May 28th, 2020
We hope everyone is keeping well in these unprecedented times. It has been many weeks since we closed the dental office! We have been busy working behind the scenes to get ready for our eventual re-opening. Initially, when we reopen, we will be treating only emergency and urgent dental matters. We anticipate this date to be June 12th. We are hoping to resume to the routine dentistry (including checkups and cleanings) in mid-July. Please note that all previously scheduled restorative, cleaning and check-up appointments booked up to July 15th are now postponed, to allow for a slow and measured reopening of the office.
You will see some operational and physical changes at your next appointment. We made these changes to help protect our community, our patients and our staff, adhering to the guidelines from Canadian Dental Association (CDA), the College of Dental Surgeons of BC (CDSBC), the British Columbia Dental Association (BCDA), Work Safe BC (WCB) and the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC).
The following is the new normal that we will all eventually adapt to:
1. Our office staff will communicate with you before your appointment to ask you some COVID-19 related screening questions. You’ll be asked those same questions again when you arrive the next day. When you enter the mall, please read the postings on the easel board outside the office first. We cannot accommodate any unscheduled, drop-in visits therefore please call to arrange an appointment. Before coming into the office, please use the patient washroom if needed. The key to that washroom is hanging on the glass window where the train display is. Our staff washroom will now only be available to our staff.
2. Please arrive for your appointment fifteen minutes early. Outside our office, there will be a hand sanitizing dispenser and a box of face masks. Upon arrival, before entering the office, please use the hand sanitizer to clean your hands for 30 seconds. Once your hands are dry, please take one face mask and put it on. Even if you brought your own mask, please put on a new one from our office and save your own for other times. Once you put on your mask, please use the hand sanitizer again. Then please come into the office! Don’t worry there will be signs detailing each step so that you will be reminded what to do.
3. Keep your mask on until Dr. Fran asks you to take it off.
4. Once you come into the waiting room, there will be a touch-less thermometer mounted on the wall near the door, please put your forehead close to it and have your temperature measured, then look at the back of the thermometer and let our receptionist know your reading.
5. There will be another hand sanitizing dispenser available in the waiting room. Please feel welcome to use it at anytime.
6. Our receptionist will hand you a piece of paper with the same questions that you answered the day before. We ask that you read and sign it and return it to our receptionist as per new guidelines. Then please take a seat in the reception area and we will get you seated in the treatment area soon. (This may seem an inconvenience, however each of our staff members will now go through the same protocol and sign the same paper everyday when they come to work.)
7. You will notice that our waiting room has become very barren. There will be only two chairs of a different style for you to sit in, spaced far enough apart to respect the “physical distancing rule”. There will be markers on the floor to indicate where to stand when interacting with the receptionist. We have installed glass barriers on the counter as an added protection for you and our receptionists.
8. Appointments will be managed to allow for physical distancing between patients. That might mean that you are temporarily offered fewer options for scheduling your appointment but we will continue to try to accommodate your specific needs whenever possible. We will do our very best to allow greater buffer times between patients to reduce waiting times for you and to allow us to continue to provide a safe environment for your dental treatment.
9. Once you are seated in the operatory, we will go through the same diagnosis and treatment procedures as before. Please keep your mask on until we hand you an ounce of mouth rinse which you will rinse for 30 seconds prior to us beginning your dental procedure. Once your treatment is completed, we will ask you to put your mask back on. When you return to the reception area please use the hand sanitizer (30 seconds) again before interacting with our receptionist and then leaving. The disinfection of the operatories and the sterilization of our instruments are the same as before. We follow the World Health Organization (WHO) Universal Precaution Protocols, presuming every patient is infectious.
10. We will continue to arrange your next appointment as we have done in the past.
11. You will also notice there is added PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) for Dr. Fran and the staff. Above and beyond the regular masks and gloves, you will notice our stylish gowns, face shields, and surgical caps (and respirator masks when indicated). Not to worry, it’s not Darth Vader taking care of your teeth – it’s still your same caring dental staff underneath all those layers!
We look forward to seeing you again and are happy to answer any questions you may have about the steps we take to keep you and us safe in our practice. Thank you for being so patient and for being our patients. We value your trust and look forward to welcoming back everyone- our patients, our neighbors and our friends.
A heartfelt thank you again. Take care!
Dr. Fran, Dianne, Anne, Autumn, Brenna, Stephanie, Tara and Arlene