Brenner Dental Care Safety Protocol During COVID-19
To Our Dear Patients,
We miss seeing your smiling faces, and we are happy to announce we will resume treating our patients beginning next week! It is important for us to note that our team mutually, and enthusiastically, agreed to return to work. We genuinely love what we do, feel confident with the safety measures we have in place, and believe that dental care is essential.
As you already know, Brenner Dental Care does not cut corners on safety or technology. It’s just not who we are, and we suspect that is the reason why you trust our team. Our practice always exceeds the recommendations made by the American DentalAssociation(ADA),the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for infection control. During this closure, we decided to go above and beyond that by adding further safety measures, which we have outlined below. The comfort and safety of our patients, of our team members, and of our own families remain our top priority.
- Complete all essential paperwork (including a COVID-19 screening form) and make financial arrangements prior to your appointment. If you have a fever, a cough, shortness of breath, or feel ill, please reschedule your appointment and call your physician.
- A new $20 personal protective equipment fee (PPE) will be added to each visit. Not all insurances cover this fee. The ADA is lobbying for insurance companies to cover what has been covered by medical insurance for years.
- Patients must arrive on time, not early, wearing a mask or face covering. Due to a worldwide shortage of PPE, we cannot distribute masks to each patient.
- Patients must arrive at their appointment alone without friends/families. A single guardian is allowed for minors, elderly, and patients with special needs.
- Patients will call/text the office upon arrival and wait for a call/text to enter the office. Patients will wash their hands, present their cell phone to be sanitized, have their temperature taken, and have their pulse-ox read. They will be escorted to their private room where they will use a medical peroxide pre-rinse.
- Patients will exit out our side door to avoid interaction with incoming patients.
THE LONG, DETAILED, FAQs VERSION
What have you done, and what are you doing, to keep patients and staff safe?
- Our office has private, closed-off, individual operatories (rooms) for each patient. Dr. Brenner designed this feature when he built-out the Queen Anne office to keep doctor/patient conversations private and to minimize patient-to-patient exposure during dental procedures. This also makes sanitizing much easier for our team.
- We installed a ir purification systems in each operatory and in our main waiting area. The air is scrubbed every 15 minutes.
- Before each appointment, patients will use a medical peroxide pre-rinse, which has been proven to kill virus particles so they do not become aerosolized.
- Our team uses specialized high-volume suction to remove over 90% of all aerosols on top of our air purification systems.
- Bathrooms and operatories are fully sanitized before and after patient use.
- Dr. Brenner used an innovative application to scan all members’ faces to create custom masks printed on our office 3D printer. This allowed us to donate our KN95 masks to first responders. We will not need to re-use masks, so please rest assured that our staff and you remain protected from cross-contamination.
- At the end of the day, we are using a family-safe, highly effective, eco-friendly hypochlorous acid fog machine sprayer to fog/sanitize the entire office.
Why are you charging a $20 fee for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)?!
- We don’t like charging additional fees any more than you like paying for them (truly!), but we wanted to be upfront with all of you. No surprises.
- Due to the worldwide shortage in PPE, the companies selling this equipment are now charging up to ten times what we were originally paying pre-COVID-19. New guidelines also require that we cannot pop in and out of rooms without fully changing into new PPE equipment to reduce cross-contamination. We have purchased a washer/dryer for our office to cut down on laundry costs and printed our own custom 3D masks to reduce costs and increase safety.
- The American Dental Association (ADA) is lobbying for insurance companies to pay for this fee that has already been charged by medical offices for years and covered by medical insurance.
What are you expecting of me, and what should I expect at my appointment?
- Complete paperwork and make financial arrangements prior to your appointment. If you have questions, call April. P lease, please, please do not wait to complete these forms upon arrival. This cuts into your appointment time, increases the amount of time you have to sit in our waiting room (no waiting room if it’s completed ahead of time), and delays all other patient appointments.
- Do not come early to your appointment. Normally, we love our early birds! At this time, we need patients to arrive on time. You are more than welcome to sit in your car, but we will not allow patients to sit in the waiting room. Why? We are sanitizing each operatory, the bathrooms, and the waiting room in between patients. We want to minimize patients coming in contact with other patients due to current social distancing standards.
- Call/text our office upon arrival. Jennifer or April will call/text you when it is time to enter the office.
What do I do once I’m told I can enter the office?
- Make sure that you are wearing a mask or face covering upon entering the office.
- A team member will ask you to wash your hands and present your cell phone for sanitizing. Your temperature will be taken and pulse-ox will be read.
- If you completed all of your paperwork and made financial arrangements prior to your appointment, you will be escorted to your private room. If not, you will need to complete it and cut into your appointment time.
- Once in the operatory, you will be asked to use a medical peroxide pre-rinse, which is proven to kill virus particles so they do not become aerosolized.
- When you are finished with your appointment, you will be asked to exit through our side door to minimize contact with incoming patients.
Now that I’m here at my cleaning, I’d like to talk about whitening my teeth, my chipped tooth, and other dental concerns. Does Dr. Brenner have time to pop-in and chat with me about this like he normally does?
- Because of our strict protocols in sanitizing between each patient, we cannot go over your scheduled appointment time, but Dr. Brenner wants to talk to you about your dental health. Our solution? Virtual consultations!
Your interests are important to us, and we want time to be thorough and answer all of your questions. Normally, Dr. Brenner would sit and consult with you whether your concern was pre-scheduled or not. Right now, it’s our priority to keep you safe and to minimize your in-office exposure to other patients. By scheduling a virtual consultation at a mutually agreed upon time, neither Dr. Brenner nor you will feel rushed. Don’t worry! It won’t be like this forever, but for now, we would rather be over-the-top cautious than not.
Can I bring my kids to my appointment? Can I be with them? Can my spouse, friend, or significant other come with me?
- Adult patients are expected to arrive solo to appointments. Even though we miss the sounds of your kids playing in the playroom, we have closed up the toy area to keep the risk of infection/contamination low.
One parent/guardian may accompany their minor child to their appointment.
Exceptions will be made prior to the appointment for elderly patients and patients with special needs.
Even after reading through all of your safety measures and procedures, I’m still nervous! What should I do?
Our team members understand and prepare for patients with dental anxiousness. We understand that as much as you may love us personally, you may still have concerns visiting the office. Consider starting with a virtual consultation. Call, or schedule an appointment online, to speak with Dr. Brenner. You can ask questions and hopefully receive answers that alleviate your concerns.
Also, consider your health. If you are hurting, in pain, or needed to have dental work performed prior to our closure, please don’t hesitate in scheduling your appointment. We prefer treating patients before concerns turn into an emergency appointment.
Thank you for taking the time to read all of this information! We hope we answered all of your potential questions on protocols and procedures. Do not hesitate to reach out to us for additional information. As always, we will keep you informed if anything changes. The only thing we ask is that you be patient with us. This is a new system for our team as well, and we may need to make adjustments as our lighter schedule resumes.
The Brenner Dental Care Team