We were happy to hear Governor Cuomo announce that dentists throughout New York state can reopen their offices for all dental procedures, and we are planning to resume normal office hours during the week of June 15th. While many things have changed, one thing has remained the same: our commitment to your continued health and safety. Here are some of the alterations to office workflow we have made to help ensure everyone’s safety.
You will see many changes, as we have new ways of scheduling your appointments and handling financial transactions:
You will be contacted 48-72 hours prior to your appointment via phone, text or email and asked a series of health-related questions. It is required that you review and answer these questions prior to your appointment. We will need to reschedule your appointment if you are unable to complete this step.
Arrival and Screening
Please wear a mask when you visit us. Upon entering the office, you will have a temperature and a pulse oximetry check. You will also have an opportunity to wash your hands before treatment. Patients with temperature above 100.3 and/or oxygen saturation levels below 92% will be asked to consult their physicians and we will reschedule their dental appointment in 14 days. Please be aware that our staff is being screened in a similar way at the beginning and end of each workday. If you are found to have a normal temperature and oxygen saturation, you will be personally escorted to your treatment area. We are limiting the number of patients in our office at any one time. Therefore, a limit of one caregiver per patient will be allowed into the office. We will only be able to accommodate 2 people at any given time in our reception area in order to accommodate social distancing requirements.
A Private Treatment Experience
You will notice that the treatment room doors might be closed and there will be less chatter. Prior to treatment all patients will rinse their mouths with an antibacterial rinse. Dental care providers will be fully gowned and masked with appropriate personal protective equipment.
“Contactless” Front Office
Your contact with our front desk will be minimal. No more “checking out” at the front desk. All future appointments and financial arrangements will be made at the completion of your treatment in the treatment room. Before leaving the office, we will ask you to wash your hands and put your mask back on.
We will be instituting on-line appointments and consultations in certain instances as deemed appropriate. Our hope is to save you a visit to the office where indicated. Some insurance programs are reimbursing patients for virtual appointments and should we decide to schedule a virtual visit you will be informed of the appropriate fee in advance.
Enhanced PPE In Our Office
We require everyone in our office to wear a face covering. Expect to see our clinical staff wearing not only face masks, but disposable surgical gowns and face shields.
Disinfecting the Surfaces and Cleaning the Air
We have always exceeded CDC infection control guidelines. With the COVID-19 Pandemic, we are going above and beyond once again. Even our standard mail and packages will be disinfected before the contents enter our office space. In addition to our normal disinfection protocols, we have added HEPA air purifiers and UVc lamps to each of our treatment rooms. Each treatment room will be “fogged” after use and the entire office will be fogged at day’s end. Restrooms will be “fogged” throughout the day in addition to building maintenance disinfection throughout the day.
You have heard it before and you will hear it once again. My team and I have done a lot to help ensure your safety, and ours. Belts and suspenders? You bet!
Dr. Robert M. Sorin, DMD