Posted on 5/27/2020 by Michael Mettler
All of us here at Alder Family Dental hope this message finds you and your family in good health. The past several months have been uncertain for many of us in our community, state, nation, and global community; but we are all looking forward to a return to our regular habits and routines. While our new normal may be a bit different in the short term than we are accustomed to, one thing that hasn’t changed is our commitment to your health and safety.
Cleanliness and disinfection have always been of utmost importance at our clinic as you likely noticed in your past visits. We follow strict infection control guidelines at all times to ensure that our office spaces, common areas, and operatories are exceptionally safe and comfortable for our patients and staff alike, as mandated by American Dental Association (ADA), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
We have been seeing dental emergencies four days per week for the past six weeks since the mandates by the Governor were made. We wanted to share some of the things we have been working on in the office that you might see at your next appointment in an effort to better protect our patients and staff when we reopened to the public on May 18th, 2020. Some of the changes you will experience for the time being include the following:
- Our clinical team members will be wearing new masks and face shields while working. We want to assure you we have the best sterilization protocols in place and are exceeding all CDC recommendations.
- We ask that patients who do not need to have someone accompany them to their appointment, come to our office alone. If you do need someone to accompany you to your appointment, we ask that they consider returning to their car for the duration of your appointment, if possible. Chairs in our lobby will be limited and spaced out to allow for social distancing.
- We ask that all patients and anyone who accompanies them to the office wear a face mask while waiting for their treatment to begin.
- We ask that patients wait in their cars in our parking lot until it is time for their appointment. We may ask for your cell phone number if we do not have it on file to text you when we are ready for you to enter the lobby.
- We will be screening patients and caretakers when they enter the facility.This will include a temperature check and several simple questions and should be quick and non-invasive.
- We have staggered our scheduling to allow for fewer patients checking in and checking out together, as well as limiting the number of people in our building at any point in time. Our Doctors will also be seeing fewer patients than normal for the next several months as well to limit the amount of potential airborne pathogens.
- We will be booking an extra 20 minutes between patients in each of our operatories to allow for an even deeper cleaning of spaces and limit patient flow
- We have upgraded our office air filters and are changing them regularly. In addition, we have added 5 additional HEPA filters throughout the office to provide the highest air quality for our environment.
- You will notice that our waiting room no longer will have magazines, books, children’s toys, or beverages available since they are more difficult to clean between uses. We apologize for any inconvenience.
- Hand sanitizer will be available throughout the office, and we ask that patients use it upon entry to our facility.
- We ask that patients and caregivers alike maintain proper social distancing while in our building to respect others in our space.
- We will continue our constant cleaning of door knobs, restrooms, counters, lobby chairs, and other high-touch areas.
- There will be a new $20 PPE charge for each visit to our office to help cover additional costs of the new PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) and sanitation requirements. This will be billed to your insurance company should you have dental insurance.
- For the time being we will be asking that high risk patients, or anyone who feels uncomfortable joining us for their scheduled dental treatments at this time consider calling us at 509-525-9474 to reschedule their upcoming appointments at a minimum of 24 hours prior to the scheduled date.
- We have added Teledentistry to our list of services to limit foot traffic to the office and better serve those not wanting to come in.
Through all of these challenges, we have gained an even greater appreciation for you, our patients, and we are committed to keeping you safe while you are in our hands. If you have any questions, or a dental emergency, please call us at 509-525-9474 and we can set up a convenient virtual appointment with you to address your needs. We are here for you.
Dr. Patrick Sharkey, Dr. Patty Martin, Dr. Kimberly Murdoch, and the Alder Family Dental team