Our community has been through a lot over the last few months, and all of us are looking forward to resuming our normal habits and routines. While many things have changed, one thing has remained the same: our commitment to your safety.
Infection control has always been a top priority for our practice and you may have seen this during your
visits to our office. Our infection control processes are made so that when you receive care, it’s both safe and comfortable. We want to tell you about the infection control procedures we follow in our practice to keep patients and staff safe.
Our office follows infection control recommendations made by the American Dental Association (ADA), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). We follow the activities of these agencies so that we are up-to-date on any new rulings or guidance that may be issued. We do this to make sure that our infection control procedures are
current and adhere to each agencies’ recommendations.
• Our office will communicate with you beforehand to ask some screening questions. You’ll be asked those same questions again when you are in the office.
•We have hand sanitizer that we will ask you to use when you enter the office. You will also find some in the reception area and other places in the office for you to use as needed.
• You may see that our waiting room will no longer offer magazines, children’s toys and so forth, since those items are difficult to clean and disinfect.
• Appointments will be managed to allow for social distancing between patients. That might mean that you’re offered fewer options for scheduling your appointment.
• We will do our best to allow greater time between patients to reduce waiting times for you, as well as to reduce the number of patients in the reception area at any one time.
We will be opening up in phases.
Initially we will be taking care of the most urgent needs. Due to recommended restrictions on aerosolizing procedures, alternative treatment options may need to be given.
All routine, non-urgent appointments, will be rescheduled in the order in which they were originally scheduled to be seen.
We will be increasing our office hours as needed but schedule less people at a time. This will allow us to safely accommodate everyone, by reducing foot traffic and congestion associated with the simultaneous arrival and departure of several patients; however, because of this change in scheduling, preferred appointment times, such as early morning/late afternoon are limited. Although we will do our best to accommodate each scheduling request, we ask that you be flexible with our office during the upcoming months.
To help our staff prepare for your child’s dental appointment, Building Blocks Pediatric Dentistry will be asking that all medical forms, including all new patient paperwork and medical history updates, are submitted electronically to our office, no less than 48 hours prior to your child/children’s scheduled appointment.
This also includes any insurance policy updates. Our office will not verify any changes to your dental insurance policy on the day of your child’s appointment.
If you are unable to complete any forms electronically, our office will provide you with a copy of the forms to be completed on the day of your child’s appointment, except for any new patient paperwork. Please do not bring any paperwork printed from outside of our office to your child’s dental appointment.
Please prepare you and your child that a pre-procedural rinse of hydrogen peroxide may be required, depending on the latest guidelines. Children not old enough to rinse and swish will have their mouth wiped down by either the doctor or hygienist. This is a new recommendation by the ADA to lower viral load of patients
If you feel the need to prepare your child for the staff looking differently, below is a picture that you can use as an example.
For Building Blocks Pediatric Dentistry to practice appropriate social distancing measures, the
following limitations will now be in place to assure that we have what is considered a “safe”
number of people in the office at one time:
• Once you arrive outside the office, you will be instructed to “check-in” by calling the office at (267)373-9402.
• A staff member will re-confirm any known COVID-19 symptoms or exposure for the guardian or the patient
• You will then be instructed to either remain outside or to proceed to a designated area of our office.
• Upon entering the office, you will be immediately directed to our “sanitizing station.”
• Only 1 parent/guardian will be permitted into the office during your child’s appointment time.
• No siblings will be permitted in the office unless they have a scheduled dental appointment for the same day.
• Per CDC guidance anyone over the age of 2 entering the office should wear a face covering. Due to PPE shortages it will be very difficult for us to provide one to you and be able to provide continued care. Please come with your own covering.
• To help eliminate cross-contamination, you will be required to dispose of all gloves before entering the office.
• If the parent decides to come in the room for treatment, the parent must remain in designated chair to allow for proper social distancing for staff
• While we know situations arrive more often as we are a pediatric office, please try your best to use the restroom before arriving to the building. Only Dr Judy’s personal bathroom will be in use during this time, as cleaning of the building’s restroom cannot be assured.
