May 12, 2020
Dear CV Orthodontics patients,
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. Much has changed since we saw you last, and we are all still coming to grips with the COVID-19 pandemic and events triggered by it. We want to update you on our office, its measured re-opening, and the steps we are taking to ensure we do everything possible to keep our patients and our team healthy.
While our office has been closed, we (Drs. Sionit & Taylor) have been following the latest recommendations from the CDC, OSHA, the American Dental Association, the American Orthodontic Association and others in order to be prepared for a safe return to our office for you, our patients, and for our amazing team. This wealth of information is continually changing, and we will continue to stay abreast of the latest developments as best as possible.
To that end, we are slowly re-opening in Carlsbad and hope to be able to do the same in Carmel Valley shortly after. Some procedures are not yet permitted and we will be following rigorous new scheduling protocols and in-office measures to ensure your safety.
We ask for your patience as we go through this process, as we had to cancel over two months of appointments. We know that there is a strong desire to get your treatment back on track as soon as possible and we want that for you, too. However, with the implementation of our new protocols to keep you and your family members safe, we cannot not be as efficient as we wish. This caution will benefit everyone and we will have to be very firm in adhering to our new processes and procedures. They have been well thought-out.
We have already begun rescheduling patients on a first-canceled-first-rescheduled basis, which is fair, efficient, and will serve everyone as we get back on track. Our new office procedures will include the following:
- Consultations and “smile-check” appointments will offer a remote/virtual option, instead of coming in to the office. However, scheduling of in-office appointments will be paused for now. We will contact you to see which option you prefer.
- We will contact you to reschedule your appointments and we will do our utmost to accommodate you as best we can. However, please understand that:
- We will have far fewer appointments available each day due to our new safety measures,
- We will not be able to schedule according to whom calls us first. We have a comprehensive list of every appointment cancelled and we will be scheduling in accordance with that list.
- We must prioritize emergencies (pain/infection) that require immediate attention. We will not be able to consider broken brackets and ill-fitting aligner trays as emergency appointments at this time.
- Certain procedures that create aerosol byproducts must be modified, seen in increased isolation, and at limited appointment times for safety reasons.
What to expect at your next visit:
- We will be sending you a link to our health questionnaire and consent to be completed prior to your appointment. Without prior completion (or the legal guardian being present to complete it in person if necessary) we must cancel a minor’s appointment with us.
- For our Carlsbad patients:
- When you arrive for your appointment, please stay in your car. Do not come into the office. We have four parking spaces reserved at the front of our office for patient waiting. Please refer to the map attached.
- Please call our office when you arrive and tell us the patient’s name and your parking space number. If you reach our voicemail, please leave a message with these details. When we are ready for you, our Patient Wellness Coordinator will meet you at your car.
- For our Carmel Valley patients:
- Please call our office when you arrive in the parking lot and tell us the patient’s name.
- We will call you when we are ready for you to come to the office.
- We ask that only the patient enter the office, and while wearing a mask. Minors should be escorted up to the office door by a guardian.
- The Patient Wellness Coordinator will have you complete the health questionnaire if you have not yet done so.
- When in the office, the Wellness Coordinator will take the patient’s (and any accompanying adult’s) temperature with a non-contact thermometer. We will not be able to admit any patient with a fever above 100º F or any other symptoms of COVID-19. If you have a fever or have answers that indicate you may be carrying COVID-19, you will be asked to return home. You will not be scheduled to return until after a 14-day self-quarantine is completed.
- Only the patient who is being treated will be allowed to enter the office. The only exception for this will be for very young patients. Of those, only one parent/caregiver may accompany the patient. Absolutely no other family members or friends will be allowed inside.
- Please bring your own mask and wear it at all times during your appointment. This includes children (send them in with a mask). Federal guidelines for social distancing and wearing masks while in businesses are still in place. If you do not have your own mask, we will provide one. However, personal protective equipment supplies are extremely limited and are not consistently available to purchase. If we run out, we will have to close the office again until more are able to be supplied.
- Maintain the 6-foot social distancing guidelines when in the office until seated in the treatment chair. You will see demarcations around the office to help facilitate this.
- The tooth-brushing station will be used for sanitizing hands and rinsing with an oral hydrogen peroxide solution. These steps will be required of every patient before being seated.
- A pre-dispensed rinse will be provided to the patient, and we ask that the patient spit the rinse back into the cup after 30 seconds of swishing in their mouth.
- There will be no in-office tooth-brushing, so please make sure to thoroughly brush at home before coming to your appointment.
- Patients will be seated in a manner that maintains appropriate distancing (even more stringent than 6 ft apart) by only seating at certain chairs.
- We ask for understanding while we try to address all of your needs during your visit. Individuals with multiple broken brackets may not have everything completed during this visit due to strict scheduling times and safety limitations. We promise to do the best that we can.
- At the end of the appointment in Carlsbad, patients will be escorted out through the back door. In Carmel Valley, we will call you at the conclusion of the appointment to come pick up the patient.
- Follow-up appointments will be scheduled over the phone, rather than while in the office.
On a social note, we love our patients!! We really enjoy chatting with you at your appointments. However, please understand that we will be less free for these conversations to allow for social distancing, running on time, disinfection of treatment chairs, and other new safety protocols.
About our Team:
- Our team has been kept intact! You will see the same team members in our office as before, though fewer of them at a time. They are our family and we are trying to support them and get them back to work the best we can.
- We will take the temperature of every team member, including ourselves, immediately upon arrival at work. Any team member at 99.7ºF or above will go home.
- Every team member will answer the health questionnaire that our patients are required to answer, every day. If any questions disqualify the team member, they will be sent home.
Around the office:
- Our Photo Booth and water dispensers will be out of service until further notice.
- Our furniture has been rearranged to accommodate social distancing and to prevent anyone from hanging out with us (we are sad, too).
- You won’t see fun items & magazines around the office for the time being.
These changes are designed to protect you, our team, and our community. While there will certainly be adjustments, we hope that our patients all feel comfortable here. Expect that your treatment progress has been delayed, as has your estimated completion time. We wish that were not the case, but it is. Please be patient with us as we are focusing on getting each of you back on track while not exposing our patients or team members to any unnecessary risk.
You are the life-force of our practice, and this is why we are taking your safety very seriously.
If you have questions, please let us know. 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. We can’t wait to see you again, hopefully soon!
Kelly Taylor & Parmis Sionit