Dear patients, families, and friends;
We are excited to announce that thanks to the tremendous efforts by our community to practice social distancing, the Nevada State Board of Dental Examiners (NSBDE), upon recommendation from the governor, has allowed dental offices to reopen on a limited basis. We are very happy to be having patients in the office again, even if we will not be able to perform all procedures at first. While we are going to be able to treat patients again, a lot has changed, and we want patients to be aware of some of the things that will be different.
We have always taken pride in our dedication to infection control in the office. Keeping patients safe from infection has always been one of our top priorities. With an increased risk of disease transmission from the Coronavirus, we have taken additional steps to keep you and our team safe.
- We are asking all patients to check in from their cars to reduce the number of people in the office and practice social distancing between our patients. When you call you will be asked a series of screening questions, the same ones we will ask when we schedule your appointment.
- All patients must sign a consent for treatment form for each appointment. It is available on our website under patient forms if you would like to read and submit your form in advance.
- We will stagger bringing patients into the office to prevent any contact between patients. Please wear a mask into the office, if you have one, to protect our team. If you do not have a mask, one will be provided to you when you arrive.
- Patients will have their temperatures taken, be asked to sanitize their hands and rinse their mouths with an antimicrobial rinse.
Staff Protection & Equipment Disinfection
- Our team will have extra levels of Personal Protective Equipment. Assistants working on patients will have gowns and facemasks, in addition to the gloves, masks and eye protection we have always worn.
- Every unit will be rigorously disinfected between patients, and we will maintain strict distances between patients.
- As always, all instruments and appliances will be sterilized in accordance with the strictest infection control standards.
After your appointment
All conversations about treatment and scheduling will be done over the phone to protect our front office team. We will call you near the end of your child’s appointment to update you on procedure performed and schedule your follow-up visit. Any payment, insurance or other financial inquiries will also be handled over the phone.
We understand some of these procedures may seem odd or onerous, but we are following recommendations from state and national organizations to do what will best protect our patients and staff from potential infections.
The NSBDE has limited the procedures we are allowed to perform at this time to reduce potential transmission. Sadly, for many of our patients that are excited to start or finish their treatment, we are not currently allowed to remove braces from existing patients or place braces on new patients. This is in order to reduce any infectious aerosols that may be created by these procedures.
My heart breaks for all of those patients who are patiently waiting to see the smiles they have been working so hard to perfect over the past months and years. Hopefully, these procedures will be allowed when Nevada reaches Phase I of Governor Sisolak’s Road to Recovery. We are preparing specific treatment areas to bond and de-bond patients in rooms that are equipped with air filtration units for extra patient and orthodontic team protection.
We will continue to perform as many visits as we can virtually using telemedicine to reduce the number of patients who must come into the office. We ask that all patients with retainers, Invisalign, and our observation patients visit www.orthoscreening.com and use the code 825D73 to complete a virtual visit with me. This way we can continue to monitor your treatment and determine if an in-office appointment is necessary.
We will also be performing new patient exams virtually from the safety of your home. Please call Nicole at our office if you are interested in having an exam appointment in this manner.
For those patients we are able to see at this time, we will be calling you in the coming weeks to schedule you for your appointment. In order to follow all of the recommendations from the state, the CDC and the American Dental Association, we will be assigning appointment times for all of our patients.
We will see patients back based on a number of factors, including when their last appointment was, the severity of their case, and the urgency of the treatment needed to perform. If we do not call you right away, please be patient. We did not forget about you or see your treatment as any less valuable; we just have patients who, without monitoring, have a greater risk of negative side effects occurring. If you do have a pressing concern, please submit a virtual visit and we can determine if you need to be seen more urgently.
Choosing to Delay Scheduled Appointments
Despite all of these precautions, there may still be patients that do not wish to come into the office at this time. I understand your concerns and would not want to put a patient in the situation where they feel forced to come in. If we call you for an appointment and you do not wish to come in, we recommend completing a virtual appointment. This will allow me to observe the condition of your teeth and appliances and determine if there are any risks to postponing treatment.
We thank all of you for your understanding and patience during these difficult times. We can’t wait to see you, and are all so excited to see your smiling faces again!