June 6, 2020
**Please read to the end for office updates!**
We hope this finds you and your family in good health. 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 over time. 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 no doubt have seen this during your prior visits to our office. Our baseline infection control processes are made so that when you receive care, it is both safe and comfortable. Our office has always followed and adhered to infection control recommendations made by the American Dental Association (ADA), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 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 the recommendations of each agency.
To that end, you will see some changes when it is time for your next appointment. We have implemented these changes to help protect our patients and staff at an even higher level. For example:
Our office will communicate with you beforehand to ask some screening questions. You will be asked those same questions again when you arrive at the office.
- We will take your temperature before you enter the office, as well as your blood oxygen saturation level.
- We have hand sanitizer that we will ask you to use when you enter the office. You will also find some in the reception area and other places in the office for you to use as needed.
- We ask that just as you do upon entering any public space, you wear a protective face covering until you need to remove it for treatment, and that you replace it as soon as treatment is completed, before you leave the treatment room.
- We will ask you to do a pre-procedural rinse with a hydrogen peroxide solution, as hydrogen peroxide has proven effective in killing the SARS-Cov-2 virus.
- We will require that you contact the office upon arrival via your phone, and wait in your car until we notify you that we are ready to treat you. In some cases, you may need to fill out paperwork, which will require you coming in to get it, and going back to the car to fill it out.
- You will see that our waiting room will no longer offer magazines, children’s toys and so forth, since those items are difficult to adequately clean and disinfect.
- Appointments will be managed to allow for social distancing between patients, which will mean fewer patients in the office at any given time. That might mean that you are offered fewer options for scheduling your appointment, or that it is scheduled further out, particularly while we try and catch up on the weeks of appointments that were cancelled. We appreciate your patience as we work through getting everyone back in!
- We request that you come to your appointment alone, and that anyone accompanying you wait in the car, in an effort to keep the traffic down in the office.
- 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.
- Due to the exorbitant costs incurred by our office (and all offices) in securing proper PPE to protect everyone, you will see a small fee added to appointments to help cover the costs of this. Our hope is that once the supply chain is restored, the costs will go down and we can eliminate this fee. Currently, the prices of masks, gloves, gowns, surgical caps, and disinfection products has increased more than 5 TIMES what it was in early March. Please understand that this charge is TEMPORARY.
- You will notice several changes within the office, including extraoral suction to keep aerosols to a minimum during procedures, medical grade HEPA filters, additional PPE for staff, plexiglass sneeze guards at the front desk, hand sanitizer stations, and more, all in our best efforts to keep everyone as safe as possible.
- Behind the scenes, in addition to our usual stringent infection control procedures, know that we are using a hypochlorous (HOCl) acid solution in a cold fogger multiple times daily to decontaminate any Covid-19 viral components that could be present.
- We will be spending a lot of time between patients cleaning and sanitizing treatment rooms, but there are only a limited number of us. To this end, we ask that you plan ahead and use the restroom at home before your appointment, as well as brush your teeth at home, as we can no longer let you do that in-office. The restroom will be on an emergency basis only, as it will require a thorough cleaning/disinfection afterward, and will stretch our staff.
We know these new procedures may seem strange and even uncomfortable at first, and we appreciate your understanding and cooperation. 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, and our staff safe in our practice. To make an appointment, please call 415-453-9470, or visit our website at www.lochlomondfamilydental.com. Thank you for being our patient. We value your trust and loyalty and look forward to welcoming back our patients, neighbors and friends!
OUR PLAN IS TO START SEEING ROUTINE CARE PATIENTS ON MONDAY, JUNE 8. IF WE HAD TO CANCEL A PREVIOUS APPOINTMENT DUE TO THE OFFICE CLOSURE, PLEASE REST ASSURED WE HAVE YOU ON OUR LIST AND WE WILL BE REACHING OUT VERY SOON! If you have an upcoming appointment scheduled months ago, please know that we may need to adjust it due to our capacity restrictions. If we contact you with a potential time, and it is not going to work for you, please let us know ASAP, so that we can offer it to another displaced patient. Initially, there will be a little bit of backlog, but we are working hard to make sure we can see you, and appreciate your patience. Thank you, and we look forward to seeing you all soon!
