COVID-19 Patient Protocol Updates
YOUR HEALTH AND SAFETY ARE OUR FIRST CONCERN
WE HAVE ALWAYS:
- Followed all infection control recommendations made by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the American Dental Association (ADA), the Ohio Department of Health, and the Ohio State Dental Board.
- Utilized one-use disposable supplies such as gloves, headrest covers, saliva ejectors, etc. whenever appropriate.
- Cleaned and heat sterilized all dental instruments and equipment between each patient use.
- Cleaned and disinfected all counter tops, handles, and operatory hard surfaces between each patient use.
- Minimized or eliminated any potentially contaminated aerosols produced by dental procedures by the usage of the rubber dam barrier for restorative procedures. (Few offices utilize this protection)
- Separated dental operatory chairs by more than 10 feet and by the presence of walls and physical barriers.
- Provided hand sanitizers for our patients and visitors.
IN ADDITION, WE NOW:
- Screen all patients and visitors for any disease symptoms and with temperature checks.
- Have removed all books, magazines, and toys from the office reception to reduce the potential for surface contamination.
- Require all patients and visitors to wear facial coverage in the reception room.
- Require all employees to wear facial masks at all times.
- Maintain safe social distancing between all patients and visitors by strictly controlling patient access and reception room seating.
- No longer allow parents (except for very young patients) or siblings to accompany patients in the dental operatory to avoid unwanted contamination of any operatory and office surfaces.
- Meticulously clean, disinfect, and sanitize all dental operatory surfaces including the dental and operator chairs between each patient use.
- Provide additional personal protective equipment (PPE) to all employees at no additional cost to our patients.
- Frequently clean and disinfect reception room surfaces throughout the day.
- Have eliminated patient toothbrushing at the patient sinks to avoid the risk of disease transmission through saliva or contaminated water droplets.
- Have increased the number of hand sanitizing stations throughout the office.
- Continuously monitor the staff health and require daily temperature checks.
- Continuously monitor all federal, state, and local health and infection control guidelines for updated protocols.
As we navigate our new normal, we wish to provide you, our patients and parents, with the tools and information required to make your dental experience as safe and comfortable as possible. Since face-to-face contact is limited for the foreseeable future, it is most imperative that we can communicate effectively with you electronically. For this purpose please be certain that our front office is provided with your most current contact information:
Email addresses and cell phone numbers
All general information involving changes and modifications regarding office policy and procedures will be communicated to each of you via email. Your cell phone number is necessary to not only confirm appointments but to complete any pre-appointment health screening. It is also necessary for authorization and notification for entry into the office. It is important that we now monitor patient flow into and out of our office to maintain mandated social distancing for the health and safety of all patients, staff, and visitors. Please be certain to inform us if a different cell number will be used to contact the day of or during your appointment.
Beginning Monday, May 4th, we are resuming all elective dental services for our patients with some associated modifications and restrictions. We are allowing more time between patients to allow for a thorough sanitization of the dental operatory. Our appointment times are less flexible due to the requirements of social distancing, and it is imperative that patients arrive in a timely manner to complete pre-appointment health evaluations. Late arrivals will most likely require reappointment.
Due to the virulent nature of the COVID-19 virus and for the health and safety of our staff and other patients, we are only able to schedule healthy and uncompromised patients for elective dental procedures at this time.
We request any patients experiencing any of the following traits, symptoms, or characteristics to refrain from scheduling elective dental procedures at this time:
- Presently or recently feverish (>100.4° F) within the past 14 to 21 days
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Flu-like symptoms, such as gastrointestinal upset, headache, or fatigue
- Recent loss of taste or smell
- In recent contact with a confirmed COVID-19 patient
- Heart disease, lung disease, kidney disease, diabetes, or any auto-immune disorder
- Travel in the past 14 days to other regions affected by COVID-19
Due to the backlog of patients requiring care that has been delayed by the pandemic, we are increasing patient contact hours as well as cancelling all staff leave for the immediate future. Presently, we are only able to provide treatment and services for appointed patients. Walk-in patients will not be admitted. Any patient experiencing a dental emergency should first call our office (614) 846-4711 for additional instructions.
PATIENT CHECK-IN PROCEDURE
All patients must arrive 10 to 15 minutes before the scheduled appointment time.
Patients must call the office (614) 846-4711 after arrival and wait in the car until they receive authorization to enter the office.
