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Phase One Re-Opening

May 14, 2020

COVID-19 UPDATE

Hello!! We are so excited to see your smiling faces again starting next MONDAY May 18th
We have missed your kids a LOT and are very ready to start entering a new phase of this pandemic safely with our community. This has been a hard time for everyone – from not being able to play at the park and high five a friend to missing prom and graduation – and we feel for all of the families in our practice that adjusted to a “new normal.” Thank you all for your kindness and understand as our practice works to care for your kids!

We are beginning general patient care in PHASES and will be starting *PHASE ONE* next week. We are going to outline the changes our office has planned for upcoming visits so you know ahead of time and are prepared 👍🏻

WHAT DOES “PHASE ONE” MEAN?

  • That means things are not quite normal yet… but we have a plan! (insert super-mom bitmoji with cape 🙃)
  • Our *NUMBER ONE* priority is the oral health, safety and well-being of your child. We remain dedicated to high quality dental care from our Board-Certified Pediatric Dentists and staff. But this is new for everyone and dentistry may “look” different.

OK – WHAT’s DIFFERENT?

  • Lots of stuff! We’ll break it down into parts for you here. Get cozy … This will be a long one!
  • We’ve also attached a more “condensed” photo to this post if you need the quick gist.
  • We also have a little “FAQ” section down in the comments for your entertainment and information. If you have another question for us… fire away!

SOCIAL DISTANCING:

  • We’ll be staggering family and patient appointment times to avoid overlap in our clinic
  • We’ll be prioritizing some patients and some procedures that are more urgent
  • We are probably going to change your kids’ appointment times (FACE SLAP! 🤦🏻‍♀️) – WE KNOW! This is very hard and annoying!! But we want to keep social distancing practices in the office, which means we need to see fewer people each day. And we have 8 weeks of cancelled patient visits to accommodate! Our staff may need cookies and smiles… virtual hugs work too.
  • Our goal is that your family will ONLY interact with necessary staff for patient care, and we are documenting everyone your child contacts
  • Only scheduled patient(s) plus one adult guardian will be allowed in the building. This is our new “Patient Plus One” policy. Adults will be asked to accompany the patient(s) back into clinic or will be asked to wait in their cars for treatment to be completed. Infants (under age 1) are not included in this count and should be in an infant carrier or stroller at all times.

PRE-SCREENING:

  • All patients will be screened prior to arrival to our office!
  • 48 hours before your appointment date, you’ll receive an email with instructions to our Patient Portal (you can also get there from our website if you already have your log-in!) and receive a text message appointment reminder with instructions to check your email
  • ALL PATIENTS MUST COMPLETE ON-LINE FORMS BEFORE THEIR VISIT – this can be done on a computer, smart phone, or tablet. It’s quite easy!
  • If you don’t have an email on-file, contact our office. Your emails are secured on an HIPPA-compliant local server and are NOT USED for anything other than patient communication with our team.
  • If your forms are not completed, your child’s appointment will be cancelled
  • 24 hours before your appointment, our staff will call and confirm your appointment with you and review your screening questions. Some answers may require our office to postpone your appointment by 2 weeks. We will also review instructions for the next day!
  • Make sure your child brushes very well the night before and the morning of their appointment

WHEN YOU ARRIVE:

  • Wait in your car and call our front desk to let them know you have arrived. A staff-member will then greet you at the door and escort you in.
  • Wear a cloth mask or face-covering into the building. This can be the same mask you wear to the grocery store or when out in public in the community! Everyone age 4 and older is asked to wear a mask. Your child’s mask will be removed when it’s time for treatment.
  • Any scheduled patient and accompanying adult will again be asked screening questions and will have a no-touch temporal (forehead) temperature checked and recorded
  • Everyone entering the building will be given hand-sanitizer before proceeding into the clinic area
  • All patients will then be escorted to the clinic area. The accompanying adult will either follow them to clinic or return to the car. We’ll let you know when your kiddo is done and escort them out!
  • Patients will be asked to rinse with an anti-microbial mouthwash (if they are old enough to swish and spit) or will have their mouth swabbed with a gentle sponge and the anti-microbial mouthwash. The American Dental Association recommends this before treatment starts!