LLFD Covid-19 Update #3 4/24/20
A warm hello to everyone. I hope this finds you well, and making the best of what has no doubt been an unprecedented situation. I wanted to reach out, personally, for this update. While I still have no definite answers, I am continuing to monitor closely the Covid-19 situation at local, state, and national levels to make the most informed decisions possible. As we get closer to a potential re-opening, I am working hard to modify protocols, and to secure proper PPE to ensure the safest experience for all patients and staff. There are many unknowns, but the one known is that I want to ensure safety all around.
Currently, the CA stay at home orders expire on 5/3/2020, unless they are extended. I am awaiting revised and updated guidance from the CDC, ADA, and CDA. I am hopeful that we could at least begin to resume some of the more pressing care after this date - especially for those of you that have contacted us with needs. At the moment, I am not sure where or when preventative care will fully resume, as all of our current guidance states we should be minimizing this due to aerosol generation, PPE preservation, and number of patients in the office at any given time.
I appreciate everyone’s understanding and support. This has certainly been frustrating. Obviously, I want to take care of everyone, but most importantly, I want to make sure everyone is adequately protected. I wish everyone the best, I hope you are safe at home, and maybe this has been a time to reconnect with family, a hobby or passion, or yourself. We will all get through this, and while I cannot say things will not change drastically in how dental care delivery looks (as it did back in the early days of HIV), we will evolve and adapt and emerge stronger, more knowledgeable, and more protected. Stay safe everyone, and if you need to reach us, you can email email@example.com, or leave a message on the office phone, 415-453-9470. If you are experiencing a dental emergency, or have a question, you can also text me anytime at 415-939-7317.
Stay well, and take care of yourselves!
With gratitude to all of you,
Covid-19 Practice Update: 3/27/20
To All of Our Valued Patients,
As you know, the COVID-19 pandemic situation is evolving hourly. We wanted to again reach out to reassure you that we are closely monitoring the situation and taking the most current scientific updates into account regarding our practice and patient care. Our goal is to stay well-informed and provide the highest level of care and safety to our patients and their families.
The most recent update for our profession as of Friday, March 20th, 2020, is that the California Dental Association (CDA), along with the CDC and American Dental Association (ADA) are strongly recommending that all dentists practicing in California suspend all non-urgent dental care until further notice.
With these guidelines in mind, we are cancelling all scheduled appointments through April 17, 2020. As we get closer to that date, we will again re-evaluate the situation and current guidelines and adjust the schedule as needed. Please understand that this unfortunately may include further delays and cancellations.
We continue to be available for any necessary emergency care that may arise by phone at (415)453-9470 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org both during and after business hours if you need to reach us for any emergency care consultations or questions. Please don't hesitate to call. We are checking voicemail and email hourly during regular business hours.
We are committed to doing our part to contain the virus, not further tax the already dangerously low PPE supply, and keep our community safe. We truly appreciate your understanding during these unprecedented times - this is definitely a first for all of us. We can't wait to see you in the office again soon.
Our wish for you is to stay well.
Kimberly Haas, DDS, PC
Loch Lomond Family Dental
COVID-19 Practice Update
To All of Our Patients,
As you know, the updates and impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic are constantly changing and evolving day to day. We wanted to reach out to reassure you that we are closely monitoring the situation and taking the most current scientific updates into account regarding our practice and patient care. Our goal is to stay well-informed, plan effective screening and infection control protocols, and provide the highest level of care and safety to our patients and their families.
The most recent update for our profession as of Sunday, March 15th, 2020, is that the California Dental Association (CDA) is strongly recommending that dentists practicing in California voluntarily suspend non-essential and non-urgent dental care for the next 14 days.
In the interim, we will need to reschedule any non-urgent care at this time. We will be available for any necessary emergency care that may arise by phone at (415)453-9470 or email at email@example.com both during and after business hours if you need to reach us for any emergency care consultations or questions.
Tentatively, we will plan to re-open our schedule to elective patient care on Monday, March 30th, 2020, though we realize that the situation is continually developing, and could pose a need for further delay. Upon resumption of our care, we will be implementing proper patient screening and infection control measures to keep our patients safe and protected. We ask that if you are exhibiting any cold/flu like symptoms (sore throat, cough, fever), have come in contact with anyone diagnosed with COVID-19, or have had recent travel to high risk areas within the last 3 weeks, to please call our office to further postponement of your appointment.
We truly appreciate your understanding during these unprecedented times!