Covid-19 UPDATE May 2020
We hope this letter finds you and your family in good health. 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. While many things have changed, one thing has remained the same: our commitment to your safety.
On May 7th, 2020, Governor Larry Hogan lifted the “Stay at home” order for healthcare and allowed us to return to provide dentistry for our patients. With that, we are to comply with strict guidelines set forth by Maryland State Dental Board, Maryland Department of Health and the CDC. Currently, our access to PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) is the only limiting factor. Until we obtain sufficient amount of PPE, we will continue to address non-elective, emergency cases only. We will resume the regular appointments as soon as the requirements are met. Please look for an announcement regarding opening. We are excited to see everyone again soon.
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). 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 and adhere to each agencies’ recommendations. We have been working diligently to improve our services and protocols to help prevent the spread of the disease and to protect our team, our patients, and our community.
Rest assured that Infection control has always been and will always be our top priority. This is a part of our training and professional obligation. Our infection control processes are made so that when you receive care, it is both safe and comfortable. Next time you see us, you will notice that there are changes to your dental visit.
The following new protocols will be carried out:
For your visit:
- Scheduling: Patients will be screened for Covid-19 signs and symptoms prior to scheduling.
· Scattered scheduling: Patient appointments will be scattered to allow for proper disinfecting and social distancing prior to the next patient entry.
- Modified Patient Check-In: Patients will be screened and symptoms and check in over the phone.
· 'In-Your-Car' waiting: Please call us when you arrive and remain in your car until instructed to come up.
· Limitations on companions: Only patients are allowed entry within the office. Family members or friends must remain outside. Only exception is a minor child who may have one parent/guardian remain with them during the visit.
· Temperature checks: All patients will be checked for fever with our infrared/ touch-less thermometer.
· Mask requirements: All patients are required to wear a mask while in office.
· No Gloves: Please remove your gloves before you enter the office.
· Hand sanitizer: to be used by all patients before entering office.
· Straight to the treatment room: Patients will be escorted to the treatment room as soon as they are ready.
· Pre-procedural rinse: A 30 second, pre-procedural hydrogen peroxide rinse will be used.
· Teledentistry: Dr. Johnson will continue to triage cases to determine if a remote consultation is appropriate.
· Daily health assessment and temperature check of team members at the beginning of the day.
· Full personal protective equipment (PPE) for all clinical team members, including face shields, masks, safety goggles, disposable gowns and surgical caps.
· Ongoing training on CDC, OSHA, ADA recommendations and protocols to remain current on compliance.
· Disinfection: Thorough disinfection of all surfaces before the next patient may enter the office.
· Clean Air Systems: Medical grade HEPA air purifying units positioned throughout the office to help cleanse the air and diminish aerosols.
· Partition at the reception desk: Sneeze guards at the front desk to protect both patients and staff. All patient check-in is done outside of the office.
· Purevac HVE mirror evacuation will be utilized to reduce the aerosols generated during procedure.
· Writing pen: Patients may bring a pen if they wish or use ours to keep.
· Touch-less documents and payment processing: If necessary, payment can be done over the phone.
Infection Control Fee:
In order to provide these extraordinary new measures during your care and to keep you safe, an infection control fee of $20 will be added to your appointment. This fee may or may not be covered by your insurance company. Payment is expected at the time of service.
We truly appreciate your understanding and patience during this unusual time. Thank you for being our patient. We know that many of you have been inconvenienced by needing to reschedule dental treatment and hygiene visits. We are doing our best to try to get everyone taken care of with the least inconvenience to you. The health and safety of everyone is our utmost concern. We are looking forward to seeing you again soon.
Dr. Johnson and Team at Germantown Smiles