Hello from all of us at Andover Smiles!
We hope this letter finds you and your family in good health. Our community has been through a great deal 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.
The latest recommendation from the federal government, Governor Baker, and our dental association is to not return to providing non-emergency dental procedures until at least May 18. It may be later depending on availability of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and other factors. We will let you know as we get closer to the actual date.
Infection control has always been a top priority for our practice and you may have seen this during your visits to our office. Our infection control processes are made so that when you receive care, it’s both safe and comfortable. We want to tell you about the infection control procedures we follow in our practice to keep patients and staff safe.
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.
You may see some changes when it is time for your next appointment. We made these changes to protect our patients and staff. For example:
We will have important forms that can be found on our website that need to be filled out before presenting to our office.
- Your temperature will be taken with an infra-red non-contact thermometer (IRT) and ensure that you do not have a body temperature exceeding 100 degrees F.
- We have hand sanitizer that we will ask you to use when you enter the office. You will also find some in other places in the office for you to use as needed.
- You may see that our waiting room will no longer offer magazines, children’s toys and so forth since those items are difficult to clean and disinfect.
- Appointments will be managed to allow for social distancing between patients. That might mean that you are offered fewer options for scheduling your appointment.
- We will do our best to allow greater time between patients to reduce waiting times for you, as well as reduce the number of patients in the reception area at one time.
We look forward to seeing you again and are happy to answer any questions you may have about the steps we take to keep you and every patient safe in our practice
Thank you for being our patient. We value your trust and loyalty and look forward to welcoming back our patients, neighbors, and friends.
Your Andover Smiles Team
PRE-APPOINTMENT SCREENING QUESTIONS
|Do you/they have fever or have you/they felt hot or feverish recently
|Yes No||Yes No|
|Are you/they having shortness of breath or other difficulties breathing?||Yes No||Yes No|
|Do you/they have a cough?||Yes No||Yes No|
|Any other flu-like symptoms, such as gastrointestinal upset, headache
|Yes No||Yes No|
|Have you/they experienced recent loss of taste or smell?||Yes No||Yes No|
|Are you/they in contact with any confirmed COVID-19 positive patients? Patients who are well but who have a sick family member at home with COVID-19 should consider postponing elective treatment.||Yes No||Yes No|
|Is your/their age over 60?||Yes No||Yes No|
|Do you/they have heart disease, lung disease, kidney disease,
diabetes or any auto-immune disorders?
|Yes No||Yes No|
|Have you/they traveled in the past 14 days to any regions affected
by COVID-19? (as relevant to your location)
|Yes No||Yes No|
Positive responses to any of these would likely indicate a deeper discussion with the dentist before proceeding with elective dental treatment.
Dental Team Protocols for Office Visits
- Patients and/or their Parent/Guardian “Check-In” from their car upon arrival at the office and if payment is due, it will be taken care of at this time
- The Patient and/or their Guardian/Parent will wait in the car until the office calls/texts the patient into the office
- The patient (if a minor) will be escorted to the office door by the parent/guardian.
- Only the patient is allowed in the office unless an adult absolutely needs to be there
- The Parent/Guardian will “Hand-Off” their minor child to the
dental auxiliary at the door
- The temperature of every patient will be taken before they come into
We have always been and will continue to be committed to keeping you safe!
For our patients protection, we will be doing COVID-19 Employee Daily Screenings that includes taking all employee’s temperatures. Employees who have symptoms of acute respiratory illness, shortness of breath or consistent cough will stay home.
The standard safety and infection control precautions we take every day in the treatment areas prevent the spread of any type of infection, including COVID-19.
Before you enter our exam room:
- All surfaces, such as the dental chair, dental light, drawer handles and countertops, have been cleaned and disinfected.
- Protective covers over equipment are replaced after each patient.
- Non-disposable items like the dental tools are cleaned and sterilized between every patient. Disposable dental tools and needles are never re-used.
- All dental staff involved in patient care use appropriate protective equipment such as gloves, masks, gowns and eyewear when needed.
- Before seeing the next patient, everyone on the treatment team washes their hands and puts on a new pair of gloves.
We are also implementing extra precautions in our non-treatment areas, such as:
- Frequently sanitizing surfaces in and around doors, waiting areas and reception desks
- Reducing access to shared items likes pens and magazines
- Screening patients before they come in and/or receive treatment
- Following through with safety protocols should we encounter an ill patient or staff
- Plexiglass barrier installed at the front desk
Patient Post Treatment:
- Upon completion of the dental service if the patient is a child, their guardian/parent will be notified by phone to come to the front door, .
- The Patient will use hand sanitizer when leaving the office (They use it twice; arrival and departure)
- The patient will be “Handed-off” to their parent/guardian who is outside by the door and NOT in the office
- A follow up appointment will be given at the time of payment