21 May, 2020
Dear Patients and Friends,
I hope this letter finds you and your families in good health. I am pleased to announce that the office will be reopening Monday, June 1, 2020. Our community has been through a lot over the last few months and all of us are looking forward to resuming our normal habits and routines.
On Friday, May 8, the Illinois State Dental Society released guidelines for the reopening of dental offices. While my office has always followed infection control protocol, there are additional measures that will be in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic. All staff will be wearing the proper personal protective equipment (PPE), along with many other ancillary items to reduce the possible transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. In addition to N95 masks, KN95 masks, Level 3 masks, face shields, and acrylic barriers at the front desk, there are high evacuation systems in place, with HEPA-13 air purifiers. My office has always followed and will continue to follow updated infection control recommendations made by the American Dental Association (ADA), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Keeping you safe, while taking care of your dental needs, is my first and foremost priority.
Amidst this challenging time, my staff and I will continue to prioritize our customer service. There are new procedures that are in place to adhere to new regulations. We will continue to give our patients the best care, all while keeping you comfortable and reassured. Familiarizing yourself with these new procedures will ensure your visit is smooth and secure.
- About 24-48 hours prior to your appointment, you will be sent a screening questionnaire. Please complete this questionnaire upon receipt.
- When you arrive for your appointment, please stay in your car or outside and call us. You will be asked those same questions again. No one is allowed in our office, including myself and staff, if they have a fever, cough or have had contact with a COVID-19 positive person within the last 14 days
- Patients who have symptoms of acute respiratory illness or signs of a fever (99.9 degrees or higher) will be asked to reschedule their appointments until they are free of fever, without the use of fever-reducing or other symptom-altering medication (e.g. cough suppressants, Advil, Tylenol, etc.)
- Patients will wait to be called-in for their appointment. Once called in, you will be asked to sanitize your hands and we will take your temperature with a non-contact thermometer. If everything is ok, you will be escorted directly to your appointment room.
- Please arrive wearing a mask and do not remove it until in your appointment room
- Once you are in your appointment room, we will ask that you wash your hands and rinse with a special mouth-rinse.
- Once seated, you will be taken care of in the same caring and high-quality service you have come to expect at my office. Due to social distancing, only patients are allowed in the operatories. If there is a medical necessity, a family member may stay with the patient. At this time, no one may stay in the waiting room while patients are being seen.
- Our office staff will be donning more than the usual PPE. Because of the supply/demand and added expense at the current time, there will be an added expense of $15/visit. Insurance may cover some or all of this fee. You will see it as code D1999 on your bill or claim.
- Appointments will be managed to allow social distancing between patients.
If your appointment is with a hygienist for a regular cleaning appointment, you may notice a change in the traditional doctor’s exam. If I am in a procedure with another patient, your hygienist will be gathering information and evidence, so that I will be able to perform a “virtual exam” later in the day. If any photos, x-rays, charting and hygiene notes indicate to me that a return visit is necessary, you will be called so that an examination appointment can be scheduled. I realize that this may be redundant, and at times, inconvenient, however, these protocols are in place to help reduce the potential for transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
All future appointments will be scheduled while still in the operatory or hygiene room. All insurance claims will be submitted on your behalf. For those without insurance, your payment by phone or mail, will be noted. While we all like to check-in with each other, and talk about the latest in our lives, I ask that we postpone those conversations until another visit when these strict guidelines have been relaxed.
The office will be open on Monday, June 1, for routine cleanings, however, I will start seeing urgency patients on a limited basis before June 1. Those with the highest need and/or highest risk category will be scheduled first. If you have any questions, please call the office at (847)998-0155, or email the office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
My staff and I look forward to serving you with the excellent customer service and exceptional dental care you have grown accustomed to. Thank you for your patience during these times.
Eric N. Bloom, DDS