Health and safety is first and foremost.
We understand you are concerned about your health and safety — and we are too! As doctors of oral health, that is always our top priority. We are taking a number of precautions to protect you in accordance with the American Dental Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The good news is — these precautions are working.
How we are working to limit the spread of COVID-19
Dentists were infection control experts before the pandemic, and we have strengthened already-strict infection control procedures in accordance with American Dental Association and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance to help limit the spread of COVID-19.
- An October 2020 report published in The Journal of the American Dental Association found that 99 percent of dentists were using enhanced infection control procedures such as screening protocols and enhanced disinfection practices when treating patients.
- Our dental team is also carefully monitoring their own health through daily screenings. Our staff takes their temperatures to make sure no one has a fever, and we answer health-related questions each day to make sure no one is experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms.
- Researchers from the ADA Science and Research Institute and the ADA Health Policy Institute are continuing to collect infection rate data among dentists and have added dental hygienists to the research as well. The preliminary data suggest the monthly incidence rate among dentists has remained below one percent.
Our office follows infection control recommendations made by the American Dental Association (ADA), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
For your safety we have upgraded our air filtration system that kills bacteria and viruses as airflow is cycled throughout the office. As an extra precaution, we have additional portable HEPA UV air filtration units in the treatment rooms.
Can I put off my dental appointment until after the COVID-19 pandemic is over?
Regular dental appointments are an important part of taking care of your overall health. While it can be tempting to put off your regular checkup until things feel more “normal” again, we advise against it. Routine appointments give us the opportunity to check for a number of health conditions such as oral cancer, gum disease, blood pressure screenings. Some conditions, like tooth decay, can be more difficult, painful and expensive to treat if they’re left undetected.
Your health and safety is and always will be our top priority. Our team is taking every precaution to limit the risk of COVID-19 transmission at your visit.
What about teledentistry? Can I substitute a virtual visit for my regular appointment?
A phone or video appointment isn’t the same as your regular appointment. Teledentistry can be helpful in some situations, such as deciding if an oral health issue you’re experiencing is an emergency that requires immediate treatment or if it’s something that can wait a bit. If you think you may be experiencing a dental emergency, call the office 860-523-4239 and we’ll help you decide if you need to come in.
What are you doing differently because of COVID-19?
There are a number of science-backed steps our team is taking to help limit the spread of COVID-19.
- Increased personal protective equipment including masks, face shields, scrub caps, goggles and surgical gowns or long-sleeved lab coats.
- Increased cleaning protocols. This includes using disinfectants known to kill the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, removing high-touch items like magazines and toys from waiting rooms and frequently cleaning items like pens and clipboards.
- Asking you to change your behavior by asking you to wait outside rather than in waiting rooms when possible, wearing face masks and not bringing additional people to your appointment.
What should I expect when I arrive for my appointment?
Our office staff will call and ask pre-screening questions about your current health status before your visit.
- We will repeat these questions when you arrive to make sure nothing has changed.
- Your temperature will be taken.
- You will be asked to wear a mask when you arrive at our office. We encourage you to bring your own pen.
- You will be asked to limit the number of people you bring to the appointment. That could mean leaving your children at home under proper supervision or allowing your older children to go into the office alone while you wait outside during the appointment.
During your visit, you can expect the following:
- You will be asked to wait outside until the dental team is ready to see you. This is to reduce the number of people in the office and the time you are around other people.
- Inside the office, you may notice things like toys and magazines — the things many people tend to touch — have been removed.
- We have a touch less hand sanitizer dispenser available for you to use.
- Our staff wipe down items patients often touch like pens, clipboards or furniture.
- You may notice other changes that allow items to be easily cleaned, such as disposable covers on the computer keyboard in the exam room.
- Our dental team will be using different protective equipment than you’ve seen at previous appointments, such as masks, scrub caps, face shields, gowns and goggles. Don’t worry, the same smiling faces are still there underneath!
After every visit:
Our team will thoroughly clean the areas where all patients have been, using disinfectants that are effective against the virus that causes COVD-19.
If you start to experience symptoms of COVID-19 within 2 days of your appointment, call us immediately at 860-523-4239 to alert the office staff so those who came into contact with you may be tested for the disease.
I'm a parent that is coming in with several children. I'm a caregiver that coming in with a patient. What do I do?
We are minimizing the number of patients in the waiting room and only allowing the patient seeking care to come in. Only one additional person will be allowed in with a child or children that are minors or patients that require additional assistance. Please call or text us at 860-523-4239 to let us know that you are in the parking lot. We will ask you to wait in your parked car until our team is ready for you and will give you further instructions on how to proceed.
I’ve heard it’s safer to schedule your appointment for first thing in the morning — the office will be cleaner because there haven’t been patients coming through before me. Is that true?
You should schedule your dental appointment for the time of day that works for you. The same enhanced cleaning protocols occur all day long, including leaving the room empty after a patient leaves to allow the appropriate time necessary as part of thoroughly cleaning and disinfecting the space between patients.
How is your dental team monitoring themselves for COVID-19?
Staff at our practice are subject to daily health screenings. This includes taking their temperatures to make sure they don’t have a fever and asking them a series of health-related questions each day to make sure they’re not experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19.
You said you cannot see me as a patient because of my COVID-19 risk. Can you do that?
Yes. The safety of our patients and the dental team is our highest priority. As Dentists, we use our professional judgment and guidance from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and ADA to determine risk levels for seeing patients. If it was determined that you were high risk, or had a high temperature on the day of your appointment, we can have a conversation about which factors determined delay of service, so that you can self-monitor and reschedule.
What if my appointment was cancelled during the months of March, April, May?
Our team members have been working diligently to reschedule patients that missed their appointments due to the COVID closure in March, April and May. If you have not heard from us via email, text or phone, please contact us via telephone or text us at 860-523-4239.
Any other questions or concerns, please text us or call the office at 860-523-4239.