DURING THE APPOINTMENT:

  • Our NUMBER ONE priority is the oral health, safety and well-being of your child! This is always true, and we will not compromise our treatment and care ❤️
  • Because of regulations on procedure types and patient safety, we may not be able to do all of your kids’ planned treatment right now. That means new treatment plans or postponing appointments with “smaller” cavities may occur.
  • We may present less-invasive treatments for now. We may monitor something we had planned to fix. But we will not compromise the well-being and oral health of your child. In Pediatric Dentistry there are LOTS of acceptable treatment options! Even if our “perfect plan” can’t happen right now, eventually we will get there together.
  • If your kiddo is scheduled for a check-up and an exam, you may notice that we will use more “hand tools” and less “power tools” than before. Some of your kids may actually be very happy about this(🥳)!! We are still providing the same quality, standard-of-care as before, so don’t fret! It’s just more work for the Pediatric Dentist to do things by hand 😉
  • When your child is done, they will be escorted to the check-out area and dismissed with you or brought out to your car to meet you. If we need to set up any follow-up visits or review payment or treatment options, we may do that by phone with you.

OK… SO WHAT ABOUT YOU GUYS?:

  • We are following ALL GUIDELINES from the American Dental Association (ADA), Iowa Dental Board (IDB), Center for Disease Control (CDC), Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD). This is A LOT of new information and new stuff!
  • We’ve set up new protocols and guidelines for all staff members to follow in accordance with these guidelines. And if one guideline is stricter than what we “legally” have to do here in Iowa… we do the stricter one. Our community’s safety is a priority.
  • We’ve trained everyone on our staff and watched a lot of webinars and continuing education classes over the last 8 weeks! 😳
  • Rest assured that our staff is ALSO screened daily for symptoms, will have daily temperature-checks, and are discouraged from non-essential travel. Any staff member with symptoms will be asked to go home and check with their medical doctor before they can return to our office.
  • We have no known staff exposures to COVID-19 and the at this time. If an exposure were to occur, we will contact the Linn County Department of Public Health and follow all instructions on how to proceed.
  • We’ll be wearing new PPE, including masks and face shields at all times. This protects your family and protects us! It is super important! For some procedures, we may even have gowns and special “respirator” masks. Oh boy – do we look silly!
    Our smiling faces are still under there with our stellar personalities – don’t worry! 🙂
  • We are cleaning all public surfaces continually
  • We are sterilizing and disinfecting all patient care areas continually
  • We have specialized HEPA filters in our treatment rooms and have verified the excellent air-flow with our building engineers in our new and updated offices. We are SO excited that both of our offices are so new and modern 😍

ANYTHING ELSE I NEED TO KNOW?:

  • During Phase One we are going to postpone appointments on any health-compromised patient and patients living in community-living arrangements. This is, again, using guidelines and standards from governing bodies.
  • We can do TELE-DENTISTRY by video conference or phone/photo combination. It’s kind of cool 😎 and very useful. It is secure and compliant with HIPPA privacy regulations. We will walk you through it! Some of you may have done this with other medical providers recently, too.
  • If you have ANY questions or concerns, contact our Pediatric Dental Team. We are happy to help! And if your child needs ANYTHING at all during this time or you have concerns about comfort, pain or treatment, please contact us. We always have a Pediatric Dentist on-call if something happens outside of clinic hours. And we want to address all of your oral health needs.
  • If your family DOES NOT FEEL COMFORTABLE coming into our clinic at this time, for any reason, that is OK! Let us know and we will make arrangements for a tele-dentistry appointment, phone consultation, or an appointment at a later date for you.
  • We really do miss you all and look forward to an upcoming interaction with your family! ❤️❤️❤️

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