• Upon completion of your child’s appointment, you will be instructed to exit the office in a timely fashion.
• Parents will be updated on any further recommended treatment, consent, and/or subsequent dental appointments needed via telephone call, email, or text message.
• If your child is scheduled for a “treatment” appointment, all post-operative instructions will be given via email or text message. If you wish to speak to Dr. Judy regarding your child’s treatment, she will complete all follow-up calls after office hours.
• All post-operative instructions will include a reminder to report any signs or symptoms of COVID-19 within the next 14 days.
• Our front desk will not be scheduling any appointments while you are in the office. Our staff will follow-up with each family to schedule any routine dental or treatment appointments via telephone, email, or text message.
• Payment will continue to be due on date of service, unless prior arrangements have been made. Our office has implemented a “no-touch” payment system. We can process payments via telephone for any known co-pays/deductibles that are due, prior to your child’s appointment. Our office will also be utilizing statements sent via email and text-to-pay options through a secure payment link.
Although our office is one of the safest places for your family to be, children with complex medical care needs and/or children, parents/guardians with compromised immune systems, should consult with their medical provider prior to scheduling with our office.
All dental settings, regardless of the level of care provided, must make infection prevention a priority. Building Blocks Pediatric Dentistry is equipped to observe Standard Precautions and other infection prevention recommendations contained in CDC’s Guidelines for Infection Control in Dental Health-Care Settings. The following are some of the key measures our office is taking:
• Continuous development and maintaining of infection prevention and occupational health programs.
• Providing our staff supplies necessary for adherence to Standard Precautions (e.g., hand hygiene products, safer devices to reduce percutaneous injuries, advanced personal protective equipment).
• Assigning one designated staff member trained in infection prevention responsibility for coordinating our program.
• Continuous development and maintaining of written infection prevention policies and procedures appropriate for the services that our office provides, based on evidence-based guidelines, regulations, and current standards.
• Systems in place for early detection and management of potentially infectious persons at initial points of patient encounter.
In our ongoing effort to adhere to the highest safety recommendations, Building Blocks Pediatric Dentistry will be keeping a “Daily Census Log.” This daily log will be used to keep track of individual patient and staff contact throughout the office. If we receive notice that a staff member, patient and/or a parent/guardian who has been in our office has tested positive for COVID-19, this log will be used daily to identify people who may have been exposed to that individual(s) and follow any recommendations from the Department of Health.
Building Blocks Pediatric Dentistry has also implemented a daily health screening check for all employees. Before entering the office, all employees will be asked if they are experiencing any of the following:
• Fever or feeling feverish (chills, sweating)
• Symptoms of acute respiratory illness
• Shortness of breath (not severe)
If a member of our staff tests positive for COVID-19 the following steps will be taken:
• Once the diagnosis is confirmed, follow all medical recommendations, including quarantine for 14 days to monitor symptoms.
• Seek medical treatment immediately if symptoms worsen
• We will determine who may have had contact with the COVID-19 positive individual when they were in the office.
• We will conduct a risk assessment for any healthcare provider who was exposed to the individual with a confirmed case of COVID-19 so they can take steps, such as quarantining, seeking testing, and implementing any appropriate work restrictions as suggested by the CDC in its Interim U.S. Guidance for Risk Assessment and Public Health Management of Healthcare Personnel with Potential Exposure in a Healthcare Setting to Patients with Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19), to determine self quarantine/work restrictions.
• Clean and disinfect environmental surfaces in the dental facility according to the guidance outlined in the CDC’s Interim Infection Prevention and Control Guidance for Dental Settings During the COVID-19 Response.
• Contact all patients who may have had contact with the COVID-19 positive individual and instruct them to follow guidance of the CDC and Department of health.
• Follow the recommendations of the CDC and the Pennsylvania Department of Health.
Thank you for taking the time to review our COVID-19 reopening protocol. As the guidelines and recommendations change, please be assured that Building Blocks Pediatric Dentistry will continue to update our policies. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact our office at (267) 373-9402 or at office@BuildingBlocksDental.com.