COVID-19 Policy/Procedures Update
We hope you and your family are in good health. As mandated by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Pennsylvania Department of Health, we closed our office along with all the other general dentists on March 19, 2020, to support social distancing. 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. While many things have changed, one thing has remained the same: our commitment to your safety.
Infection control has always been a top priority for our practice, and you may have seen this during your visits to our office. Our office was designed with infection control in mind by including private procedure rooms, hands-free foot-controlled sinks, and a tray delivery system that ensures sterilized instruments for procedures. These infection control processes were created so that when you receive care, it’s both safe and comfortable. We want to tell you about the infection control procedures we follow in our practice to keep patients and staff safe.
Our office follows infection control recommendations made by the CDC, the American Dental Association (ADA), and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). We follow the activities of these agencies so that we are up-to-date on any new rulings or guidance that may be issued. We do this to make sure that our infection control procedures are current and adhere to each agencies’ recommendations.
During this time of closure, we instituted new measures to enhance our existing virus control. You may see some changes when it is time for your next appointment. We made these changes to help protect our patients and staff. For example:
- Our office will communicate with you beforehand to ask for some screening questions. You’ll be asked those same questions again when you are in the office.
- We have added HEPA air purifiers to filter particles in the air.
- We have a hand sanitizer that we will ask you to use when you enter the office.
- You will see that our waiting room no longer offers magazines, children’s toys and so forth since those items are difficult to clean and disinfect. We have also reduced the number of chairs and increased the distance between them.
- We invested in special chairside high volume suction units to reduce aerosol droplets.
- We will wear protective face shield helmets and clothing to protect you and our staff.
- 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 reduce the number of patients in the reception area at any one time.
During the closure, we had to cancel hundreds of appointments for routine dental care. As soon as the Pennsylvania Department of Health authorizes us to resume normal operations we will need to see patients who have been dealing with problems first. Be assured that eventually everyone will be taken care of. To help us, we need your cooperation when we call to reschedule your appointments. Please schedule appointments you know you can keep – Last minute cancellations will only waste time that could have been used.
All of us in our practice have families that we come home to. We will start seeing patients when we are confident in protecting you and them. We will notify you when we are re-opened, and you can expect calls from us. We look forward to seeing you again and are happy to answer any questions you may have about the steps we take to keep you, and every patient, safe in our practice. If you have any questions, please call our office at (215) 673-1333 or visit our website for the latest news and updates. Thank you for your understanding and for being our patient. We value your trust and loyalty and look forward to welcoming back all our patients, neighbors and friends.
Drs. Allen and Brian Shapiro