The Smile Spot COVID-19 Update
To all of our Smile Spot Patients,
We are currently hoping to reopen the office with updated procedures by June 1st, however, we are working to see all patients via teledental appointments to assess appointment priority. Although we haven’t seen you in a while at The Smile Spot, we have been hard at work over the last month doing a lot of behind the scenes work to make sure we keep you safe upon your return to our office. We have done countless hours of research and continuing education in order to stay abreast of the current recommendations and guidelines issued by the CDC and the ADA regarding COVID-19. Many of the infection control guidelines have already been in place at The Smile Spot; others will be new in order to keep us all as safe as possible. Our top priority has always been the wellbeing and safety of our patients, our team, and our community - now more so than ever!
We have already been doing the following things to keep you safe:
• Sterilization of instruments after each use
• Disinfection of operatory surfaces following each patient
• Use of PPE by all team members for every procedure - including gloves, masks, glasses and gowns
• Regular handwashing before and after putting gloves on and removing them
• High volume suction used for surgical procedures
• Pre-procedural antimicrobial rinse for each patient
• Comprehensive medical history review for every patient
• Cleaning of the entire office at the end of each day
We are implementing the following new or upgraded policies to keep you safe:
• Video Monitoring- the ability to meet with your care provider via video from the comfort of your own home
• In-office air filtration system
• Pre-appointment patient screening - all patients will be asked questions about any recent illnesses to prevent sick patients from coming to the office
• Daily temperature screening - team members will have their temperature taken daily
• Virtual/curbside waiting room - call when you arrive to be checked in; then we will text or call you back when it is your turn
• Restriction of patient guests - patients will be asked to come to their appointments alone - only essential family members (i.e. parent/guardian for a minor or special-needs patient), translators, etc. will be permitted. All other guests will be asked to wait in their car
• Touchless temperature screening upon arrival - every patient who enters will have their temperature screened
• Hand sanitizing stations throughout the office - every patient will be asked to sanitize their hands upon entering the office
• Each patient will also rinse with a hydrogen peroxide rinse which has been shown effective against the COVID-19 virus in a patient’s mouth
• Additional Clinician PPE - every clinician will use either an N95 or Level 3 surgical mask, a face shield, a scrub cap and a PPE gown for every procedure, which will be discarded and replaced or disinfected between every patient
• Contactless payments - patients will no longer need to hand their credit cards to our admin team for copay/fee processing. You can pre-pay via phone or online on our website.
Guidelines and recommendations are ever-changing as new information about this virus continues to become known. Rest assured, we are on it and we will be ready to hit the ground running when the time comes! We can’t wait to welcome you back!
Our doctors and team members remain available to assist you and are available to answer any questions you might have.
Visit the CDC's website at CDC.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/ for the most current information.
How do I know the office is safe and fully disinfected?
Even before the COVID-19 outbreak, our office followed strict infection control guidelines that would have prevented the transmission of the novel coronavirus (or any other virus) to our patients or staff. In an abundance of caution, we have increased the frequency and thoroughness of our sanitizing procedures and we are following all safety procedures recommended by the Center for Disease Control, American Dental Association, and OSHA.
Is it safe to sit in the waiting room?
We have always thoroughly cleaned the waiting room each night. Now we are also cleaning it throughout the day and paying special attention to wiping down counters, chairs, door handles, and pens. We have also made changes to our arrival procedures to allow for increased social distancing. All patients are now asked to call the office upon arrival and we will let them know when it is time for them to enter the office for thier visit to minimize the number of patients in the waiting room. We also ask that patients only enter the waiting room at this time to limit the amount of traffic through our office each day.
Have any of your patients tested positive for the coronavirus?
We are screening each patient for risk of exposure before treating them, and we are postponing their treatment if they are showing signs of illness or have traveled recently. If anyone tests positive for the virus in our office, we will contact local health authorities and follow their guidelines for disinfection and notification if needed.
Have any of your staff members been sick or tested positive for the virus?
None of our staff members in the office are presently ill. If a staff member is showing symptoms, we require that individual to stay home under normal circumstances. Now, we’re being especially careful and recommending that anyone with fever, cough, shortness of breath or body aches and chills sees their doctor as soon as possible and self-quarantines until their doctor's advice can be given.
Should I cancel my appointment if I am feeling sick? Should I cancel my appointment if someone other than me is sick in our household?
If you or anyone in your household is sick, or under quarantine for any reason, we would prefer to postpone your appointment for at least three weeks.
Should I come to my dental appointment alone?
We are continuing to practice social distancing at our office until it is completely safe to do otherwise. We ask that you do not bring other family members to your appointment unless they are also receiving treatment or if you need them to provide you with transportation or assistance. We will ask that all non-patients remain in their vehicle during your appointment and will work with parents to appropriately accompany their child when necessary.
Will there be a no-show fee if I am unable to keep my appointment for reasons related to COVID-19?
The health and safety of our patients and staff is our #1 priority and we understand that unforseen reasons for cancellations may arive. While we do still ask that yo give us as much advance notice as possible if you won't be able to us visit us, we will not be charging missed appointment fees at this time.
What if I am unable to pay for my dental care?
We understand that COVID-19 has put many of our patients into challenging financial situations. We are committed to working with you to find ways to make necessary care affordable. Please contact the office to discuss any individual concerns and to learn more about how our dental discount plan Smile4Less can help you save up to 50% off of your dental care needs. You can also visit www.SmileForLessPlan.com for more information.
What other precautions are you taking to keep patients safe from COVID-19?
We are providing extra training for staff and education for patients about the importance of hand hygiene, facemasks, and cough etiquette. You may also see a change in the personal protective equipment (i.e gowns, masks, face shields) that staff are asked to wear. We are limiting non-essential staff in the treatment areas by exploring ways to provide care to patients remotely, using telehealth options.