We are open!
COVID numbers are on the rise, Jeffco and many of the surrounding counties have just announced schools are switching to more online, and governors across the country are starting to enforce restrictions again. This is a time when we need to once again evaluate risks and adapt. While I do not think that dentistry will be halted again by the governor, providing dental care involves close interaction of patients and staff that require patients to remove their masks for treatment. This exposes our team to additional risk. I am continually thinking about the policies needed to keep our office open and safe to continue orthodontic care.
Due to the recent events, we are moving to even more strict protocols. First, we are once again asking all families to minimize companions coming into the office. Only one parent will be allowed to accompanying children for their appointment if needed (especially for younger patients). All other parents, siblings, friends, etc. can wait outside or in the car. Second, we are asking that if anyone in the household has been quarantined due to possible exposure to someone with COVID-19, then orthodontic appointments be rescheduled to a later date. As an example, if a sibling has been quarantined due to a possible exposure at school, then appointments for that sibling and all other siblings will be rescheduled. If there is any question about possible risk, we will simply play it safe and reschedule to protect our team and patients alike. Both of these points are designed to simply reduce the number of people in the office and reschedule any higher risk patients.
With reduced parents in the office, we do not want to lose our customer service. If you have any questions that you wanted to ask at an upcoming appointment, please write it down and send it in with your child at the appointment. Alternatively, just email it to us prior to the appointment. We can then write a response or call you after the appointment to review.
By working together, we can continue to keep everyone healthy and treatment progressing. A copy of our updated screening questions is below. Thanks again for your support and understanding.
Scheduling policy for this winter
As we enter the typical cold and flu season this year, many questions will arise. How do we distinguish symptoms of a cold from COVID-19? It is difficult to interpret symptoms such as feeling ill, cough, and running nose this year. While these symptoms may likely be “just a cold” there is no way to be sure without a COVID-19 test. Providing dental care involves close interaction of patients and staff that require patients to remove their masks for treatment. Therefore, our office will continue to strictly follow recommendations from the CDC, American Dental Association, Colorado Dental Association, and the Colorado Department of Public Health.
We will continue to screen patients for the symptoms listed in the public health recommendations. All patients with symptoms will need to be rescheduled to 2 weeks following symptoms. We recognize that this will be inconvenient for some families as well as for our own schedule. However, this is what we need to do to continue to provide a safe and healthy environment for our patients and our team. While patients or families may feel that “it’s just a cold,” we will still abide by recommendations to reschedule patients to a later date and we would appreciate your understanding. Also, we are asking all families to minimize companions coming into the office. One parent will be allowed to accompanying children for their appointment if needed (especially for younger patients). Other parents, siblings, friends, etc. can wait outside or in the car.
This cold and flu season will be challenging for schools, businesses, and families. Dentistry in particular requires much more strict protocols than simply going to the store. The only way that we can continue to stay open and providing treatment is by protecting our team and patients alike. By working together, we can continue to keep everyone healthy and treatment progressing. A copy of our screening questions is below. Thanks again for your support and understanding.
What we are doing to keep everyone safe
Our goal is to maintain a safe and healthy environment to protect the health and wellbeing of our dental team, our patients and their families, as well as the community as a whole. We are following guidelines by the CDC, the American Dental Association, and the Colorado Dental Association including:
- According to recommendations by the CDC and national/state dental associations, we are screening every patient for COVID risk factors prior to their appointment and asking them to reschedule if indicated.
- We are asking that all people entering our office wear their own masks.
- Upon arriving for an appointment, every patient and accompanying person is again screened and their temperature taken with a touchless thermometer. In indicated, the patient will be rescheduled. No exceptions will be made to ensure the health of everyone.
- During the foreseeable future of social distancing, we are asking all families to minimize companions coming into the office. One parent will be allowed to accompanying children for their appointment if needed (especially for younger patients). Other parents, siblings, friends, etc. can wait outside or in the car.
- Upon entering our office, all patients are asked to use hand sanitizer or wash their hands in the toothbrushing area or in the restroom in the hallway. We would also recommend washing your hands upon exit of our office as it is a public space.
- We have rearranged the reception area to promote social distancing and marked 6’ boundaries where appropriate.
- Air purifiers have been placed around the office to help clean the air.
- Extra cleaning and disinfecting of all common countertops, pens, arm rests, phones, door knobs, etc. is being performed.
- As always, everyday practices for infection control in accordance with OSHA already include disinfecting the dental chair, dental cart, all hoses, dental lights, and sterilizing all instruments after every patient.
- We are screening and recording temperatures on all team members daily.
- Additional personal protective equipment is being worn by staff.
COVID-19 screening questions
In the last 2 weeks or currently, have you had any of the following:
- Felt sick
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Runny nose
- Sore throat
- Muscle aches
- Nausea or vomiting
- Loss of sense of taste or smell
- Has anyone in your household been exposed to someone with COVID-19 or been quarantined due to possible exposure?
- Have you been tested for COVID-19 and are awaiting results?
If you have answered “yes” to any of these questions and/or have a temperature above 100 degrees, we will need to reschedule your appointment. Thank you for helping us to keep patients, staff, and the community safe.
What we ask of you
- We are asking all families to minimize companions coming into the office. One parent will be allowed to accompany children for their appointment if needed (especially for younger patients). Other parents, siblings, friends, etc. can wait outside or in the car.
- Please wear your mask over your nose and mouth while entering the office.
- Upon arrival, please use hand sanitizer or wash your hands in the toothbrushing area or in the restroom in the hallway.
- Please know we will be checking temperatures prior to appointments.
- Please notify our office if you develop symptoms or are diagnosed with COVID-19 within 2 weeks following your appointment.
COVID consent form
According to new guidelines, we now need a supplemental informed consent form signed for orthodontic treatment in the COVID-19 era. This form only needs to be signed once. We will have forms available at our office but if possible, please print and complete the attached form and bring it to your next visit. We believe this form is self-explanatory but if you have any questions, please feel free to call.
Click here for the consent form.