An Important Message to Our Patients
As we all begin to think about re-emerging more fully into our lives, we want to express our gratitude to all our patients for their flexibility and loyalty during the COVID-19 crisis. Throughout this life-altering experience, we have seen so many examples of humanity, grace and community. With this in mind, we find the energy to move forward to create our new normal for Gargano Family Dentistry - together.
Our current plan is to begin the process of safely opening our office on May 26th, assuming state guidelines and infection rates continue to ease up. During this crisis, we have been limiting care to emergency dental visits. On the 26th, we will cautiously begin to see more patients as we open our doors to both urgent and elective dental services.
Our office understands that as a community we are still facing uncertainty due to COVID-19. While social distancing guidelines and practices are in place, we feel confident that Gargano Family Dentistry can provide you with safe comprehensive dental care at this time.
Throughout our office closure, we have reviewed what we have always done in regards to sterilization and infection control, as well as implemented additional purification infrastructure and developed new patient visit protocols to ensure a safe, worry-free dental experience for everyone. In this short rime, we have made it a priority to go above and beyond sterilization recommendations given by the CDC and American Dental Association.
The following are steps we have always taken for your safety:
- We always wear single use masks and gloves while delivering treatment.
- After use, all instruments are sterilized to destroy any pontentially infectious matter.
- Much of the equipment we use is single use and gets disposed of immediately after your appointment.
- Treatment Rooms are wiped down with a medical grade disinfectant to destroy all forms of infectious diseases between patients.
- We either wash our hands thoroughly with soap and water or apply an alcohol based wash between patients.
- Alcohol based hand washes have always been accesible around the office, and we encourage patients to use them at their convenience.
The following are important protocol steps we will be asking our patients to follow during these times to further ensure your safety:
- When you arrive to the office, we will ask that you please wait in your car until we call you to come inside for your appointment.
- Please do not bring other family members to your appointment unless you are handicapped and require personal assistance.
- We will ask you to wear a mask to your appointment.
- Team members and patients will have their temperatures taken upon arrival in the office. If someone has a temperature above 100 ⁰F, they will be asked to go home.
- Upon arrival in the office, we will ask a series of prescreening questions to ensure that it is safe for you to proceed with dental treatment.
- Once your check-in is complete, we will kindly ask you to wash your hands and rinse your mouth with a disinfecting solution at a wash station before being seated in the dental chair.
- Once seated in the dental chair, you will be provided with a disposable plastic barrier to wear over your clothes to protect yourself throughout the appointment.
The following are new measures we have taken as an office in order to provide a safe and sterile working environment:
- We have installed 3 new hospital-grade air purification units designed to filter office air in its entirety every 20 minutes.
- We have installed UV-C lights in our HVAC system. UV-C light is proven to kill 99% of all viruses and bacteria.
- We have installed HEPA filters in all office air ducts.
- In addition to wiping down treatment rooms with medical grade disinfectant, we will be using handheld UV-C sterilizing lights to pass over objects in treatment rooms.
- Throughout the day we will be actively disinfecting common areas and treating office air with ion aerosol sterilization.
- In order to help with social distancing in our office, appointments will be staggered and appointment times will be longer to allow us to perform thorough sterilization of each treatment room after use. This may mean less appointment slots available per day and some current appointments having to be rescheduled further out.
- There will be an increased use in Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) you may not have noticed doctors or hygienists wearing before (different masks, face shields, safety glasses, gowns, caps). Team members in non-clinical areas will also be wearing some forms of PPE.
In the coming days and weeks our team will be reaching out to patients. We will be rescheduling patients who had their appointments cancelled due to the shutdown. Patients who are currently scheduled in the up-coming months will also recive confirmation phone calls.
Please note our new scheduling options are designed to address individual oral heathcare needs and maintain a safe dental experience for all of our friends, family, and staff here at Gargano Family Dentistry.
As always, we are excited to see you at your next visit. In the meantime, we wish you the best of health. Remain safe,
- The Gargano Family Dentistry Team
For more information on what you can expect at your next appointment, read our blog post: COVID-19: WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN OUR DENTAL OFFICE RE-OPENS