Hello from Pitman Family Dentistry!
What a time this has been! We hope this note finds you healthy and coping with all of the challenges that have come our way since COVID-19 entered our world. It has certainly been a ride, but we wanted to update you on our status and let you know that we’ve hit a comfortable flow here at the office. Those of you who have visited us since May have seen some of the changes we’ve made, but we wanted to share what things look like here with the rest of you.
One major change around the office has been the way we structure our schedule. We have staggered our previously on-the-hour cleaning schedule so that patients arrive at different times, decreasing the potential of patients overlapping in the halls or reception area. We have also inserted down time between appointments to allow patients to leave the building before the next patient arrives. Additionally, we are asking everyone to wait in their car until called up for their appointment time. On days where we used to have three hygienists providing cleanings, we’ve cut down to only two hygienists working at a time–and Drs. Ryan and Sarah now take turns working, rather than working together on the same day. We have taken a lot of measures to decrease any potential for Coronavirus transmission within our office and we have happily all remained healthy this year. All of these measures have decreased the number of openings we have available for patients, but with careful schedule structuring by Merry and Suzie, we still time available for all patient needs, and want to make sure we get everyone caught up from the unavoidable disruption to our regularly provided care earlier this year.
In addition to schedule restructuring, we have taken many other measures around the office to prevent the spread of COVID-19. All patients and employees are screened for COVID-19 symptoms and have their temperature taken before being brought back into the office. Patients are also asked to sanitize their hands upon arrival to the office, and before leaving the dental chair. All high-touch surfaces are disinfected throughout the office many times a day. All care providers wear N95 masks during all patient interactions. Unfortunately, you probably won’t recognize us behind our caps, gowns, shields, and masks! Things look pretty surreal around the office. Additionally, we have increased the number of barriers around the front desk, have increased the filtration in our HVAC to MERV 13 and installed seven UV/HEPA air filters throughout our office. The saddest change we’ve made is the staggering and spreading out of our lunch hour. We so miss sitting down together for lunch–but we know many of you who are working from home now can relate. We feel lucky to at least have a safe environment to come to and maintain some sense of normalcy during a time that is anything but normal.
You will also notice a few changes during your appointment. For the time being, whenever possible, we are avoiding the use of the ultrasonic water scaler and the prophy polisher during cleanings. Both of these conveniences produce aerosols, so we are relying upon traditional teeth cleaning methods to achieve the same results. You will also notice the presence of a high-speed air evacuation system by your chairside to reduce the number of aerosols exhaled by patients while they are being treated with their masks off.
We are lucky to be working in a time where we have the ability to react to a terrible threat like COVID-19 and still be able to provide the care that all of us need. We are so thankful for, and proud of, each of our teammates for rising to the occasion. Each of them have taken on so much during this year, and we could not have pulled through this crazy time without their amazing commitment to us and to you. We are fully aware that your safety is in our hands when you enter our door, and we don’t take that responsibility lightly. We are incredibly grateful to be a part of such a great community of patients, and we so appreciate your continued support. Please let us know if you have any questions, and we look forward to seeing each of you when the time is right.
Sarah and Ryan Pitman