials.
Displays, pamphlets, and other literature have also been removed from the reception area and operatories.
Patient precautions and preparations
Patients will be asked to use hand sanitizer when entering the building and to wear a mask.
Climate will be slightly colder due to additional PPE. Patients should dress in layers for comfort and bring their own blanket and/or neck pillow if desired.
Contactless payment and checkout
We are requesting that payment be made via credit or debit card, whenever possible.
Additional precautions for high-risk and immune-compromised patients
If any of the following conditions apply to you, we highly recommend you do not visit the office at this time for your safety:
- Over the age of 65
- Asthma or COPD
- Immune-compromised in any way
- Chronic lung disease
- Serious heart conditions
- Chronic kidney or liver disease
- Receiving on-going cancer treatment
Of course, if you have a dental emergency need, please contact us and we will work with you on a case-by-case basis.
We are here for you!
We appreciate your patience, understanding, and compassion as we all navigate uncharted waters.
Everything we do is done with your health and safety in mind.
Have questions about what to expect with our new infection safety standards? Need to book or reschedule an appointment?
Just click the button below to request an appointment.
Or contact our dental team by one of these other convenient means:
- Call us and talk with us directly: 919-383-7402
- Email us and let us know how we can help you: firstname.lastname@example.org
We deeply appreciate your trust and loyalty, and look forward to caring for you and your family again soon!