Dear New Leaf Family Dental Patients,
Team New Leaf last ran a full day of operations on March 12th, 2020. Throughout this pandemic, Dr. Bemis and his staff have been providing emergency care to patients in need, but have cancelled all cleanings, elective procedures, and non-emergency treatment. Now, an unbelievable ten weeks later, one notion leads in the hearts of Team New Leaf; We miss serving our patients dearly! Whether your perception of that time flew by or dragged on, we, as health care providers, can finally see an island emerging on the horizon.
In these trying times, the health and safety agencies are attempting to align their recommendations and regulations regarding dental office protocol. The CDC, CSDA, ADA, Governor Lamont’s Office, and OSHA (amongst others), have worked diligently to determine how dental offices can safely reopen. Dr. Bemis and his team have rigorously studied each agencies’ guidelines over the last several weeks. This virus is titanic. In dutiful response, we have instituted many office protocols, some that may outwardly change your dental visit and others that you may not notice, but are making a difference. We are confident in the comprehensive plan that we have created to reopen our practice:
• We will initially implement staggered and longer appointment times in order to enhance social distancing and allow for increased PPE rotation and room sterilization.
• We will allow limited use of our waiting room. We invite you to please stay in your cars and call us upon arrival to our office to receive further instructions for your visit.
• We have removed all the books, magazines, and toys from the waiting room and will be fully sterilizing the waiting area once per hour.
• If you are in a high risk group (over age 65 or immunocompromised) please contact our office to inquire about delaying your upcoming appointment. Your dental health is important, but we want to work with you to ensure that your overall health is taken into consideration.
• We have acquired numerous respirators (n95), surgical masks, plastic face shields, as well as other personal protective equipment that our team will be utilizing for every procedure.
• We have procured a large wardrobe of launderable cloth protective attire and will be changing this after every patient to ensure our team and our patients have a fully sterilized dental experience.
• Every member of our office team will continually be wearing face masks. Similarly, plexiglass shields are being installed as barriers at strategic places around the office.
• We will continue to use tele-dentistry to triage and categorize patient problems to reduce the need for in person visits as much as possible.
• All New Leaf Team Members will be screened for any COVID19 related symptoms and will have their temperature taken prior to each shift.
• We will complete COVID19 related screening of all patients prior to each appointment and patient temperatures will be taken to ensure that everyone in the office is symptom free.
• An outdoor break area is being established for our New Leaf Team members to avoid indoor congregation during breaks and meals.
• We will utilize phone and electronic payment and documentation whenever possible and we ask that our patients keep any pen that they use while in the office.
• We request that anyone who does not have a scheduled appointment not come to our office in person. We are very happy to assist you with any questions, concerns, or billing issues over the phone.
• We ask that all patients wear a mask to their appointments. Your mask should remain on at all times. Remove your mask when your dental treatment begins and then replace it as soon as it is finished.
• Family members and friends of patients should not accompany the patient into the building if they are not having dental work performed. Exceptions for this includes children requiring an adult to accompany them or a medically compromised or elderly patient who requires additional assistance for their dental appointment.
• Your cleaning may feel a little different, at least for now. As we work to reduce the amount of aerosol produced during your appointment, your hygienist may use hand scaling rather than the ultrasonic scaler during your cleaning and she may do a modified polishing of your teeth. Our fantastic team of hygienists will partner with Dr. Bemis to ensure your dental health is maintained, even with these current work arounds in place.
• We are very excited about the recent upgrade to our HVAC system, installed by East Coast Mechanical. The Air Scrubber Plus by Aerus utilizes certified space technology to substantially reduce viruses and microbial populations in the air and on surfaces. The Air Scrubber’s patented technology consists of a UVC light and a photocatalyst target. An advanced oxidation process is created that continuously protects and purifies the air and sterilizes surfaces throughout the office.
• In each treatment room, you will notice our new Medify Medical Grade H13 True HEPA Filtration Air Purifiers which capture 99.97% of airborne particles down to .01 microns.
• We will be utilizing a low temperature fogger in combination with 500 ppm Hypochlorous Acid to radically sterilize our operatories. This technology has been used in hotel rooms and public locker rooms for decades and is proven safe and effective. It smells great too!
This list touches on the main protocol changes at our office and is not a comprehensive list of the numerous enhancements we have, and will continue to implement, to keep you, your family, and our New Leaf Team safe while at our office.
The COVID19 hiatus has affected everyone in authentically different ways. Some may have experienced an unfair connection to tragedy, discovered a new connection to yourself, savored quiet days, or encountered unprecedented family time. Undoubtedly, this journey has likely left us all changed. We so look forward to hearing your stories and seeing your smiling faces in the coming months! We miss our patients dearly!
Beginning on May 26, and cautiously ramping up through June, we will be returning to a “new normal”. In the upcoming weeks, we will be reaching out to the patients whose appointments were cancelled and whose appointments are upcoming. These are very delicate times. Having been closed for nearly three months, we are now juggling over 1000 cancelled appointments that need to be rescheduled. With our utmost kindness, we graciously ask all of you to be patient and understanding with our efforts to reopen New Leaf. This is the ultimate game of Tetris! We have 13 talented team members all playing this game together with you. Thank you, in advance, for your cooperation and sense of humor as we move forward.
We have a vision of that island on the horizon. It is one where gentle and authentic dental care can still be provided. It may be different right now, so that it can be safe, but beneath all those shields and masks it will still be the same New Leaf Family that you know and love.
Welcome back our dear and beautiful patients. We look forward to serving you.
Greg, Jodi, Cindy, Brittany, Tara, Stephanie, Tasha, Courtney, Kelly, April, Bel, Ken, Dana