We're Open: New Office Procedures in the Midst of COVID-19
posted: Apr. 30, 2020.
Wow, what a wild couple of months! If someone had told us six months ago that our office would need to close for nearly two months, we would have bet money that Dr. Kevin did something dumb, like try to cut down his own trees, and broken his arm! Never in our wildest dreams could we have expected something like COVID-19. We are happy to report that our office team is healthy, and Dr. Kevin hasn’t broken any limbs- yet. He has been doing LOTS of yardwork and projects around the house. . . and he’s ready to come back to work! Dr. Monn, too!
We truly hope all of our families are healthy and as ready to get back to normal as we are.
As a member of the medical community, and the Upstate area, we have taken the COVID-19 pandemic very seriously and supported the needs of the first responders by closing our doors on March 16, as requested by the American Dental Association, to preserve PPE for healthcare providers on the front line. Anderson Pediatric Dentistry wants to personally thank the first responders and medical professionals that continue to risk their lives for the safety of others. They are truly the heroes in this crisis.
While we know that pediatric oral health is vital to your child’s overall wellbeing and health, we did see the bigger picture and felt the need to support the fight in the best way we could - by staying home. We decided to think big and we shared our PPE with Anmed and other providers throughout the southeast. We sent masks and gloves to everyone that asked. We knew this was going to be a community effort and made the decision to put the community first. And it was the right decision. However, life does continue, even in this strange world of social distancing. Cavities still happen, even when school is cancelled. Little teeth still need dental care. And it is with this in mind that we have been working hard to get our office back open to serve you.
We consider our patients to be part of our family and want to protect everyone that enters our office.
We are ready and we are happy to announce that we will be re-opening our doors to our patients for full care on Monday, May 4th. The ADA, SCDA, Dental board of South Carolina, and the CDC have all issued guidelines for dental care in the wake of COVID-19. We wanted to take a minute and let you know how we plan to keep our patients safe during this ever-changing situation:
- Prior to your family’s appointment, we will send you a Wellness Form via text. This is a simple 5 question survey that ensures you and your child are healthy and ready to be seen.
- We have created a virtual waiting room where you will text or call us to check-in when you have arrived at our office. You will then wait in your car and we will let you know when we are ready for you to come in.
- We have decided to significantly lower the patient volume of our office to ensure the health and well-being of our patients and our families.
- We will now allow only one adult to accompany each family seen in our office. No other siblings or children will be allowed to attend patient visits, except for the child being seen. We also encourage you to wear masks or face coverings during your visit, if you have them at home.
- Families will now be seen together in private rooms and we will be maintaining appropriate distancing guidelines in our open bay chairs. Each open bay chair is six feet away from its neighboring chair and patients will be spaced out appropriately.
- We have always followed CDC guidelines, but we have adapted to the new recommendations and we may at times be wearing significantly more PPE for our procedures. This ensures we all stay safe and protected.
- We will continue to offer procedure and isolation options that limit aerosolization, the main reason that dental offices are closed. All of our chairs are equipped with Isolite (Zyris) suction systems and we will continue to use them when appropriate to help limit aerosols in the rooms during procedures.
- We have ordered plexiglass barriers to help keep our staff safe throughout your visit.
- We now plan to have a unidirectional flow to our office. After you check in via text or phone, you will be greeted at the front door by your dental assistant who will help you safely navigate your appointment. You will be able to confirm your insurance and make payment prior to the procedure at the front desk, where we have appropriate isolation measures in place.
- Once the appointment is complete, you will then be reappointed for your next visit, if necessary, and you will be escorted out our side door, which leads to our parking lot.
Whew…that’s a lot of information. But we wanted to let you know what we have been up to and what to expect at your next visit. We do encourage you to discuss the changes with your child, as we know it will feel different to them, just as many things in life do these days. We may all have a little more distance between us, but we will still be the same caring, fun people that love our patients and seek to provide the highest quality dental care in a loving and safe environment. We thank you for your support and for trusting us with your child’s oral health care. The health and safety of everyone involved is our ultimate goal and we are confident that we have the measures in place to ensure you and your child will have safe dental visits with us. If you have further questions about the new procedures, please call our office at 864-760-1440 and we will be happy to answer your questions.
We truly can’t wait to see all of your smiling faces again. We look forward to giving our community Something to Smile About!
Dr. Kevin Nietzer and Team