Friday, May 29, 2020
IMPORTANT PATIENT UPDATE
Dear Valued Patients,
We hope this letter finds you and your family in good health. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic over the last few months leaves us all looking forward to recovering to a ‘new’ normal. While many things have changed, our biggest priority, the safety and well-being of our patients and team members, remains unchanged.
Dentists in Ontario have finally received guidelines from the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC), and Public Health Ontario to enable dentists to provide emergency and essential care amidst the COVID19 pandemic. As one can imagine, the new guidelines for providing care during the COVID19 pandemic are rigorous, lengthy, and involved. This poses a challenge for many dental offices to be able to re-open.
Our office was recently built in 2017. The operatories are closed with floor to ceiling walls, and the hallways, foyer, and waiting rooms are very spacious. In March 2019, prior to the pandemic, Dr. Max Kemmerling purchased Surgically Clean Air units for the office. These hospital grade HEPA air filtration units ("High Efficiency Particulate Air" filtration), in conjunction with a modern HVAC system office design have allowed our office to enter a phase of treating essential and emergency cases. We are grateful to be in this position.
There will be additional measures put in place to keep you and team members safe. We believe our patients deserve to know what these new protocols involve, why, and how they will keep them safe. We ask you to take a moment to read over the following sections.
All Caradoc Dentistry team members will be screened daily BEFORE reporting to work for any COVID symptoms or potential exposure to COVID19.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
All Caradoc Dentistry team members will be wearing additional personal protective equipment (PPE). This protects the team member and the patient. Team members will be masked at all times. Additionally, receptionists will greet you from in behind plexiglass barriers. During aerosol generating procedures, dentists and dental assistants will wear face shields, goggles, gowns, gloves, and N95 masks. Team members put on fresh, new equipment before seeing each patient.
Infection control has always been a top priority for our practice. Our infection control processes ensure that you are both safe and comfortable. Dental offices already use hospital grade sterilization equipment and disinfecting agents. You may have seen some of this equipment in the sterilization bay in the heart of our office. A dedicated team member in our office is responsible for ensuring the rigorous sterilization and record keeping for all of our dental instruments.
Operatory Disinfection and Air Purification
Operatories have always been cleaned and disinfected before and after each patient. Provisional doors have been put in place to prevent any aerosols generated during a procedure from making their way into the hallways or waiting room. After a patient has been treated, the room is kept closed and empty for a specific amount of time to allow our filtration systems to reduce the aerosols by 99.9%. This is possible at Caradoc Dentistry because we are equipped with HEPA air filtration units ("High Efficiency Particulate Air" filtration). These hospital grade units, in conjunction with a modern HVAC system allow our patients and team members to breathe comfortably, confidently, and safely in our office.
Office Disinfection and Physical Distancing
Waiting room chairs have been separated by at least six feet to ensure safe physical distance. All magazines and toys have been removed from the waiting areas. The point of sales terminal is swiped with hospital grade disinfectant wipes before and after each patient use. Credit and debit cards are the preferred forms of payment at this time. Non-treatment areas will be disinfected frequently throughout the day, including but not limited to door handles, faucets, toilet handles, and countertops. Pens dispensed for signing documents will be swiped with hospital grade disinfectant wipes before and after each patient use. Numerous signs have been posted throughout the office to remind and encourage patients and team members to maintain a safe physical distance of two metres or six feet (aside from when rendering treatment to a patient in the operatory at which point the dentist and dental assistant wear face shields, gowns, goggles, masks and gloves).
New Appointment Procedures and Patient Health
Do not come to the office if you are sick.
Patients will be seen by appointment only. Walk-ins are not permitted; please instead call our office.
We NEED verbal confirmation of your appointment. Note this is a major change in process. This is required because we are mandated by Public Health to screen all appointed patients for symptoms of COVID19 the day prior to their appointment and at the time of their appointment. Text messaging options will at this point be suspended. If an accommodation is required, please contact our office.
Patients are required to wear a mask or face covering from home when entering the office, waiting for their appointment, and on completion of their appointment when checking out. Patients are asked to sanitize their hands or wash their hands frequently throughout their visit. Hand sanitizing stations have been added in the vestibule and throughout the office.
Patients are asked to come alone to their appointment unless an accommodation is required (such as, a parent accompanying a young child receiving dental treatment or a patient who requires a translator or personal assistant).
Your temperature may be taken by the dentist or team member prior to providing treatment if there is any reason for concern.
Dental ‘Cleanings’ or Scaling Appointments
Care provided by our dental hygienists will hopefully be permitted in the near future. Give your teeth extra attention and care until your dental hygienist can properly clean and scale your teeth. Consider brushing with an electric toothbrush and flossing teeth on a daily basis. Additional measures, such as the use of a water flosser (e.g. Waterpik) and mouthwash, further reduce the buildup of plaque and tartar. We will update you as soon as we are able to schedule/re-schedule your next dental ‘cleaning’ appointment.
We will get through this together.
Thank you in advance for your co-operation and patience.
Yours truly, Dr. Max Kemmerling & Team at Caradoc Dentistry Dear Valued Patients,