Update as of 3/16/2020
While the present official figures for the Coronavirus in Maryland and particularly in Delmarva are relatively low, experts predict those numbers will grow in the coming weeks. In the interest of patient health, as well as the health of our team members and their families, our office will be implementing measures that can play a role in limiting the spread throughout our entire community.
Starting Tuesday, March 17, and continuing until further notice, we will be limiting care to emergency care only. If you have a scheduled appointment, we will be in touch with you to notify you of the cancellation. When it is safe to resume normal operations, we will contact you to reschedule. If you have questions or concerns, you may still reach us by phone during our regular business hours. As always, if your child is a patient of our office and has a dental emergency, you will be able to reach a doctor by phone after hours as well.
This decision was not made lightly, but is necessary in order to protect our patients and staff after reading updated recommendations from the CDC and OSHA. Dental procedures generate a large number of droplets and aerosols and the latest advice is that our standard personal protective equipment is not effective enough to prevent the spread of COVID-19, especially when patients are in the incubation period and are unaware they are infected. This is especially unique to our profession as children are being found to be asymptomatic carriers. This means that screening is no longer considered effective in capturing all who may be infected with the virus. Working on a child that has the virus may result in the virus being airborne in our office for up to 3 hours, and we are not comfortable with the potential to spread this virus to our other patients and their families. There simply is not enough evidence to prove that even with strict infection control measures, continuing to provide dental treatment at this time is safe.
OSHA has placed dental professionals in the “very high exposure risk” category in regards to COVID-19. Current recommendations are that dentists wear N95 masks for dental treatment during this pandemic. However, not only are these masks extremely difficult to obtain at this time, but most importantly, they need to be conserved for other professions that are at the forefront of fighting this virus.
We are sorry for any inconvenience that this may cause, but it is imperative that as a community, we slow the spread of this virus, and that requires extreme measures.
Our patients’ health and well-being continue to be our top priority. (3/13/2020)
As a dental practice, we are already accustomed to adhering to strict infection control routines that help prevent the transmission of illnesses such as the flu and COVID-19/Coronavirus. To protect our patients and staff, we have taken universal precautions including meticulous hand hygiene and disinfecting all contact points between patients.
If you currently have an appointment scheduled, we ask that you please contact us if you have any symptoms or have reason to believe that you have been exposed to COVID-19/Coronavirus.
These symptoms may include fever, coughing, and shortness of breath. We will ask you to reschedule your appointment to ensure the health and safety of our staff and patients.
Additionally, we ask if you have traveled internationally in the last 14 days, or have been in close contact with another person who has been diagnosed with or under investigation for COVID-19/Coronavirus. We will ask you to reschedule your appointment to ensure the health and safety of our staff and patients.
During this time, we will be removing all extraneous objects from the lobby as they cannot be easily wiped with a disinfectant. In doing so, we will regrettably be removing our toy box in order to minimize the risk of disease. We understand your children look forward to the toys in the office but we are taking our responsibility very seriously in helping to combat the spread of COVID-19/Coronavirus.
Thank you for your help in keeping everyone safe. We are here for your health.