A message to our Patient Family,
On March 17th, our office placed a hold on all non-emergent dental procedures to ensure the safety of our patients, our team and our families amidst the uncertainty of COVID-19. In the days following, recommendations came down from the CDC and the American Dental Association, followed by a mandate from Governor Ducey to stop all non-emergent procedures in an effort to preserve personal protective equipment (PPE) and decrease the spread of COVID-19. On April 22, Governor Ducey issued Executive Order 2020-32, allowing healthcare providers (including dental surgery providers) that have sufficient supplies of PPE, to resume elective, non-essential surgeries on May 1st. During this 5 week span, our team has been attending multiple webinars and virtual continuing education meetings to better understand this virus, and how it will affect our community and our practice moving forward. We have researched new equipment and systems available for various dental procedures; both mandated and recommended, and worked hard communicating around the clock with vendors to ensure the necessary protective resources are available for our practice. As moms, daughters and caregivers, the health and safety of our patients, teammates, and families remain our top priority. We are excited to get back to providing our patients with the exceptional comprehensive dental care you know and expect. While it might look a bit different when we return, we can assure you that we will stay up to date on all current CDC and ADA recommendations. We are also committed to going above and beyond current recommendations by utilizing state-of-the-art technology and procedural advancements to provide a safe environment for all given the circumstances.
In an effort to decrease the number of patients in our reception area, we have staggered all appointment times. You may notice a 15-30 minute shift in your previously scheduled appointment to accommodate this. If this new time isn’t convenient for you, please call or text our office to reschedule. In an effort to maintain social distancing, we ask that only patients with appointments come to the office with the exception of parents & guardians accompanying minors to their visit. If at all possible, we request that children not accompany their parent or guardian to said parent or guardian’s dental appointment.
Upon initial arrival, please check in at the front to have your temperature taken with our no-touch thermometer. You will also be required to complete a COVID‐19 PANDEMIC ‐ PATIENT DISCLOSURES form which provides us with information that must be considered before making dental treatment decisions.
Surgically Clean Air:
We have ordered 5 of Surgically Clean Air’s JADE Air Purifiers, the most advanced standalone medical grade air purifier available on the market. Combining multiple filtration systems including HEPA-Rx, Activated Carbon, Germicidal UV-C+ Bulbs, Hydroxyl Radical Reactivity Chamber, and a Revitalizing Negative ION chamber, these systems will constantly cycle the air in the dental operatories and reception area to capture dust particles, pollen, volatile organic chemicals (VOCs), mold, allergens, viruses, bio-aerosols, nitrous oxide, and many other pollutants that are found in air. To learn more, visit https://surgicallycleanair.com/jade/.
We are asking our patients to rinse with a pre-procedure mouthwash to reduce the salivary load of oral microbes, including potential coronavirus which is vulnerable to such oxidative rinses.
High Velocity Evacuation (Suction):
High Velocity Evacuation; or HVE used during dental procedures, is an effective way to control the aerosols & splatter created by 90%.
We have added the Dryshield system, an innovative all-in-one device that includes a comfortable mouthpiece and bite block in a variety of sizes, including pediatric for our littlest of smiles. This system acts as suction to get rid of oral liquids in addition to greatly reducing aerosols, while also acting as a tongue shield and an oral pathway protector. We can decrease procedural aerosols, and work more efficiently.
We have also added the M7 HVE Suction mirrors by GoldenDent to our office for our hygienists to use during routine and periodontal cleanings. The M7 HVE suction mirror has 20 suction holes, providing powerful and quick evacuation.
We have installed The Sterisil Straw to all of our dental units. This works to continuously disinfect dental unit water lines while providing safe and clean water for our patients, staff, and dental unit.
PPE & Uniforms:
Our entire team will now be wearing fresh scrubs and lab coats that are laundered on site to ensure minimum contact with germs and viruses. Our office is additionally prepared to treat you with the CDC recommended N95 masks, face shields and gloves as a new standard protection.
Touch Free Hand Sanitizers:
Will be available throughout the office for our patients’ & team to use
In addition to our standard after hours cleaning protocols, our team members work diligently to clean all surfaces throughout the day to help create a more sterile environment. Additionally we have installed virus trapping MERVE 13 Air filters to our office HVAC system.
We are excited to get back to caring for our amazing patient family! As always, we are thankful that you have chosen us to care for your smile, and we are committed to providing you with exceptional care. Rest assured, as we navigate this new normal, our unwavering team culture will carry us through this transition, and always provide you with an extraordinary patient experience.
We can’t wait to see your smile!
Dr. Katie Hicks & Team