COVID-19 Patient Protocol Updates
YOUR HEALTH AND SAFETY ARE OUR FIRST CONCERN
Our complete staff is now 100% vaccinated for the Covid-19 virus, and in so doing we have not only protected ourselves individually but have more importantly minimized the possibility of any transmission of the virus to you, our patients. In addition, due to the increased vaccination rate and the reduced prevalence of the COVID-19 infection in our community, and in compliance with recent CDC and state health regulations, we are now able to relax some of the COVID-19 protocol mandates imposed during this last year.
Although the prevalence and consequences of the COVID-19 infection are historically diminished in the unvaccinated child population (under 12 years of age) we will continue to maintain certain COVID-19 protocols for the safety and protection of these patients.
WE NO LONGER REQUIRE:
- Patients and parents to call our office to request authorization before entering.
- Vaccinated patients and parents to wear facial coverage in the reception area.
- Temperature checks for all patients and visitors.
IN CONTINUATION, WE NOW:
- Recommend all unvaccinated patients, parents and visitors to wear facial coverage in the reception area
- Screen all patients and visitors for any disease symptoms
- Have removed all books, magazines, and toys from the office reception area to reduce potential for surface contamination.
- Maintain safe and social distancing between all patients and visitors by strictly controlling reception room seating.
- Forbid food and drinks in the reception area.
- 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.
- Have eliminated patient toothbrushing at the patient sinks to avoid the risk of disease transmission through saliva or contaminated water droplets.
- Continuously monitor all federal, state, and local health and infection control guidelines for updated protocols.
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.
We continue to experience little flexibility for appointment times due to the requirements of social distancing for our younger unvaccinated patients. It is, therefore, imperative that patients arrive punctually to avoid the inconvenience of reappointment for another date or time.
We request any unvaccinated patients experiencing any of the following traits, symptoms, or characteristics to refrain from scheduling dental procedures at this time:
- Presently or recently feverish (>100.4 F) within the past 14 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
PATIENT CHECK-IN PROCEDURE
All patients must arrive 10 to 15 minutes before the scheduled appointment time.
Any patients or persons with fever, coughs, or flu-like symptoms will be rescheduled and denied entry into the office
Fully vaccinated patients and individuals are no longer required to wear facial masks in the reception area.
Facial masks are recommended for all unvaccinated 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 mask or facial covering. Unfortunately, limited supplies do not allow us to do so.
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 unvaccinated 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. 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 regularly sanitize the sectional seating, disinfect door handles, counter tops, 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. A second hand sanitization is advocated before exiting the office. 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.
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 office staff in the reception area. 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.