About the COVID-19 Virus

WE ARE BACK!

Is the dental office open?

Our office is open for all dental procedures including routine cleaning and exams.  If you had an appointment scheduled after May 31st, before the lock-down, please keep it.  If your appointment was cancelled between March 15th, and May 31st, please call to reappoint.  We will make our best effort to get caught up with your regular care.

What about my dental checkup that’s scheduled?

Keep it.  We may have to reschedule you to fit everyone in but make no mistake — six-month exams are still very important.  Let’s get that hygiene appointment rescheduled for you.

What about my appointment with Dr. Scarpati now that she has retired? 

All of us are sad to see her go.  Her career is to be celebrated.  The care she gave to her patients was excellent, but we must go on.  If you had an appointment with Dr. Scarpati please keep it with this office.  

What happens when I get to the dental office?

We request that you stay in the car and then we will text or call you when it is appropriate to enter the office. We will space appointments to avoid congestion in the office.  Companions must stay in the car.  We will ask questions, and for everyone’s safety you’ll want to answer honestly. These questions may include:

·       Have you had symptoms commonly associated with COVID-19? (common symptoms include fever, shortness of breath, dry cough, runny nose, or sore throat)

·       Within the past 14 days have you travelled by airplane?

·       Within the past 14 days have you been in close proximity (less than six feet) at a gathering of 10 or more persons?

·       Within the past 14 days have you had close contact with a person who has been confirmed positive or suspected to be positive for COVID-19?

What safety measures will the office take if I have to come in for treatment?

As health-care providers, we are trained on the CDC guidelines for infection control and using the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) such as mask and gloves.  We’ll attempt to minimize the use of equipment that creates airborne spray. This is a precautionary measure to limit the potential spread of the virus since any patient could be positive but undiagnosed and not yet exhibiting symptoms.  In our office we are requiring every patient to wash their hands and wear their masks when entering and leaving the office.   We will also ask you to rinse your mouth with the mouth rinse we provide.  We’re disinfecting every doorknob and countertop. From the front desk to the treatment rooms, everything is wiped down between patients.  We also incorporate an electro-static air filter to clean the air as much as possible.  Payments by credit card are preferred and you can pay through the website.

If I’m missing my checkup should I do anything differently?

Make sure you are brushing and flossing. Do everything as you would normally. It’s never been more important to do the best job possible to maintain your oral health.

Since many of us will have extra time on our hands, make sure you brush at least twice a day for two minutes.

If you feel like you want to take extra steps to protect your hygiene during this time, here are a few ideas:

·       Use a powered toothbrush like Sonicare or Oral-B GeniusWater-Pik Sonic-fusion is a brush and irrigation device all in one.

·       Use an irrigation device (water flosser) like the Water-Pik

·       Use your favorite mouth wash. Listerine is my choice, although, a dilute solution of peroxide is very effective.

·       Floss – if you don’t currently floss it’s a great opportunity to start. You have the extra time and once you’re in the habit you’ll like the extra clean feeling while also strengthening your gums!

If my child or I am in orthodontic treatment, will missing appointments cause harm?

The simple answer is “No.” Your teeth will just stop moving at some point. Once elective procedures are allowed again, treatment can easily be restarted, and your teeth will start moving from right where they left off. If you have aligners you may be able to have a tele-dentistry consultation and the dentist may possibly send you your next set of aligners. Otherwise, continue to use your current aligner. Even though your teeth will generally stop moving after a week or two in the same aligner, it will act as a retainer holding the teeth in place until you can be seen for your next aligner.

Stay safe and know that we’re here for you.

If you’re still confused or unclear as to whether you need to be seen in the office, email us or call us. (Contact details are on our website at garylstevensdds.com.  My staff and I are here for you, as are our dental colleagues for patients all over the country and the world for that matter.

During this time there will be a lot of things that may seem different in the dental office, but until this virus is under control and it is safe to return for normal dental treatment, hang in there!

Stay safe and healthy!