Any patients or persons with fever coughs or flu-like symptoms will be rescheduled and denied entry into the office
Facial masks covering both the nose and mouth will be required for all patients and individuals before entry into the office reception room. (Exceptions will be made for delivery personnel, infants, very young patients, or any individuals who are too young or immature to tolerate a facial mask. Please notify the office staff prior to your appointment if your child is in this category.) Patients and visitors are expected to provide their own masks or facial covering. Unfortunately, limited supplies do not allow us to do so. Any patient arriving without a facial mask will not be admitted into the reception room, can receive treatment, but must enter and exit through the rear office door for their appointment. Any accompanying adult or parent without a mask must wait outside the office.
Only appointed patients and (1) accompanying adult will be allowed entry into the office reception room. Due to social distancing requirements, we are not able to allow unappointed siblings, additional relatives, or friends to accompany patients in the reception area. (Exceptions can be made in unique circumstances if space allows. Please call the office prior to your appointment if you feel your situation is unique.)
Upon entry into the office reception, please proceed to check-in and sanitize your hands. Be careful to maintain social distancing with all other patients and visitors. The reception room contains (3) distinct sectional seating areas separated by barriers and social distance. The front desk personnel will direct you to the proper sectional seating area. Each seating section is limited to only (1) patient or patient family. Once seated, it is important that all individuals including very young children remain seated until directed otherwise by office personnel. Movement by individuals around the room will violate social distancing constraints, and you will be required to wait outside the office. A staff member will scan temperatures for all individuals in your seating group. Individuals with temperatures above 100.4° F will be rescheduled for treatment and/or required to exit the office. We recommend that you bring a book or electronic game for your child, as all toys, books, and magazines have been removed from the room. Although we sanitize the sectional seating at least twice daily, and more frequently disinfect door handles, countertops, and other hard surfaces, the reception area cannot be sanitized to the level of a dental operatory. We recommend minimizing touching of your face and any reception area surfaces. Second hand sanitization is advocated before exiting the office. Facial coverage should remain in place throughout your stay in the reception area. No food or drinks are allowed!
If sitting in the reception room with other patients and families is unacceptable or impossible, you have the option to wait in your car or in the office building atrium. These would typically be individuals who are accompanied by additional friends or unappointed family members which cannot be accommodated in the office reception room; parents who send their children in unaccompanied; persons who want to eliminate all possibility of any inadvertent social contact with other individuals. If you decide to wait in the building atrium, please be aware there is no seating and the atrium is shared as an entryway with the dental office across the hall. It is important that you or your family does not impede their patient entry into the building, your facial masking is sustained, and that social distancing can always be maintained.
Patients who elect to await their appointment outside of the office reception room will be notified by text or cell when the patient is needed. The patient will be greeted by the office staff in the reception area. Their temperature will be scanned and they will proceed directly to the dental operatory. Patients with elevated temperatures (above 100.4° F) will be required to reschedule. The parent or accompanying adult will be required to wait outside of the office and will be notified by text or cell when the appointment is completed.
Parents and siblings will no longer be allowed to accompany patients into the dental operatory due to infection and social distancing concerns. Exceptions will only be made in unique circumstances with prior approval. All parent and family seating located within the dental operatory has been removed for sanitization purposes.
A NOTE FROM DR. TOM
Please be assured that the health and safety of you and your family remain our primary concern. My staff and I have spent many hours reviewing and discussing the ever-changing federal, state, and local health guidelines. I believe the procedural modifications we are enacting best address the new challenges of the COVID-19 virus, and enable us to deliver dental services within this new environment in the safest manner possible for both patients and staff. We will continue to monitor changing health guidelines and will make additional modifications when necessary. Please feel free to call our office with any questions or concerns (614) 846-4711.
Yours for better dental health,
Thomas A Becher, DMD
Kala is the cheery voice and pleasant smile that greets you at our office. She is the “concierge” of our practice, manages the daily activities of our office, and can assist you with all your insurance and accounting needs. She bubbles with energy and enthusiasm, and always brightens our day.
Kala is the proud mother of 2 wonderful little boys. She loves all sports, playing board games, taking vacations to Florida, eating tacos, and being a “mommy!”
The Greatest Smiles on Earth is Worthington, Ohio’s #1 Choice For Pediatric & Orthodontic Dental Care
We recommend a first comprehensive dental visit including a professional cleaning at 2 to 3 years of age. This gives us the opportunity to establish good dental habits at an early age, and correct any existing problems before they become serious and result in permanent damage.
As a parent, you can play an important role in preparing your child for this visit. It is important to demonstrate positive attitudes and encouraging language when describing the dental visit. Avoid using technical terminology unfamiliar to your child to describe dental procedures. Children’s books and videos can assist you in communication by describing the dental visit utilizing age-appropriate language and visualizations. Be positive! Describe the first visit as an adventure, much like a visit to the zoo.