COVID-19 UPDATE - April 30th, 2020
In March and early April, the CDC and the American Dental Association issued a recommendation that dentists should only perform urgent and emergent dental care. This guidance was driven by data demonstrating an alarming rise in the community transmission across the country and the need to flatten the COVID-19 curve of infection and death, and to protect dental personnel and their patients from the virus. For the past 6 weeks, along with the majority of the dental industry, New Haven Dental has been strictly following these guidelines in order to continue offering a safe environment for our patients and staff, as well as do our part in flattening the curve.
As the federal and state government begin reopening areas of the country, dental offices have been included in phase one of this process. After careful consideration and extensive research, New Haven Dental is moving forward with reopening our doors and offering comprehensive dental care to all of our patients again beginning on May 4th. This decision comes with well thought out precautionary measures to ensure we continue to provide all of our patients and staff the same safe environment that we have been maintaining over the last 6 weeks. During the closure, our dentists and team have been staying informed and up to date with all of the changes in the pandemic crisis, especially in the ways that affect dentistry. We can assure you that every decision that is being made in our office is being made purposefully and educationally, and we are so excited to have you all back so that we can continue to move forward with everyone’s oral healthcare!
We understand that you have many different questions regarding our opening. Read below to for some Frequently Asked Questions and reposonses to these question in order to help answer any possible questions you may have. As you might expect, our office phones will be extremely busy these next few weeks, so we ask and appreciate your patience with us. We are so thankful and blessed to have such a great community to work with through this time and we appreciate all of you so much. Continue to stay safe and healthy, and we will see you all soon!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Why are dentists included in the first phase of reopening?
The government and ADA understand that the longer dental practices remain closed to preventative care and treatment for early forms of dental disease, the more likely patients’ untreated disease will progress, increasing the complexity and cost for treatment down the road. Dentistry, while the majority of the time does not include life threatening problems, is a major contributor to comprehensive health, and when compromised can lead to other health complications or a lower quality of life. Maintaining good oral health helps with good overall health, which is imperative in this current pandemic time.
How am I going to reschedule or schedule my appointments?
Please wait for us to contact you. During the closure, we have kept track of all of our patients that we had to reschedule, that have called to try to get in for the closure, and that still have treatment that was unscheduled before the closure. We have an amazing front desk staff following a very organized system that they have worked hard on to make sure no one is forgotten.
- If you have already contacted our office requesting an appointment during the closure, or if you have been rescheduled because of the closure, please do not call the office. You can expect a call from us in the next 2 weeks to schedule your new appointment time.
- If you have a new dental problem or did not have a scheduled appointment prior to the closure, you may call or text our office and request an appointment time and we will work to get you scheduled as soon as possible. We appreciate all of your patience and understanding during this time.
What is New Haven Dental doing to help keep me safe at my dental appointment?
We have spent countless hours looking over CDC, ADA, MDA, and state government guidelines, and we have made all decisions based on the most factual recommendations that we have available at this time. We have always worked hard to deliver the highest standard of care, which we plan on continuing to do. Some things that you might notice we are doing differently in the office now and for the foreseeable future are:
- Increased staff personal protective equipment: This is for the staff members’ safety as well as all patients’ safety.
- Increased health screening of all staff and patients: Every patient will be asked, before their appointment, screening questions to determine if they have possibly been exposed to COVID-19 as well as get their temperature taken. If a person has a fever or answers yes to the screening questions, we will reschedule them at no charge. At the beginning of each workday, the entire New Haven Dental staff is taking their temperatures as well, and know that if we have anything contagious, we will not come into work until we are healthy as well.
- Routine hourly disinfection of waiting room, bathrooms, and door handles
- Increased control of aerosol reduction: We are using FDA approved barrier devices whenever possible and high-speed evacuation suctioning during every aerosol producing procedure. We are VERY excited to announce that the hygienists have a new suctioning device that will be used in your cleaning appointments that has been proven to reduce aerosol introduction by 90%!
- Making sure only the necessary amount of people are in our office building at the same time: We ask that you don’t bring anyone with you to your appointments unless absolutely necessary to help with mobility or financial decisions. We also are requesting that anyone that is not currently sitting in a chair to have dental work done sit out in their car. We will not be utilizing the waiting room until further notice.
- Increasing use of “paperless” documentation and communication: We will be asking all patients that can to complete all paperwork online before their appointment if at all possible. For those unable to do this, we will have you complete the paperwork in the dental chair before your appointment. We are also asking that you text or call the office to let us know you are here for your appointment, and wait in your car until we are ready for you, rather than coming in and checking.
What can I expect when I get to my dental appointment?
- When you arrive, we ask you to text or call us to let us know you are at the office. Then just wait in your car until we call or text you back and ask you to come.
- When you come into the office, your hygienist or assistant will be waiting for you at the waiting room door. They will ask you screening questions again and take your temperature.
- Once you are cleared, you will be taken back to the dental chair. Before you sit down, we will have you wash your hands and rinse with hydrogen peroxide for one minute. Hydrogen peroxide has not been proven to kill COVID-19, but it does reduce bacteria and viruses in the mouth and has been backed by the CDC and ADA as an acceptable, absolutely harmless precautionary measure.
- After your dental procedure we will have you wash your hands again before leaving the room.
Is there anything else New Haven Dental would like me to know?
- We are asking everyone to communicate with us through text if they can. This is because there will be a large increase in phone traffic over the next few months to aid in social distancing practices. We understand if you need to call, we just ask you to text if you can.
- We are asking you to reschedule your appointment if you think you are sick with anything contagious. Not just with COVID-19, but anything that could possibly be transmitted to another patient or staff member. We will not charge you a cancellation fee if you call in sick and reschedule your appointment. During this current time, we all need to help each other stay healthy.
- Our staff will have full coverage personal protective equipment on at all time, so you will not need to worry about social distancing with us, but while you are in the office, please attempt social distancing with other patients whenever you can. Our staff will be constantly communicating to direct you and others, to prevent crowded hallways and allow everyone to maintain 6 feet of distance.
- Please do not ask us if we can give you any masks, gloves, or other personal protective equipment. The shortage of this equipment is still a very large problem in the country and we need to conserve all of our supplies in our office so that we can remain open in the future to continue to serve you in the safest way possible.
At New Haven Dental, we value our patient relationships, making it our priority to deliver gentle, compassionate care that you deserve. We work hard to create the ultimate stress-free and comfortable dental experience. By using the latest dental technology in our state-of-the-art building, our experienced and dedicated staff will provide you with exceptional dental care. The result is a beautiful and healthy smile that lasts a lifetime. We believe that patients should have sufficient information to make educated decisions about their oral health and treatment options. You'll find all of this important information on our website.
Our services include:
- General Dentistry
- Teeth Whitening
- Preventative Care
Discover a new dental experience at New Haven Dental! We look forward to caring for you and your family's dental needs.