I understand that you may have questions regarding face covering requirements in our dental office with recent changes to California’s mask mandate. I greatly respect everyone’s opinion and convictions regarding such a sensitive and controversial subject; however, I ask that all patients and visitors continue to wear face coverings and practice social distancing during their appointment, except when seated in the patient chair during treatment.
We have adopted our policies to comply with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidance for fully vaccinated individuals. The guidance states that face coverings and social distancing are still required for all individuals in healthcare settings, including dental offices, regardless of their vaccination status.
MISSED HYGIENE APPOINTMENTS
The hygiene scheduling is much better, but there is still a small backlog to get in with full hygiene schedules. If you have concerns, reach out to us. We will make every effort to get you all back on the schedule in a timely manner.
Not only does Jennifer have to reschedule missed appointments, but she also has to keep the current schedule full and moving forward. Please be patient.
PHONE AND OFFICE HOURS
The office will be open Monday through Thursday, and closed Fridays at this point. There will be two hygienists working every day Monday though Thursday. Dr. Doug will also be seeing patients Monday through Thursday.
COMMUNICATING WITH THE OFFICE
There are several ways you can communicate with us. The quickest, easiest, and BEST way is by text to the office phone number at 1-559-224-9925.
You can also send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr. Doug is also available by text at 1-559-307-7154 and by e-mail at email@example.com.
Of course, you can call the office directly Monday though Thursday. If we are unavailable to answer the call, you can always leave a voicemail and we will return your missed call as soon as possible.
If your e-mail is on file, an appointment reminder will be emailed 2 days before your dental appointment. If your mobile phone number is on file, you will also receive a text reminder one day before and one hour before your dental appointment.
I ask that you pay attention to your specific time. In order to stagger patient arrivals and adhere to social distancing guidelines for the safety of our patients, we are staggering appointment times. Therefore, your appointment time may have to change slightly to accommodate our staggering needs.
Please come to the front door and enter the office at your specific appointment time. Do not come in early. We are still making effort to limit patient exposure with other patients in the waiting room.
SOME NEW COVID-19 PROTOCOLS
Many of you should have already experienced what it is now like going into a healthcare facility. You can expect a few new things.
Besides the staggered appointment and efforts to social distance in the office, we also have adjusted our schedule to slow down and allow for staggered appointments with more time between appointments for treatment room cleaning and turnover.
Therefore, we will be seeing fewer patients during the day. The treatment rooms are less cluttered, and you will see more equipment covered in barriers.
Upon your arrival at your specific time, we will be ready for you and in the waiting room to ask you some questions and take your temperature. We are also taking our temperatures and monitoring ourselves for Covid-19 symptoms on a daily basis for your protection.
Masks are required to be worn in the office at all times. If you forget your mask, one will be provided for you.
We are utilizing room hepa filters throughout the office.
You will see us now wearing hair covers, with masks and face shields, in the treatment rooms and elsewhere in the office.
There is also a chance that while you are at your appointment, you might notice things are a little more noisy. We are utilizing cold fogging with hypochlorous acid, made from electrolyzed salt and water, between patient appointments to clean the treatment rooms. This technique kills viruses and bacteria in the air and on surfaces.
And finally, there is some new equipment in the treatment rooms: extra-oral suction units. These allow us to have hepa filtration 6 to 8 inches off your mouth in order to prevent the spread of aerosols that are generated when we are providing treatment during some procedures, mostly with the use of handpieces and cavitron teeth-cleaning instruments that a hygienist will sometimes use.
A FINAL NOTE
As vaccines have rolled out, the majority of our patients and children over 12 years of age continue to get vaccinated, which is very encouraging. Myself and my staff are all fully vaccinated. We continue to follow CDC, American Dental Association, and California Dental Association guidelines.
As a result, we are still screening ourselves every day in the office. Patients are still required to wear masks in healthcare settings, including dental offices, regardless of vaccine status. We also will continue to wear masks while in the office at this point. We are still performing covid screenings at every appointment with covid questionnaires and temperature taking. Vaccines are working.
At HALLORAN DENTISTRY, we believe in putting the health and safety of our dental team and patients first, and have always adopted the most cautious approach regarding government and health officials’ recommendations in response to the pandemic.
We thank you all for your understanding and patience as we work diligently to protect the health and safety of our patients and dental team during these challenging times.
If you have any questions or concerns about our dental office’s face covering policy, please contact our office at (559) 224-9925.
Be well and get vaccinated,
Dr. Doug Halloran