For your next visit to our practice, please note the following changes for everyone’s safety!
Current update as of June 1, 2020
The time has finally come and we are open to fully care for our patients again! We have made sure we have all our new systems and safety protocols perfected to comply with all the guidelines from NYS, the CDC, ADA and others. In some instances we have chosen to actually exceed them.
Personally it was like Christmas Day when I found out I was able to see my patients again! Most of you who have gotten to know me during your treatment or your child’s treatment, realize I love what I do immensely and I’m thrilled to be able to create smiles again!
If you have been following our updates via email, our website or our social media, you are aware that we needed to make some changes to ensure the safety of not only our patients, but of our team as well. Some changes you will openly see and experience, others are behind the scenes but do cause us to take more time in between patients.
One of the most important changes is the reduced flow of patients through the office at any one time. We have always prided ourselves on not being a “mill” and not overbooking, thus making sure I can personally see every patient at some point during their visit to provide personalized care with my team’s help of course. With COVID-19 still part of our world, we have decided to follow safety recommendations to reduce our schedule volume at any one time, to limit contact of patients with each other as much as possible.
Previously we had been moving everyone’s appointments out every time the mandated closure was lengthened, but we didn’t necessarily reduce the amount of patients in our schedule. Now that we have clear recommendations we are now triaging and adjusting our schedule to make sure we can keep you as safe as possible during your visits. While this is necessary for everyone’s safety, we understand it can be frustrating to not be seen as soon as you like. We understand that everyone has been waiting for months during our closure to continue, start or complete their treatment. If you are contacted to again reschedule to allow us to comply with our safety guidelines we know it can be frustrating, but we are hard at work to make sure we can see everyone as soon as we safely can. We thank you in advance for your understanding. In the near future we may be moving some types of visits such as retainer checks, clear aligner/Invisalign checks and some other visits, to a virtual/photo visit. We started doing this during our closure out of necessity, but it may be helpful for us as a practice and you as a patient in some situations moving forward. More details on this will come as we finalize them.
Please see our graphic above (created by our own in-house digital artist Amber!) illustrating the changes you as a patient will experience on your next visit. Please read through that fully prior to your visit and don’t forget your masks for everyone!
Of course any questions can always be answered by our team by phone or email, so don’t hesitate!
Welcome back to our practice! Thank you for your continued trust in caring for your smiles and we look forward to seeing you soon!
Dr. Doug and Team
PS. Any new forms needed for your next visit will be emailed or text to you prior, however here are direct links to some of the relevant ones for your reference:
Current update as of May 25, 2020
While the mandated closure of the state continues currently through May 28th, we have our new patients on hold until elective care is allowed by the state. However, with our updated safety protocols and PPE in place, we have decided to move from emergency care only, to offering to see patients who we deem as requiring “urgent care” as currently allowed by the state. Our goal at this time is to make sure we can prevent harm to our patients, rather than waiting for a likely emergency as this shutdown continues. As our patients are not delaying elective care, but are actively in treatment, this includes but is not limited to patients who fit the following criteria:
- Not physically seen in over 8 weeks and are in active fixed appliances
- Have a history of poor hygiene where extended treatment has an increased risk of decalcification or decay
- Due to the shutdown, treatment is now expected to extend past the suggested treatment completion date, as various risks can increase with extended treatment times.
- Other special situations for active patients where if left unmonitored, could lead to harm.
If you have received this email, I have reviewed your treatment and recommend for you to be seen if you feel comfortable doing so. Please note our graphic indicating our updated protocols and please complete our secure online updated Covid-19 health history and consent no more than 2 days prior to your next appointment. https://secureonline.co/supplemental-consent-health-questionnaire-drdougortho-com/
Current updates as of April 23, 2020
Let me just say, I TRULY MISS SEEING YOU ALL! I know this quarantine which mandates our office to be closed outside of true emergency care, is extremely difficult on everyone. There is nothing I’d rather be doing right now than having all of our patient stay on course with treatment in a safe environment. The NYS government, however, does not feel that is currently possible.
As you likely have noticed, we have been in contact with most of our patients by phone or email multiple times since this all started. On this page we will provide updates to our patients as we progress through our current situation.
1. Our state-mandated closure has been extended through May 15th. As soon as our governing bodies and state officials provide us with further updates, we will share them here, on social media (Facebook and Instagram), and via email blasts.
2. We remain available for our patients ONLY for emergency care as per state law. That limits us to treating situations that cause pain or limit function. The best way to get in contact with us about emergencies is via email firstname.lastname@example.org with a picture. We have a video on our YouTube channel that walks you through handling the most common issues that can occur. If you are not sure of any situation related to your treatment, email a picture and ask!
3. Gina will still be available to our patients via phone and email most weeks from 9am-2pm, Mon-Wed and Friday to help with other concerns.
4. I personally apologize that this extended closure may unfortunately cause a delay in the treatment of many of our patients. A potential delay would depend, however, on your stage of treatment.
We will do our best to make up whatever time we can once we reopen. Please understand that we have an entire patient pool that we must navigate through and care for. Gina and Amber will continue to do their best to get everyone rescheduled as soon as possible.
5. It is likely our “new normal” will involve a reduction in “patient flow” and the amount of people we can have in the office at any one time. This obviously will present an additional challenge to our overdue patient population.
It is important to note, however, that we have never been a high-volume practice: Our care has always been more personal and individualized as you all know by now. I truly believe this will allow us to adapt more readily as compared to other practice models. We will notify you here, via email and social media prior to reopening on any additional changes. Please keep in mind these changes are meant for the safety of our patients and team!
Important: If you have NOT been getting email updates from us, please give us a call to verify we have the best address for you on file!
6. Most of you have received emails directly from me about your treatment or your child’s treatment. I will continue to review every patient’s chart whose appointment has been rescheduled and ask you to send photos through our newly updated website so I may perform a “virtual check-up.”
We pushed many changes through on our website to help us manage this situation. Utilizing our new process to send in your progress photos is simple via our “SmileSnap” integration. I will continue to send instructions in my emails, but you just click on the bottom right of the website on the green bar that says “NEW online smile assessment.”
Even if you have NOT received an email from me yet, feel free to use that function and send me some photos and ask your concerns if you have any! Watch my YouTube video where I demonstrate how I’d like the photos of the patient’s teeth to be captured using your smart phone.
7. I am personally involved in learning as much as possible (from the CDC, AAO, NYSDA, ADA and others) about how to make our practice the safest place you can be with respect to our current health crisis, as well as how to adapt our practice moving forward.
It is likely the precautions we choose to take will be MORE than what will be required. I want the safest environment for my patients and my team. Some safety changes we have already made are discussed below.
Changes already made for the health of our patients and team
1. We have invested in two Jade medical-grade air purifiers that use HEPA, Carbon AND UV filters, that in tandem will clean the air in our office more than 2x/hour. The health and safety of our patients and our team is our highest priority.
2. We ask that no more than one person accompany a child to their appointment and adults come to their appointments alone.
3. All individuals entering the clinical area must first use the provided hand sanitizer.
4. Our brushing station has been closed and has been repurposed as a handwashing and rinsing station.
5. All patients will be asked to rinse with a peroxide-based rinse for 60 seconds prior to being seated. The ADA has recommended this as peroxide reduces viruses in the mouth, including Coronavirus.
6. All iPads have been removed from the waiting room to reduce areas that are touched by multiple people.
7. Patients will be offered the opportunity to text us on arrival and wait in their car for when we are ready to see them.
Be safe, stay healthy, and keep smiling!
Dr. Doug and my Amazing Team!
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