We hope this message finds you and your loved ones healthy and finding creative outlets, considering the current “Shelter in Place” situation. We want to take a moment to remind you that our top priority is always your health, safety and well-being.
As many of you already know, before dental school, I received a Masters in Public Health with a concentration in Infectious Diseases. You can rest assured that I’m very aware of how diseases spread and infection control has always been of utmost concern for me as a healthcare provider. We are closely monitoring the recommendations put forth by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Dental Association (ADA) for implementing the most current infection control protocols that specifically relate to COVID-19 transmission. As you return to our office, you will inevitably notice some new processes that we have developed to ensure both your safety and that of our dental team. For example:
- All patients will answer a screening questionnaire and have their temperature taken prior to entering our office; all patients will be required to arrive and leave with a mask on;
- Increased Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for all staff who provide dental care: Gowns replaced with every new patient, face shields, N95 masks and P100 respirators;
- Aerosol control through High Volume Evacuation (HVE) during dental procedures and high-powered HEPA air purifiers in each treatment room that completely cycle the air more than 5 times per hour, with increased ventilation; all treatment rooms completely enclosed from common areas during appointments;
- Increased efforts to disinfect throughout our office (i.e., wiping down touch screens and credit card machines after each use and regularly disinfecting bathrooms, furniture, doors and handles);
- Increased disinfecting protocol in our exam rooms: disposable plastic wrap for furniture changed between patients, all surfaces, including floors, disinfected with a chemical germicide between each patient;
Our practice has a unique advantage over the growing corporate, assembly-line model of healthcare with respects to COVID-19. We have always been a “one patient at a time” operation and thus social distancing will be an easier standard to adhere to. We ask for your cooperation and support with the following safety measures as we work through this ever-changing situation:
- Maintain social distancing practices while in our building, including with our office staff; this will be simplified with how we are appointing patients (one at a time);
- Wait in your car upon arrival, give us a call to let us know you’ve arrived and we’ll plan to meet you at the door;
- Bring your own properly-fitting, protective mask and wear it when entering our building;
- Immediately wash your hands (or use hand sanitizer) in our bathroom upon arrival;
- We will give each patient a 1-minute swish with a 1.5% hydrogen peroxide rinse prior to getting started;
- Please do not bring friends or relatives who do not have a scheduled appointment. We won’t be utilizing our reception area during this time. Only scheduled patients will be allowed in the treatment and common areas.
We are happy to answer any questions you may have about the steps we take to keep you, and every patient, safe in our practice. It is our current expectation to be opening our practice to preventive, hygiene care starting June 1st, 2020. As our guidelines can change, we will certainly be updating you with any changes regarding our “relaunch” date.
Meanwhile, we have been busy implementing these changes and training the team to our “new normal.” I have been calling many of you to reschedule appointments and will continued to do so. If your appointment was canceled during the time after March 16th, 2020, I would also encourage you to proactively call us to reschedule that visit so that it doesn’t get postponed any longer than necessary. Please call our office at (650)941-2166 or visit our website at www.dentistlosaltos.com.
Thank you for being our patient. We value your trust and loyalty and look forward to serving you again soon.
Ken Schweifler DDS, MPH