As this coronavirus situation has unfolded, all of us – your dentist, the dental staff, and our patients – have been faced with questions about how to lead our daily lives while keeping safety and our health top of mind. Our community has been through a lot over the last few months, and all of us are looking forward to resuming our normal habits and routines.
Our Commitment to Your Safety
While many things have changed recently, one thing has remained the same: our commitment to your safety. Infection control has always been a top priority for our practice and you may have seen this during your previous visits to our office. Our infection control processes are made so that when you receive care, it’s both safe and comfortable. We want to tell you about the infection control procedures we follow in our practice to keep patients and staff safe.
Our office follows infection control recommendations made by the American Dental Association (ADA), the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). We follow the activities of these agencies so that we are up-to-date on any new rulings or guidance that may be issued. We do this to make sure that our infection control procedures are current to each agencies’ recommendations.
What will be different at my next appointment?
You may see some changes when it is time for your next appointment. We made these changes to help protect our patients and our staff. For example:
- You will receive a screening questionnaire 48 hours before your appointment via text or email to ask some general health questions. You will also be asked these same questions again when you arrive at our office.
- Any necessary patient paperwork needing to be updated will be texted or emailed to you. You can also visit our Patient Portal to complete the paperwork online.
- When you arrive at our office, we ask that you remain in your car and call/text our office to let us know of your arrival and to check in. If your sanitized treatment room is ready, we will tell you to come right in. If your treatment room is not ready, we will alert you when it is ready and you can enter the building.
- A staff member will take your temperature upon arrival to our office.
- We have hand sanitizer that we will ask you to use when you enter our office. You will also find hand sanitizer throughout our office for your use as needed.
- Appointments will be managed to allow for social distancing between patients. That might mean your offered fewer options for scheduling your appointment.
- Our waiting room is effectively “closed”, and will no longer have magazines, children’s toy and so forth as those items are hard to sanitize.
- At this time, we are only allowing patients to enter the building, any companions will be asked to wait in their cars. We are allowing caretakers of elderly, disabled and children to accompany them for their appointment.
- All “high-touch” areas are being disinfected on a regular basis throughout the day – this includes but is not limited to the countertops, door handles, bathrooms, and chair handles.
If my checkup is delayed should I do anything differently?
Make sure you are brushing and flossing. Do everything you would normally do as it is extremely important to continue to do the best job possible to maintain your oral health. Since many of us will have extra time on our hands make sure you brush at least twice a day for 2 minutes.
If you feel like you want to take extra steps to protect your hygiene during this time here are a few ideas:
- Use a powered toothbrush such as an Oral B or a Sonicare (my personal favorite)
- Use an irrigation device such as a Waterpik
- Use your favorite mouth wash such as Listerine with Flouride
- Floss – if you don’t currently floss it’s a great opportunity to get in the habit. You have the extra time and once you’re in the habit you’ll like the extra clean feeling along with strengthening your gums!
To make an appointment, please call our office at 309-661-1500 . If you have had an appointment that was cancelled recently, please call us to reschedule. Our team is working hard to get everyone effected by the closure rescheduled in a timely fashion.
In order to accommodate the backlog of overdue patients, we are requiring all patients confirm their appointments at least 24 hours in advance. If we have not received a confirmation 24 hours in advance, we will cancel your appointment. This allows us to accommodate other patients who desperately want to, and need to be seen.
Stay Safe and Healthy!