The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically changed everyone’s lives from education and work to grocery shopping and errands. 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. Throughout our extended closure due to COVID-19, we continue to use teledentistry to triage and treat the emergent dental needs of our patients to minimize emergency room visits and conserve much needed personnel, protective equipment, and facilities to address the pandemic.
In addition, we continue to work tirelessly to stay up to date on the latest recommendations from the American Dental Association (ADA), American Academy of Pediatric Dentists (AAPD), American Board of Pediatric Dentists (ABPD), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Minnesota Dental Association (MDA), and Governor Tim Walz. We follow the activities of these agencies so that we are up-to-date on any new rulings or guidance that may be issued to keep our patient families, staff and doctors safe while meeting the oral health care needs of our community. Dentistry has always been at the forefront of infection control using universal precautions when treating patients (assuming every patient has the potential to spread infectious disease) from basic hand washing to our personal protective equipment (PPE) and our cleaning and sterilization procedures.
In addition to the universal precautions we always follow, you will notice some changes when it is time for your next appointment. We made these changes to help protect our patients and staff.
- Prior to scheduled appointments our office will communicate with you beforehand to ask some screening questions. You’ll be asked those same questions again when you are in the office.
- At check in, patients and caregivers will have temperatures taken and all doctors and staff will be checking their temperatures twice daily.
- Appointments will be managed to allow for social distancing between patients. That might mean that you’re offered fewer options for scheduling your appointment. We will do our best to allow greater time between patients to reduce waiting times for you, as well as to prevent overcrowding of our reception and treatment areas.
- We are adhering to social distancing guidelines whenever possible and limiting the number of individuals allowed to accompany patients in the office to one parent and asking caregivers to wait in their cars when possible.
- We encourage caregivers and children (if they will tolerate) to wear a mask from home.
- We continue to have hand sanitizer dispensers located in our reception and treatment areas for patients and their families to use.
- We have removed all reading material in the waiting rooms and in addition have. temporarily closed our game/entertainment rooms.
- We have increased the frequency of cleaning of bathrooms and waiting rooms.
- Acrylic cough/sneeze guards have been installed at our front desks.
- We are encouraging payments to be made online or by phone.
- Our staff and doctors are using the best available personal protective equipment.
- We are continuing use of technology that is effective at limiting and cleaning the aerosols generated during dental treatment. This includes, but is not limited to, the use of our isolation systems, high suction evacuation, oxygen/nitrous oxide delivery systems and air scrubbers that incorporate the use of HEPA filtration and UV light to clean/exchange the air in our treatment areas.
- If you or a member of your immediate family is high risk for COVID-19 morbidity (immunocompromised, respiratory disease, complex medical history, etc) please notify our office.
On May 4th, Governor Walz announced that dentists may resume elective care starting Monday, May 11. We are truly excited to see you and your family again and are happy to answer any questions you may have about the steps we take to keep you, your family and our community safe and healthy. We will be reaching out to schedule canceled and overdue appointments. If you have questions, please call our office at 320.257.3380.
We want you to know we are thinking of each and every one of you – whether a team member or patient, you are a part of our Dentistry for Children family. Thank you for being our patient. We value your trust and loyalty and look forward to welcoming back our patients, neighbors and friends.