Dear valued patients,
As many of you may know, we have and will continue to closely monitor the status of the coronavirus pandemic. Our most recent mandate issued by the ADA (American Dental Association), the FDA (Florida Dental Association), and reinforced by directives of the Governor of Florida, WHO (the World Health Organization), FDH (Florida Department of Health), and CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), requested that dental practices discontinued all non-essential dental procedures until May 8th 2020.
We plan to return for routine patient care on Monday, May 11th 2020. Should additional orders present themselves, we have every intention to follow the federal, state, &/or local guidelines in place at that time. We do understand the impact this closure may have on our patients but we must respect the guidelines in place for the safety of our community, employees, and patients. If a shortage of P.P.E. - Personal Protective Equipment occurs, it may be necessary to reschedule or postpone your appointment. P.P.E. medical supplies, such as masks, gloves, gowns, face shields, and other valuable materials that are in high demand and short supply, run the risk of becoming unavailable to restock in this current pandemic. Every country in the world is in need of MORE supplies. We are lucky to have the essential items needed to begin treating patients and hope the flow of supplies continues to be available for us.
As a resident of downtown Tampa, our practice wishes to help control the potential spread of Covid-19 by implementing additional daily protocols for sterilization and disinfection. In this current pandemic, due to the respiratory droplets created during 95% of dental procedures we will continue to take necessary precautions within the practice and continue to monitor patients upon entry.
How P.P.E. protects us all!
1. Wearing a disposable surgical mask over our N95 mask reduces the risk of transferring the coronavirus without the concern of contaminating the N95 mask
2. Wearing full body coverage eliminates the possibility of cross contamination from one patient to the next
3. Decontamination of full body coverage after each patient to ensure cross contamination does not occur
4. A Pre-Treatment Rinse has been implemented to minimize bacteria during procedures
5. All arrivals will have vitals checked by gauging pulse oximeter and taking temperatures
6. Sneeze Guards have been installed at Check-in/Check-out to reduce possibility of transmission
7. Medical Grade Air Purifying HEPA Filters have been placed in each operatory, at reception, and in our lobby to sanitize respiratory droplets in the air
8. Use of hand sanitizer before transferring any items to patients to avoid cross contamination
9. Sanitizing/disinfecting all surfaces after each patient at Check-in, Check-out, in the lobby area, and in all patient operatory areas to avoid cross contamination
10. Reducing foot traffic visits such as reps, trainers, shadowers, and those making repairs, to non-patient days, to remove possibility of risk
11. Minimizing our patient flow until all parties are better acclimated with new process for Covid-19
12. Practicing social distancing in hallways, lobby, and operatory to minimize risk of exposure
We will also:
- obtain risk-assessment questionnaire from each patient within 24-hrs of reservation
- screen all staff for Covid-19 symptoms daily
- temperature checks for employees- those who pose a risk will be sent home
- continue to practice the highest levels of infection control, as always
- remind all patients entering the practice to utilize medical grade hand sanitizer located immediately upon entry and throughout the office
- offer medical grade surgical masks for those who request one
- remove all high touch items throughout the office, such as magazines, local flyers, lip balm, and our beverage station- Please feel free to request bottled water if desired
- reduce the number of appointments per day in effort to allow adequate time for sterilization and disinfection
- reduce the number of appointments per day in effort to avoid patient care back-ups when checking in or out
Your oral health is an important part of your overall health. What may start out as a small dental condition could deteriorate to acute pain and lead to lifelong debilitating medical problems. It is important to protect your health by continuing with your regular dental care. We are asking you to help us with a smooth and safe transition by complying with our new office policy for appointments.
- If you have a fever, cough, or are showing signs of flu-like symptoms, please stay at home and contact our office to reschedule your appointment as soon as capable
- At this time, only scheduled patients will be allowed into the office. We ask that family members or guests remain at home or in their vehicle for the duration of the visit
- We will contact EACH scheduled patient 1-2 days prior to EVERY reservation to complete a Covid-19 screening over the phone or via the web
- All reservations should be confirmed, via text/email/phone, 24 hours before each visit- As always, if any changes to the existing appointment must occur, this must be relayed prior to appointment start
We are in a continually evolving circumstance. As new guidance is provided to us by the state and dental board, we will be adjusting our protocols and policies. Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding through these unprecedented times. Please take precautions, stay healthy, and smile ☺
Interested in understanding more about Covid-19?
The Florida DOH (Department of Health) has a dedicated Covid-19 Call Center at 866.779.6121, available 24 hours a day, for any questions. You also can email COVIDfirstname.lastname@example.org.
Here are a few links we like and have been frequenting-
1. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/faq.html Frequently Asked Questions
2. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/healthcare-facilities/steps-to-prepare.html How to prepare yourself - CDC Recommendations
3. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/healthcare-facilities/guidance-hcf.html Temporary Guidance by CDC
4. https://www.ada.org/en/press-room/news-releases/2020-archives/march/ada-calls-upon-dentists-to-postpone-elective-procedures The ADA's call to discontinue non-essential care
5. https://www.floridadental.org/ Orders issued by Gov. Ron DeSantis
6. http://www.flhealthsource.gov/covid19 Mandates in place: Covid-19