***COVID-19 Update: Appointment Changes, Please read all as this is very important***
Updated information as of 5/26/20
Dear Patient or Parent.
I hope that this letter finds your family in good health. Our community has been though a lot these last few months and we are all looking forward to returning to our normal habits and routines as much as possible. This letter contains information essential for your returning to orthodontic treatment. I ask that you please read it in its entirety.
- Welcome back! We look forward to being able to treat you more than you might imagine.
- While I have always considered a dental office one of the safest places to be, and our office has always practiced “Universal Precautions” with regard to infection control, I believe that we can all agree that the current situation is different. As a result, there are many changes that we have made both major and minor to ensure the safety of our patients and employees. Some of the changes I am quite proud of and am anxious for you to see. You can review many of the different measures we have taken to protect our patients and team by “Land, Sea, and Air” by clicking here.
- Our office will begin to re-open for non-emergency patients beginning Monday June 1st. The schedule will be very limited as we ourselves adjust to the new routines and protocols necessitated by the new levels of safety that we have implemented.
- Please do not call our office to schedule an appointment for an existing patient. We are unable to handle phone requests for appointments for existing patients at this time. We have over 8 weeks of appointments to re-schedule and will do this in the most fair means possible.
- Patients will be given appointments in our schedule and will be notified the week before of their appointment time via text message. If that appointment works for you, you need do nothing. If you cannot keep that appointment, then please call to let us know.
- Teresa has been keeping a very diligent list of patients who are in near-emergency situations and those patients will of necessity be seen first. Patients will then be given appointments in the order of first-cancelled-first-rescheduled basis, which is the most fair and efficient system we can find.
- You may not receive the same type of appointment that you were originally scheduled for. Some patients may just have a check appointment to determine their needs. For example, appointments such as braces removal will need to be seen for a check appointment to confirm that they are still ready to have their braces removed before the removal appointment can be scheduled.
Once you are scheduled for an appointment. You will need to know and do certain things before your appointment.
- A “Supplemental Informed Consent” form must be filled out and digitally signed for each individual patient before they are seen. These forms need only be filled out once per patient. You can do this right now and doing this well in advance of your appointment is strongly encouraged. For parents or guardians who have more than one child with us, please fill out one form for each child. A link to the HIPPA compliant form that may be digitally signed on your computer, smart phone, or tablet may be obtained and then submitted by clicking here.
- When you arrive for your appointment, the first change that you will notice is that your car is our new waiting room. When you arrive in our parking lot please text us at (856)359-4201 to let us know that you have arrived. Please retain this number. This is something that you can do right now. Our front door will be locked and we will be unable to admit anyone without the supplemental form and screening form having been obtained in advance.
- When you arrive, your text will be acknowledged and you will receive a link to a supplemental health questionnaire. This questionnaire is a screening form for symptoms of COVID-19. It must be filled out immediately prior to each appointment from our parking lot. It is digital and may be signed on your smart phone or tablet. A link to this form may be seen by clicking here.
- Parents are asked to remain in their car and remain in our parking lot for the entire duration of the appointment. Only the patient is permitted in our office. Exceptions to this rule will be made only when the patient is very young, has special needs, or is a new patient to our practice. Only one parent is permitted to accompany the patient in that circumstance. Parents must be in the parking lot and ready to receive their child after the appointment is over as the waiting room is not open for seating.
- The patient should arrive wearing their own mask and this should be worn until the patient is asked to remove it in the dental chair. They will be asked to replace it before leaving the chair. Parents of very young children, those with special needs, or those of new patients must remain with the patient and keep their facemask on the entire time. Please be aware that masks must cover both the nose and mouth in order to be effective.
- All patients, parents, employees, and the doctor will have their temperature taken with a no-touch forehead thermometer and clean their hands with hand sanitizer before proceeding to the treatment area.
- Any patient with a temperature of 100 degrees or greater will not be seen for an appointment and will automatically be re-scheduled for at least 14 days later. The CDC currently recommends this limit at 100.4 degrees. However, we are going to be more cautious. This will be a firm policy. In order to reduce potential frustration, we ask that you do 3 things in advance. The first is to not take any fever reducing medications for at least 4 hours before your appointment. The second is to take the patients temperature before you leave home. If the patient’s temperature is 100 or greater, you will save an unproductive trip in by calling us and automatically rescheduling for at least 14 days later. The third thing is to understand in advance that you really do not want to be treated in an office where patients with a temperature of 100 or greater are actually electively treated. Please be understanding if a temperature causes your appointment to be moved 14 days later. This policy helps protect you and everyone.
- Payments to the office may be mailed in by check, given to the patient to bring in with them, or paid by credit card over the phone while you are waiting for your child.
- Patients will automatically be given appointments when they leave. If the next appointment does not work for you, please call to change it. Depending upon how busy we are, we may need to ask you to call back.
- We are in the process of setting up a virtual waiting room via Zoom or Doxy.me. If this is up and running when you come in for your appointment, you will be texted a link to go into a virtual waiting room. This will be used to update you on your child’s treatment and may be used for other communication while you wait in your car. Zoom communications works best if you download the app to your phone or tablet in advance. This is another thing that you may do in advance now.
We do ask for your patience. This is our first time doing this so we are not sure how smoothly this will go. Please rest assured that we are trying our best.
We are truly grateful for you our patient. Thank you for trusting us with your or your child’s orthodontic care. For over 30 years now you have allowed us to do what we enjoy doing most; providing patients with their healthiest and most beautiful smile.