On March 16, 2020 all our lives changed due to the Coronavirus. There has not been a pandemic of this magnitude since 1918. Many of us are unfamiliar with how to handle this life. Nearly everyone had to change what they were doing because of the virus and dentistry was no exception. We first thought that we would close for a short time and then quickly re-open. However, as we began to learn about the severity of the pandemic, we realized that things were going to change drastically.
Our office was closed March 16th with the exception of emergencies. I was devastated when I was forced to lay off Toni, Amanda, Melissa, Jacky, and Tina; the most amazing, dedicated, and caring young ladies that are the heartbeat of our practice. Debbie remained to field all of your calls, consulted with you and me, phoned in prescriptions, came in and assisted our emergencies, canceled and rescheduled your appointments, and was a friendly, calming voice for all of you. There are no words to thank Debbie enough for all she sacrificed for us during that seven-week period. I also want to send out a huge “thank you” to all patients that called with dental issues during this period – you were simply amazing! We were able to keep most of you comfortable without bringing you into the office which allowed you to stay safe at home. Due to you staying home during this time, we were able to donate gloves, masks and protective gear to our local Kent City Fire Department as they were in desperate need.
Starting May 4, 2020, we began our first stage of re-opening by only seeing patients that had emergency dental issues, patients that were in mid-treatment, and patients we delayed treatment during the previous seven weeks. In May, we also split into two different teams to lessen exposure and keep everyone safe by alternating fourteen days at the office / fourteen days at home. I am grateful for the way the five have returned, without hesitation, dedicated to this office and your patient care.
We began to plan the “new normal”. We had many “at home zoom meetings” to discuss the safety of our patients and staff. We researched many aspects of the Coronavirus; consulted dental professionals across the country; and listened to suggestions from the Center for Disease Control, Ohio Dental Association; American Dental Society, Occupational and Safety and Health Administration (OHSA), and the Governor. HVAC cleaning systems were installed in the office’s ventilation system, single air purifiers were placed in each treatment room, and plastic barriers were installed in many places throughout the building to decrease personal exposure. During this period, we allowed only one patient in the office at a time and were dressed in many layers head to toe.
Our second stage re-opening will begin June 1, 2020. When you arrive, you will notice many things will be different. We will be wearing surgical gowns, N-95 masks, surgical masks, and plastic shields for eye protection. We are also committed to lessen overlapping appointments, to reduce contact with other patients keeping with social distancing guidelines. We have removed the reception area furniture as well. We are also scheduling patients so there will be a patient in every other room, reducing usage of two rooms next to each other. We will be allowing extra time between patients for thorough cleaning and sterilization procedures.
As we welcome patients back to the office, the new normal will include the following:
- Patients must come alone to their appointments. Patients under the age of eighteen, may be escorted by one parent. The parent will be asked to stay in the treatment room with the patient for the entire appointment time. The parent can also give verbal authorization to the staff if the minor can come in alone.
- Patients will NOT be permitted to enter the building without an appointment.
- When arriving for an appointment, patients must stay in their vehicle and call the office (330-673-7001) to let us know they have arrived. At that time, the patient will either be directed to enter the office or stay in their car until a staff member will come out and get you.
- Everyone entering the building must wear a mask or face covering.
- Upon entering the building, we will take the patient’s temperature, review pre-screening health questions and ask patients to use hand sanitizer. If a temperature reads 100 or more degrees, patients will be asked to reschedule their appointment for another time.
- Patients will also be asked to use the restroom prior to entering the treatment room to minimize the flow of patient traffic in the building.
- During checkups and exams, hygienists will now have an assistant in the room to supply high volume suctioning when needed. This is to lessen the extra exposure of aerosol for all.
We at Tree City Dental appreciate your cooperation with our new protocols in keeping you, your family and our team safe. We cannot wait to see all of you again! Although you won’t see our smiles, we’ll be smiling under our masks.
Sincerely, Dr. Anderson
Due to the recent COVID-19 concern, we want to assure everyone about how we sanitize our office, we follow all universal precautions.
- All rooms are wiped down fully on all surfaces between every single patient with disinfecting wipes (that kill all viruses including the Coronavirus),
- Plastic barriers are placed where appropriate.
- All instruments are sterilized.
- The entire office is cleaned daily and the waiting area is wiped down with disinfectant wipes throughout the day.
- Everyone washes their hands between every single patient with antibacterial soap.
You can be rest assured we are following all the appropriate guidelines regarding cleanliness and disinfection of our entire office and instruments. We do ask if you are ill to please cancel your appointment and follow your doctor's orders and please keep us updated of any diagnosis you have so we can protect our staff and other patients.
If you have traveled to a location (international or local) where cases of COVID-19 has a high risk of community transmission, please call us to determine if you should keep your appointment.
Thank you for understanding and we assure you we are doing everything we can to make sure our office is safe for all.