Starting Monday, May 11, the Illinois State Dental Society (ISDS) , working closely with state government leaders, recommended that “oral health providers resume provision of routine oral and dental care consistent with this guidance for minimizing risk of transmission of COVID-19 in an oral healthcare setting.”
Beginning Tuesday, May 12, we began a ‘soft opening’, gradually scheduling patients for elective and emergency procedures. After June 1, we will also be resuming routine cleanings and exams.
This is indeed good news as we will once again be able to provide much-needed care for our patients. We are all still very mindful of the transmission and risks of the Covid-19 virus, and we all still need to exercise caution as we move forward. Therefore, we will continue to take the necessary precautions to minimize risks and keep our patients and employees as safe as possible.
As I mentioned in my previous email, you may notice some things are different since your last visit to our office, so I would like to let you know about these changes, and why they are important:
- When you call for your appointment, you will be asked a series of screening questions, as recommended by the CDC and American Dental Association. These same questions will be asked again when you arrive for your appointment.
- When arriving to the office, we ask that you call us to let us know. We will text or call you to let you know when to come up. This is designed to minimize exposure and keep patients at a safe social distance.
- A staff member will take your temperature before you enter the office.
- These measures may seem strange, but it is being done out of an abundance of concern for your health, as well as that of the other patients being seen in the office, the doctor and the staff, and anyone with whom you may come in contact with.
- If you are experiencing any symptoms such as fever, cough or flu-like symptoms, or if you have been in recent contact with anyone else who has symptoms or has been exposed to Covid-19, you will be asked to re-schedule your appointment and contact your primary healthcare provider for further guidance.
- We ask that you not bring others to your visit, the exceptions being minors requiring a parent or guardian, or individuals needing assistance by a guardian.
- All patients and accompanying guardians are required to wear masks as they enter and exit the office. This is to protect others from the risk of asymptomatic exposure to Covid-19.
- Hand sanitizer is available for you upon arriving to the office. We ask that you use it when arriving and before leaving the office.
Some additional changes we have made to help keep you, your family, and our staff safe:
- The office has been professionally cleaned and re-painted.
- Plexiglass shields have been installed in the two bay windows at the front business desk.
- Two handwash stations with Clorox Aloeguard antimicrobial soap have been installed near treatment rooms.
- Hand sanitizers are available in various locations in office.
- All magazine and high-touch objects have been removed from the reception area.
- HEPA filtering air purifiers have been installed throughout strategic locations in the office to capture, filter and exchange the air in the office 5X per hour.
- Face shields, disposable gowns and N95 masks have been added for clinical staff.
- Contact surfaces such as doorknobs, handles, countertops, and equipment will be disinfected regularly throughout the workday.
- Daily monitoring and posting of staff temperature readings are available.
- Electronic billing statements and convenient online payment options have been added to minimize contact.
We will, of course, continue to monitor the latest guidance and recommendations from the CDC and public health agencies and keep you updated on the appropriate measures that need to be taken in order to provide you with the safest care possible.
In closing, we are glad to be back and looking forward to continuing to provide you with the quality dental care you all deserve. Thank you and see you soon!
Dr. Rivera and Team