Our community has been through a lot in recent months and we are happy to announce that as of Monday, May 4, our office will be reopened and back to helping our patients get caught up on their oral health. Now more than ever maintaining oral health is important to maintaining a healthy immune system to fight the bacteria and viruses we may encounter in daily life, including COVID-19.While many things have changed, one thing has remained the same: our commitment to your safety. Infection control has always been a top priority for our practice and you may have seen this during your past visits to our office. We have closely monitored the COVID-19 recommendations of the ADA, CDC, OSHA, and the State of Colorado, making sure our infection control practices are up to date to protect both patients and staff alike.You may see some changes when it is time for your next appointment. We made these changes to help protect our patients and staff. We wanted to alert you to these changes so you know what to expect:
- Prescreening before your appointment – Our office will communicate with you before your appointments to ask some screening questions. You’ll be asked those same questions again when you are in the office along with your temperature being taken.
- Virtual waiting room – Upon arrival to our office you may be asked to check-in from your car via phone and wait for us to come and let you know when we are ready for you. This avoids congregation of patients in the waiting area. When passing through our waiting area you will no longer offer magazines and bottled water since those items are difficult to clean and disinfect.
- Hand hygiene – We have hand sanitizers or hand washing stations that we will ask you to use when you enter the office. You will also find some in the reception area and other places in the office for you to use as needed.
- Appointment availability – In order to manage social distancing between patients, we may have to ask you to be more flexible with appointment times than in the past.
- Provider safety – We have developed a plan for ongoing self-screening for all of our doctors and staff members to ensure we remain safe to treat patients.
Our practice has exceeded the recommendations provided by the CDC and state to make sure our patients and staff are safe during this time. We have invested in an office air purifier system and utilize multiple medical-grade H13 HEPA air filters to increase air turnover well above what is required in a dental office. We also utilize the highest level of personal protective equipment available to protect our patients and staff.
A screening protocol has also been put in place that all patients must pass our temperature checks before having any procedure done that may result in an aerosol spray. And, as an added safety measure, we utilize an extraoral suction, which suctions up the aerosol and filters it through a medical-grade filter.
According to the American Dental Association, millions of patients have safely visited their dental professionals’ offices for a full range of services. With appropriate precautions, dental care should continue to be delivered during global pandemics or other disastrous situations.
We look forward to seeing you again and are happy to answer any questions you may have about the steps we take to keep you, and every patient, safe in our practice.
Thank you for being our patient. We value your trust and loyalty and look forward to welcoming back our patients, neighbors, and friends.
Dr. Shumaker, Dr. Allen and the Northern Colorado Periodontics Team