I sincerely hope this update finds you and your family in great health, both physically and emotionally! I can’t tell you how much we all have missed routinely caring for you, the bustle of the office, the rooms filled with laughter and chatter, and a sense of overall normalcy. While we all have been busy cleaning our closets and working on home DIY projects, our office has been treating emergency patients and upgrading our office to prepare for returning back to work. We have instituted several changes to make your future appointments as comfortable and safe as can be, and have made significant investments to protect our wonderful dental team and our valued family of patients. Here is what you need to know:
Investments and Improvement in Equipment
In order to control airborne pathogens or germs and provide you with the most technologically advanced safety measures, we have invested in and have implemented the following:
- Novaerus Air Purifiers – These units are mounted throughout the office and will destroy (via plasma technology) over 99% of viruses or bacteria in the air, including of course, Covid-19. These units have been strategically positioned to turn over the air in our entire office every 10 minutes. They will run continuously. They improve the quality and safety of our air not only now, but throughout the year, as flu seasons and other airborne allergies or illness arise.
- PureVac suction units – This is a combo mirror/high evacuation suction unit that reduces aerosols that can be emitted from the mouth during your hygiene appointment by 90% or more.
- DryShield suction units – These suction units create a barrier and have an attached mouth prop to help add to your comfort and isolation while dental treatment is performed and again reduce aerosols.
- New Suction Unit for entire Building – In order to handle the added equipment that reduces aerosols, we needed to upgrade our entire suction unit. It is 4 times stronger at the source than our old unit, so hold on to your tongues!
Changes in Operations
In order to help control the spread of Covid-19 we are changing our protocols.
- We will be asking that you take your temperature before coming to your appointment and bring a mask to wear at all times in the office if you are not in treatment.
- We will be keeping the temperature in the office cooler than usual, so dress appropriately for your comfort.
- Once arriving, we ask that you come in at your appointed time. You do not need to call to check in. If you are early please wait in your vehicle.
- Please bring your own pen.
- We ask that you stop and sanitize your hands upon entering the first set of doors in the building.
- We ask that you only bring yourself and keep any additional family members who do not have an appointment at home if possible. Our goal is to keep our reception area void of people until we gain confidence that Covid-19 cases are diminishing in the community.
- After check-in at the front desk, you will have your temperature taken and will be escorted directly to your treatment room and asked a few precautionary questions regarding symptoms of or exposure to Covid-19.
- Before any treatment, you will also be asked to rinse and gargle with a peroxide rinse shown to destroy Coronavirus.
- We will be staggering appointment times when possible and being mindful of scheduling patients to better create social distance inside the building.
- Greater time between appointments will allow for additional disinfecting procedures.
- Social distance markers and reminders are in place.
Changes in PPE
In order to reduce our potential exposure and yours, we have increased our PPE.
- All front office team members will wear a mask.
- The front desk will have barriers in front of their workstations
- All clinical team members will wear either a N95/KN95 mask or level 3 mask with optional 3-D printed frame (proven to be as effective as a N95/KN95 mask) PLUS a level 1 or cloth mask over that.
- We have face shields that will be worn in addition to our masks and glasses when necessary.
- We have additional water-repellent outer jackets that will be worn over our scrubs that we will be changing throughout the day.
- We will provide disposable masks if you did not bring one and for anyone in the office accompanying a patient or who, in unforeseen circumstances, may have to wait.
As always, your trust in us is paramount and so incredibly valuable. While these changes have been costly at a time when we are economically impacted by Covid-19, we feel strongly about keeping you safe and giving you peace of mind as you return for your dental care. We are excited about the advances in technology and safety that we all will benefit from, now and in the future. Thank you so much for reading through all of this information and we can’t wait to see you!
Air hugs and virtual hi-fives,
Dr. Erin Curless, Doctors Zubella and Strobel, and our entire Curless Dental Team