May 18, 2020
Dear Floss Patients,
From our family to yours, we hope that you and your loved ones have stayed healthy during this strange time. As many of you know, we decided to close our office on March 17th to slow the spread of COVID-19. Shortly thereafter, our governor’s proclamation mandated that we stay closed until May 18th.
May 18th is now upon us, and we are planning to open the office to see all of you again, with many new safety protocols in place. We trust this email will address any concerns you may have about your visit but, as always, we are available for questions.
Infection control has continually been a top priority for our practice, but we have put a number of new measures in effect to be sure that our patients and our team remain safe. We have hung Plexiglas barriers at our front desk and have placed air filtration units throughout the office. Of course, we also have proper masks, face shields, and other disposables available for all team members. We are hopeful that some of the changes we have made to the office can be temporary, but this is dependent on the local and global response to COVID-19. With that in mind, we are asking you, our patients, to help us stay safe.
This is how you can help:
- Please be patient with us! We are allowing more time between patient appointments to reduce waiting times for you and to reduce the number of patients in our office at one time.
- While we have taken every measure to ensure safety, please come to your appointment only if you are comfortable leaving your home. If your age (65+) or any existing medical condition puts you in a higher health risk category, please consider that prior to coming to our office. Those higher risk conditions may include heart disease, lung disease, kidney disease, diabetes or auto-immune disorders.
- Do not come to your appointment if you have shortness of breath, a cough, headache, any flu-like symptoms, or a temperature. We are advised by the American Dental Association and the CDC to complete a symptom report and temperature reading on every patient on arrival and daily for team members. We will not waive this for anyone, and we will not be able to see you if you have symptoms or a temperature above 100.4°F. This is non-negotiable!
- We ask that you do not bring additional people to your appointments. Certainly, if you need assistance arriving at our office, one caregiver is welcome. In our lobby, we have removed the magazines, toys, and most of the seating, and we are using chairs that are easy to disinfect.
- When you arrive to your appointment, please text us at 206-809-8064. One of our team members will meet you outside (either in your car or in the parking lot if you walked). There, you can report any symptoms or illness, and we will take your temperature, allow you to review our consent form, and walk you directly into your appointment room.
- When you enter the office, we will ask you to use provided hand sanitation, remove outside gloves if you have worn them to the office, wear a mask until your treatment begins, and practice social distancing.
The measures that we’ve taken to provide for patient and staff safety during a pandemic - the barriers, the protective gear, the furnishings - have unfortunately added significant cost to our operations. Therefore, consistent with other dental practices in the area, we will be adding a PPE charge of $20 to each appointment. The PPE fee might not be covered by your insurance provider, but we will submit the charges on each visit. We are hopeful that dental insurance companies will do the right thing and reimburse for the necessary efforts to keep our team and our patients safe; it has most certainly been an ongoing discussion between our dental association and major insurance providers. However, if the fee is not covered, this will be a patient-paid charge.
Our priority as we reopen next week is to see the 50+ patients who have contacted us over the last two months with non-life-threatening emergencies. As we become more adept at our new systems and PPE, we will open our schedule to more appointments, including hygiene visits and non-emergent care. If you feel that you need an emergency-type appointment and you have not been contacted by us, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
We are looking forward to reconnecting with all of you and taking care of those beautiful smiles we love so much!