There’s no doubt about it—COVID-19 sure did change a lot in our lives, seemingly in the blink of an eye. However, not even a pandemic can make a dent in our core mission to provide comfortable, compassionate dental care for each and every patient we have the pleasure of serving.
If anything, we’ll be going the extra mile to make sure each one of our patients is safe, protected, and still comfortable during their dental appointments with us. We have carefully prepared for the safety of our patients and staff based on recommendations by the American Dental Association. Before reopening our practice, our team has been extensively trained, including simulating patient treatments.
This level of preparation ensures that each staff member is confident in handling all patient safety procedures, from routine cleanings to more complex procedures so that your experience is as comfortable and safe as possible.
What to expect when you arrive for an appointment:
Wes and Laura Mullins have posted a video simulating a patient arrival, which you can check out here. Here’s how we’ll be handling our practices and procedures when we reopen, and what you can expect when you walk through our doors.
- When making or confirming your appointment, you’ll be asked to answer some basic screening questions before coming in about whether you’ve had any symptoms or exposure to COVID-19. These questions are posted on our website so you can submit them online, or we can go over them on the phone with you.
- When you arrive, you’ll be directed to call our front office from your car, and we’ll ask the same questions while you wait in your car. If you’ve had no symptoms or exposure, you’ll be prompted to meet one of our staff outside the front door where we’ll take your temperature. You will be asked to wear a cloth mask when you arrive, but we will provide you with a mask if you don’t have one. If you aren’t running a high temperature then you’ll be taken back to your treatment room.
- Any team members who will be treating you will be wearing N95 or P100 masks, face shields, and medical gowns to minimize germ transmission. Front desk team members will be wearing cloth masks and be behind a clear, plastic barrier.
- No one will be allowed to wait in the waiting room. Caregivers of children or other patients who need extra care will be allowed to accompany a patient back to the treatment room after he or she has also gone through the same screening questions and procedures as the patient.
So that you can see exactly what this process will look like, we’ve created a video to literally show you what steps you’ll take when you arrive for an appointment.
A couple of other things to note about your appointment:
- Appointments will be managed to allow for social distancing between patients, so there may be a bit fewer options for scheduling your appointment as we get started. We will do our best to allow greater time between patients to reduce waiting times for you.
- Fortunately, we were already in the final stages of hiring a new dental associate before COVID-19 closed dental offices, so we are thrilled to bring Dr. Austin Owen on board right when we need another trusted, caring team member. Dr. Owen will be seeing patients on Wednesdays and Thursdays to begin, which will help us take care of as many patients as safely as possible. Click here to hear Wes and Laura introduce Dr. Owen and talk about why he’s such a great fit.
Reassurance about our sanitation protocols:
Even before the arrival of COVID-19, our treatment rooms and dental tools have been continually treated with the highest possible sterilization procedures, and this will remain the norm. In addition:
- Prior to reopening, the office was thoroughly and professionally sanitized, including all surfaces and floors. At the end of each day, the floors will be vacuumed and all surfaces and frequently touched areas such as door handles, chairs, and bathrooms will be sanitized, in addition to all treatment areas.
- Our entire team has been certified in a Respiratory Protection Program that ensures we’re properly taking every precaution to protect our patients as well as our team.
- Team members will be thoroughly screened with a questionnaire and temperature check when arriving each day.
- We’ve made careful changes to “behind-the-scenes” staff protocols, including installing a washer and dryer and lockers so that team members can change into sanitized scrubs and gear only after arriving at the office.
Again, we invite you to take a look at the video walking you through how things will look—on our website and Facebook page before arriving for your appointment so that you’ll know what to expect when you walk through the door in the coming weeks.
Also, just a reminder that if you had an appointment cancelled due to the COVID-19 office closure, we will be calling you to reschedule. Our priority will be treating those patients with more urgent needs. If you have been in pain but have not called our office, please do so at 865-947-6453 so that we can get you in as soon as possible.
We are looking forward to seeing all of our patients again, and reassure you that we’ll take every precaution to navigate these changes for your safety and comfort. We care about you and are as committed as ever to helping however we can.
As always, please don’t hesitate to call us if you have any questions or concerns during this time at 865-947-6453