COVID-19 Policies and Updates

Dentist in Wilmington DE

As we get ready to re-open our dental practice, I want to welcome you back. Knowing that a trip to the dentist can be an anxiety-provoking event even under the best of times, I thought walking you through what to expect at your next visit in this new era of Covid19 might help to reduce any anxiety that you may have.  By way of this post, I present to you the changes we have implemented to help keep you, my staff and myself safe.

We are NOT in ‘Business as Usual’ mode.  Far from it.  And we need your understanding and cooperation to make dental care work.  I liken these changes to what we have all experienced in going to the grocery store these days.  We plan ahead, figure out what we need and make a list, put on our masks, and follow the directional arrows throughout the store.  We have a plan, we execute the plan, and we get out as quickly as possible.  And we rely on everyone else in the store to follow the directions as a form of respect for the safety of all.  

We are asking that you take the same approach and be as methodical in coming to our office as you would be in going to the grocery store. 

Please refer to the attached sheet for what to expect immediately before, during and after your dental visit.  As time goes by, I will update these steps based on legislative and scientific developments.

Over the many years that I have been in practice, I have always appreciated the large windows that we have in our office.  It has been one of the main reason that I have chosen not to move from our current location.  Now, I have a bigger and better reason to stay put:  We have treatment rooms that are contained!  We can close the doors and help to minimize the spread of aerosols throughout the office.  A silver lining, I guess.  

If you have any questions or concerns, we ask that you call ahead of time so that we can make use of the safety that a phone provides.  I look forward to seeing you soon.

Sincerely, 

Karen C. Conlin, DDS

May, 2020 Protocol for Patient Visits Office of Karen C. Conlin, DDS

  1. Starting 5 days prior to your appointment, take and record your temperature.  If you are running a fever, or have symptoms that may be associated with Covid19, please call us to cancel your appointment. 
  1. A few days prior to your scheduled appointment, we will call you to question you about your health, your exposure to another person who has tested positive for COVID19, your travels outside of your home.  If you are a health risk ( due to your age, conditions such as COPD, asthma, immuno-compromised, diabetes, etc), if you have had recent exposure to another person, or if you yourself have tested positive for Covid19, we will have further discussion and may reschedule your appointment for a safer time.
  1. On the day of your appointment, call us when you arrive in our parking lot.  Stay in your car.  Put on your mask.  We will call you when we are ready for you to enter the building.  Upon entry to the upstairs foyer, a staff person will scan your forehead to check your temperature.  If it is above 100.4 degrees, we will not see you that day, and will refer you to your physician for evaluation.  We will reschedule you when you have been medically cleared.
  1. Leave everything but your keys, wallet and cell phone in your car.  Place your mask on before leaving your car.  NOTE:  Only the patient will be allowed into the office.  Exceptions will be made if the patient is a small child, and for those needing special assistance.  Please discuss your particular needs with us before you arrive.  A staff person will then ask you a series of questions, similar to those already asked via phone.  You will be asked to wash your hands and then to gargle and rinse with a dilute hydrogen peroxide solution for 30 seconds.  
  1. You will be escorted to the treatment room.  We will be masked, gloved and ready to begin treatment.  Leave your mask on until we ask you to remove it. Here you will notice some changes.  Our garb will be different.  Our suction devices will be in full working mode.  Our countertops will be bare for ease of cleaning. 
  1. At the end of treatment, you will again rinse with the hydrogen peroxide, you will put on your mask back on and you will be escorted to the front desk to check out.  There will be plexiglass ‘sneeze guards’ at the checkout counters.  Please do not reach around or try to talk around the sides of the sneeze guards.  We will say our goodbyes.
  1. Several days later, you will receive a follow up phone call from us to inquire about your health since your appointment.  We are attempting to help contain the spread of the virus by quickly identifying and quarantining any of us that might have been exposed to an infected individual.  We ask that you be proactive as well in calling us if you develop symptoms associated with COVID19.  We will do the same in return.  

PPE updates:  As situations dictate, we will be using N95 masks, Level 3 dental surgical masks, face shields and goggles, some disposable garbs.

Facility updates:  Most furniture has been removed from the office.  Physical distancing tape will be on the floor, as needed.  Treatment room doors will be closed while we work on you. High speed suctioning devices will be in place when aerosol-generating procedures are being used.  Counters will be bare to ease with cleaning.  Soap and hand sanitizer will be plentiful.

Staff protocols:  Staff, including me, will have temperatures taken twice a day:  before the start of the workday, and mid-day.  We will not report to work if we are sick or have been exposed to someone who is suspected of, or confirmed to have COVID19

Scheduling updates:  At first, we will operate on a significantly reduced patient load. We will allow extra time between patients to allow for cleaning the operatories, the rest rooms, and other high-touch surfaces.  And will be stagger appointments to reduce patient overlap at the check-in and check out times.  

This is a fluid situation, and as such, we will make changes to our facilities, our protocols, our schedules, and our attire as needed.  And along the way, we will keep you informed.  If we do not have your email address, please share it with us so we can communicate in a timely manner regarding developing changes related to COVID19.  Thank you.