Dear Patients and Friends,
We hope this letter finds you all healthy and in good spirits during this challenging time. The team and I are looking forward to seeing you again soon and we thank those of you who have offered words of support and encouragement. As of June 1, 2020, Governor Cuomo has opened up dental offices for regular patient care. We are scheduling patients commencing June 11, 2020. We are taking extraordinary measures to prepare the office for reopening. We are confident that we can provide the absolute safest environment for you.
As you are aware, our efforts have always been to provide the very highest level of dental care available to our valued patients. Given the new challenges we face in today's world, I am committed to ensuring the highest level of safety for all our patients and my staff. You may hear of other practices that are rushing to open and return to business as usual. However, there exists much conflicting information and confusion regarding what constitutes a safe practice. Please rest assured that I am diligently researching and implementing evidence-based approaches to ensure the safest possible environment and that we will reopen in the most responsible manner.
I want to update you on our new policies and protocols designed to keep you safe and comfortable in the office.
My focus during the recent closure has been to enhance our already stringent infection control and safety procedures to not only comply with, but exceed directives and mandates created by the State of New York, the American Dental Association, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
We have done extensive investigation to find innovative technology and methodology to keep everyone in our office - patients and staff - as protected as possible.
You will notice several changes in the office that are all focused to increase everyone's personal safety:
- Patient safety starts with staff and doctor safety. We will be tested prior to returning to work. Additionally, we will be tested at the beginning of each day for temperature and oxygen saturation levels.
- We will don the appropriate PPE at all times while in our office. Additional gowns and head coverings will also be implemented.
- To minimize your time in the office, our staff will communicate with you days in advance of your appointment to conduct a general health screening. These same questions will also be asked of you at your appointment time.
- We will ask you to please bring a mask to your dental appointment. If you do not have one, please let us know in advance.
- To keep you better informed, we ask that all patients sign up for text notifications as part of our virtual waiting room procedures, again to minimize your wait time in the reception area of the office.
- To protect you and your fellow patients we will kindly request that all patients come unaccompanied to their appointments unless there is an expressed need for an aide or other companion that has been approved in advance.
- In order to maintain safe social distance practices, we ask that you text us from the building lobby to let us know when you have arrived. We will notify you when we are ready for you to come up to the office. We will complete the screening questions again, take your temperature with a temporal thermometer, and address any business with the front office.
- We have hand sanitizer throughout the office for you to use. We will ask you to use it when you enter the office. You are free to use it in other areas in the office as needed.
- We will make every effort to bring you directly into the treatment room, avoiding any time spent in the waiting area.
- If you are bringing your own items such as books, magazines, headphones, etc. we will ask you to wipe them down with provided solution chairside.
- Temporary Plexiglas barriers will be installed in the reception area.
- Treatment team members will be wearing extensive personal protective equipment (PPE), as per CDC mandated guidelines.
- Patients also may be required to wear protective gear, as needed, for an appointment.
- There will be an ongoing "personal protective fee" per appointment to cover the additional costs of keeping us all adequately protected, per mandated guidelines.
- We will be designing patient flow to allow for physical distancing between patients. This will result in fewer appointment times available per day. Please be patient and understanding with appointment scheduling.
- We will continue to disinfect the office as per usual. We have installed new air filtration and decontamination systems which utilize non-chemical ultra-low energy technology which is powerful enough to destroy pathogens on contact, yet gentle enough for continued use around even vulnerable populations. These units are designed for rapid remediation in situations where infection risk is elevated.
I have purchased units which create batches of non-hazardous, eco-friendly, antiviral, electrolyzed water solution that can be used as a fog to eliminate airborne contaminates. The solution breaks down into salt water after use and poses no environmental or personal risk.
- We have new high-volume vacuum systems to aid in eliminating 90% of harmful aerosols generated through dental procedures.
- After your treatment is complete, we will ask you stay seated in the treatment room. We will likely complete your payment, if required, and appointment scheduling in the treatment room and help direct you out of the office to help maintain social distancing.
Change is always challenging, but my main concern is your health and safety. I will continue to approach your care with sensitivity, empathy, and integrity. As we navigate this "new normal" together, our ability to accommodate your needs while maintaining a safe environment will continue to be our foremost priority.
We look forward to seeing you again soon. My staff will be reaching out to help you resume your dental care.
Warmest Regards and best wishes for a quick return!
Jason Kasarsky DDS and his fabulous TEAM