We are beyond ready to get back to work and see everyone that we have missed so much! We hope this letter finds everyone healthy, happy and prepared to ease back into regular routines.
Our community/country has been through a lot over the last few months, while many things have changed, one thing has remained the same: our commitment to your safety.
Infection control has always been a top priority for our practice and you may have seen this during your visits to our office. Our infection control processes are made so that when you receive care, it’s both safe and comfortable. We want to tell you about the infection control procedures we follow in our practice to keep patients and staff safe.
Our office follows infection control recommendations made by the American Dental Association (ADA), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). We follow the activities of these agencies so that we are up-to-date on any new rulings or guidance that may be issued. We do this to make sure that our infection control procedures are current and adhere to each agencies’ recommendations.
TO THAT END, WE WILL BE REOPENING ON MONDAY, MAY 18. WE WILL BE FOLLOWING RIGOROUS SCHEDULING PROTOCOLS AND OFFICE MEASURES TO ENSURE THE SAFETY AND WELL-BEING OF YOU, OUR PATIENTS, AND THE TEAM MEMBERS AT DECATUR ORTHODONTICS.
We ask for your patience. We had to cancel hundreds of appointments, and we know that there is a strong desire to get your treatment back on track as soon as possible. We will eventually, but it will not be as efficient as we are used to in our office. This benefits everyone. We will have to be very firm in our processes and procedures. They have been well-thought-out and reviewed countless times by Dr. Francis and our entire team.
We have already begun rescheduling patients on a first-canceled-first-rescheduled basis, which is fair, efficient, and will serve everyone with getting back on track. Our office procedures have temporarily changed and will include the following:
We will be limiting the number of patients that we will have in the office at one time. It is important that you keep your appointment time or let us know as soon as possible that you cannot make it so that we are able to allocate that time to another patient. It is also important that you arrive early to your appointment so that we can devote our energy and focus to you and everyone at their scheduled time.
5-day appointment reminder:
We will send out a text reminder 5 days before your appointment. This will have a link to the wellness page (the one you are likely reading now) where you will be able to review all of our new policies and complete some paperwork. This includes a new consent form, as well as our 'Wellness Form'. Everyone who enters the office will be required to fill out this screening form so that we can best protect our team and other patients. This will prepare you so that you know what to expect on your upcoming visit.
2-day appointment reminder:
You will receive another text reminder 2 days before your appointment. This will remind you of your appointment date and time and also remind you to complete you pre-visit paperwork.
Curbside Waiting Room:
The morning of your appointment, you will get one more reminder. We will remind you to notify us if any symptoms have occurred. It will also let you know to text us when you arrive at the office and remain in your car. We will text you back to let you know that we are ready for you to come in. We will ask that only the patient comes in to limit the number of people in the office at one time. If a parent needs to come in with a patient, please let us know ahead of time so we can arrange a specific time where other patients will not be in the office. We will ask parents to come in with their own mask since we will not be able to provide masks due to the national shortage of PPE. If we run out of them, we will be forced to close the office until we restock them.
Post appointment follow-up & Scheduling:
You will receive a link to have a video chat with Dr. Francis and an assistant to update you on your child's treatment and to schedule the next appointment. An assistant will walk your child back to your vehicle.
Hand Sanitizer! We have hand sanitizer that we will ask you to use when you enter the office. You will also find some in the reception area and other places in the office for you to use as needed.
Temperature Check: Your temperature will be taken by staff using a touchless thermometer. If your temp is over 100 degrees F, you will be asked to leave and not return for the specified 14-day self-quarantine requirement.
No shortage of Laughs. You may see that our reception room will no longer offer magazines- since they are difficult to clean and disinfect.
Clean up, aisle 9. We will be sanitizing the reception area, all door handles, and common areas after each patient and minimally each hour.
Brush your teeth before you come! We have closed down our brushing station to limit any risk of exposure. For this reason, you will be doing us a great service by brushing before you come to your appointment.
Peroxide rinse. We will have a diluted peroxide solution that we may require you to rinse with for certain procedures. This will assist in creating a healthy oral environment for the Decatur Orthodontic team to work in.
We may look like aliens! Orthodontics is relatively non-invasive but you will see us wearing a bit more gear to protect our team and the other patients. This might mean we are wearing thicker masks, surgical gowns, and face shields for certain procedures. If you wish to know more about our protocols just ask.
6 feet closer to your new smile. Appointments will be managed to allow for social distancing between patients. That might mean that you’re offered fewer options for scheduling your appointment.
Virtual Visits: Observations, Retainer Check and simple Invisalign Appointments will be converted to virtual visits, in order to ensure we continue to provide care while minimizing the number of patients seen at the office during this pandemic. Team members will reach out for steps to utilize virtual visits.
No access to the bathroom. So prepare for that before your arrival.
It’s all for you… We will do our best to allow greater time between patients to reduce waiting times for you, as well as to reduce the number of patients in the reception area at any one time. This will also allow us to thoroughly disinfect everything. As mentioned above, we will maintain the high infection control and CDC standards that we have always practiced.
We look forward to seeing you again and are happy to answer any questions you may have about the steps we take to keep you, and every patient, safe in our practice.
We are so grateful for every one of our patients, and this time away has only served to make us even more thankful for each of you. Thank you for being our patient. We value your trust and loyalty and look forward to welcoming back our patients, neighbors and friends.