Protecting You During The COVID-19 Pandemic
As advised, our office closed our doors to routine care for several weeks. During this time, we worked to treat patients with emergencies and provide “teledentistry” to those who needed it. This has proven to be beneficial in reducing the PPE shortage and flattened the curve in our community. We are happy to have helped in this way.
As we move forward, our office will reopen for routine care as soon as the Illinois Department of Public Health grants approval. When you come in, you may notice some changes. Our office has always followed strict infection control protocols to protect our patients and staff; these protocols have been in place for decades to protect each individual from significant harm from diseases live HIV/AIDS, measles and influenza. However, you may notice some changes during this high rate of coronavirus:
Requests of Our Patients
- When you come, please come alone. We ask that you do not bring other people (exceptions include patients who need assistance or patients under 18 years of age; in these instances, please bring only one person with you)
- Please reschedule your appointment if you are feeling ill or have confirmed COVID-19. Do not come if you have a fever, cough, recently lost your sense of smell or have been exposed to someone who has COVID-19.
- If you arrive early, please wait in your car until your scheduled appointment time
Changes We Have Made
- Extending Hours: Due to the CDC recommendations to limit gatherings to less than 10 people, we have arranged our staff into 2 teams. Our office will be open Monday through Friday in an effort to provide increased service and continue to promote social distancing.
- Employee Health Screening: All employees will be monitored daily for temperature and symptoms. We will strictly enforce sick policies and allow employees adequate time to recover if sickness develops.
- Patient Health Screening: In addition to our normal thorough medical history, we ask each patient to complete questionnaires and take patient temperatures at each visit. We will send any patients with symptoms home and reschedule their appointment.
- PPE (Personal Protective Equipment): Our office has always protected our staff and patients with scrubs and jackets, masks, gloves, and protective eyewear. Moving forward, you may notice increased levels of equipment including faceshields and hair covers for some procedures.
- Treatment Room Sterilization: Our staff has always adhered to strict cleaning protocols between patients. These will continue to be followed and include cleaning of chairs and all surfaces between each patient. As many patients have commented over the years, we have always had covers on commonly used surfaces (like the light handles). We will continue these stringent policies. Previous use of aerosol cleaning sprays will be increased. A major concern with dental care is production of aerosols when we use our tools for cutting or cleaning teeth that produce a water spray. In addition to our already used intra-oral suction to reduce aerosols, our office has installed individual units in each treatment room and common areas with HEPA filtration, ionizer and UV sanitizer to purify the air. During aerosol-generating procedures, we have also invested in a large extra-oral suction unit to further reduce the risk of aerosols remaining in the air or harming patients; this unit as well has HyperHEPA filtration and can completely filter the air in our treatment rooms in as little as 5 minutes.
- Common Area Disinfecting: We have taken added precautions in common patient areas. These measures include removal of all magazines and pamphlets. The waiting room and restrooms are disinfected multiple times each day. Lobby surfaces and pens will be disinfected between each patient. Sneezeguards have been installed to minimize any air travel between patients and reception staff. Hand sanitizer will be readily available at the check in desk and in each room for patient and staff use. Chairs in the waiting room have been rearranged to practice social distancing.
Taking care of our patients with excellence and integrity has been our motto for over 30 years. We look forward to continuing to serve you in these uncertain times.