Posted by Dr. Julie Boudreault On 6-07-2020
We have all experienced several months of stress and adjustment since the COVID-19 pandemic reached Ontario. Despite this, we have all done our best to carry on and stay healthy. Our team is excited about being allowed to get back to taking care of our patients, with the full understanding you might be feeling nervous about your family’s safety when coming to your appointments. We want you to know there is no need to worry as we have taken every precaution recommended, and then some, to ensure you stay healthy. We encourage you to set up missed appointments as soon as possible to get your dental care back on track. With that in mind, here’s what to expect when you return to our office for care.
To ensure everyone follows safety precautions, we have posted signage to keep you informed of the new protocols in place. Look at the signs and feel free to ask our team any questions you might have. We want you to feel completely safe when you interact with our team.
A Little Change to Reception
You’re probably used to seeing safety screens when out grocery shopping to help prevent the possibility of “spray” between you and the cashiers. We have taken the same precaution at our front desk to keep things safer between you and our reception team. We’ve also limited the number of people booked to avoid crowded waiting rooms, which hopefully works in your favour with less wait time. In fact, we ask patients to wait until their assigned time to arrive at the office as we are limiting how many people can be in the waiting area to be safe.
Personal Protective Equipment
Our top priority is keeping you and our staff safe. You might be a little intimidated when you first visit because we have to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) to reduce the transmission of the virus. We hope everyone feels safer seeing us dressed in our PPE, but if you feel a little nervous or your kids think it seems a little scary, just remember it’s still us under all that gear, and we’re just as friendly and happy to see you as always! We also request you wear a mask upon entering our office. If you don’t have a mask, we are required to provide one and ask you to wear it until we say it’s okay to remove it for treatment. The important thing is that we all stay healthy!
The good news about hand hygiene is that this is something we’ve always practiced. All health care providers and their staff know that this is patient care 101 to avoid infection of any illness. You can rest assured we’ll continue this practice above and beyond to keep you healthy. We also ask that you use the hand sanitizer provided upon arrival to help reduce the number of germs tracked into the office and use it again when leaving.
Reducing Risk for Infection
Again, keeping our office, tools, and team sanitary has always been a top priority. We are doubling down on our cleaning practices to ensure every single tool that comes into contact with you has been thoroughly disinfected. We use special equipment that removes all traces of germs and bacteria so you can be completely protected from the possibility of transmitting any illness through contact with our tools and equipment.
Patient and Staff Screening
A new step at your appointments will be a screening to ensure you are not at risk of transmitting the virus to our patients and staff and vice versa. We will be asking a standard set of questions to ensure you are symptom-free before we provide treatment. Our staff will go through the same process every day, and we will also be taking temperatures to make sure no one has a fever. The Ontario Ministry of Health does allow patients who have screened or tested positive for COVID-19 to be treated only in case of emergency, and we will determine if your health is at more risk to be seen, or if it is safer to wait.
Our Empty Waiting Room
You’ll probably notice that our waiting room is now empty when it comes to toys to keep the kids busy while waiting for their appointments. There are also no longer books or magazines to read. This is to reduce the risk of spreading the virus by touch. We will do our best as always to keep to the schedule so waiting time doesn’t get too long and prevent everyone from getting antsy from boredom! As mentioned, we only have patients enter the office when we are ready to take them to their appointments.
We are trying to reduce the number of patients we see and might decide to speak to you via the phone first. This allows us to determine if you can wait for your appointment, or need to see our team. This is another precaution that the Chief Medical Officer of Health has recommended. We can provide in-person care, but because demand might be higher, we might need to push less urgent care further out to accommodate those who might have a dental emergency that requires immediate attention. We ask for your patience and want you to know we will always put your health first and won’t make you wait if your situation is urgent. This is both in your best interest and that of our team.
Of course, you will be unable to remain distanced from our dentists and hygienists during your treatment. However, as mentioned, we will be wearing proper PPE to protect our team and you from any possible transmission. We ask that until the time of your appointment in your treatment room that you maintain a safe two-meter distance from our team.
As always, your health is our number one priority. We ask for your patience during these difficult times and look forward to helping you maintain optimum dental health. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call Milltown Dental at 905-878-8528.