COVID-19: Full dentistry services to resume May 25th
Dear patients, friends, and the Saanich community
Last week, the BC government unveiled an outline for starting Phase 2 of re-opening of businesses as dental offices commencing May 19th. On May 15th, 2020, the BC College of Dental Surgeons (CDSBC) working in conjunction with the BC Provincial Health Officer released protocols for exactly how this will take place for dentists. We are very excited at the prospect of being able to welcome you back to our office!
While our office has always used personal protective equipment that has exceeded regulations and guidelines, over the past month and a half, we have been working tirelessly to institute additional guidelines and protocols to ensure your safety. We have also been watching educational webinars to continue to guide us in the coming months.
You will see many changes since your last visit to our office, as we have new ways of doing practically everything. From scheduling your appointments, to the way we are able to provide your care, to even your financial transactions. For example, you will be contacted 48-72 hours prior to your appointment via phone, text, or email and asked a set of health-related questions. It is required that we complete this questionnaire prior to your appointment. Should you be experiencing any cold or flu-like symptoms, we will kindly reschedule your appointment to another date. We will also reschedule your appointment if we are unable to reach you to complete this step.
Here are some other changes that you can expect for your next visit to our office.
1. You will notice that our waiting room will look different. There will be fewer chairs, and the cloth chairs have been replaced by metal chairs. Metal chairs are easier to clean. The chairs will be spaced 6 feet apart, and there will be outlines on the floor in order to maintain physical distancing. We do have additional chairs in the hall, if needed. Patients may be asked to wait in their cars after checking in for their appointments.
2. We have removed all magazines and unnecessary items that can harbor or transfer germs of any kind. In their place will be posters with information on combating COVID-19. This is an esthetic downturn, but we believe it is necessary to ensure the safety of all our patients.
3. We have placed plexiglass barriers on the reception counters to prevent transmission of the virus when speaking in close proximity with our reception staff.
4. Next to these barriers, hand sanitizer will be made available to all patients for use prior to their appointments.
5. As you arrive, you will be greeted at the door by a member of our team who will be using a touchless thermometer to measure your temperature. We will be doing the same on a daily basis with staff members as they arrive for work.
6. For cleanliness, safety, and ease, the prescreening form can be filled out in the comfort of your own home before your scheduled appointment.
7. All patients will need to make their way into a designated dental procedure room on their own accord unless assistance is required from a dental team member. Parents, guardians, and caretakers will need to remain in the waiting room or car until the scheduled dental appointment is completed.
8. We will be providing our patients with a pre-treatment anti-bacterial/viral mouth rinse prior to the commencement of a dental procedure to lower the risk of the spread of bacterial or viral organisms.
9. We have enhanced all operatory disinfection procedures before and after all appointments.
10. We will be providing longer appointment times in order to prepare and complete all appointment tasks and disinfection duties in the safest and most comprehensive manner.
So as you can see, there have been a lot of changes happening around Signature Dental over the past 6 weeks. As we return to the dental office over the coming weeks and months, we will continue to institute changes necessary to ensure your absolute safety in our dental practice.
• Currently, we are not treating patients with active COVID-19 infections or with suspected COVID-19 infections. These patients require enhanced personal protective gear (PPE), such as masks, gowns, face shields, as they are very difficult to acquire at the moment. We have ordered all of the necessary components to assemble personal protective equipment and have received most of it. However, some items are back-ordered and do not have any firm dates on their arrival. Their lack of availability could affect our ability to keep our doors open to treat patients with active or suspected COVID-19 infections. We will simply defer treatment for these patients until they have completely recovered.
If you know of anyone who is a patient of our clinic and is not receiving these updated communications, please have them contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to provide us with this information so that we may inform them directly and or forward information to them by mail regarding our new protocols.
Our projected opening at this point is the week of May 25th, 2020. The first week or so, will be focused on the back log of patients requiring immediate attention due to pain or uncompleted dental work that was commenced prior to closure of our dental office.
We thank you for your understanding and patience concerning all these upcoming changes. We are doing our very best to ensure everyone’s health and safety. We miss you all! If you have any questions or comments, as always, please feel free to contact us via email at email@example.com
Please stay healthy,
Signature Dental Dentists and Staff