March 23, 2020
Dear Allison and Associates’ Patient Family,
I hope my first newsletter finds all of you healthy and safe. These are unprecedented times in the history of the world. Even though throughout history we have dealt with other diseases such as Bubonic Plague, Spanish Influenza, H1N1, HIV, Ebola, SARS and MERS, I feel the COVID-19 outbreak is different. I do not think our societies have been as interconnected and reliant on each other as we are now and the effects of COVID-19 are more profound than with previous diseases. I know everyone is doing his/her part to limit social interactions and to help minimize the rates of COVID-19 spread. Hopefully, the USA does a great job as a country and we defeat this terrible invisible opponent sooner versus later.
This virus has had unique consequences for every single small business and dentistry is no exception. In particular, the risk of transmission is very high in a dental practice due to the uniqueness of our working environment. As a result, the American Dental Association has recommended all dental offices across the USA to stop nonessential/elective treatment and recommended we only see patients for emergency treatment. The duration of this cessation of all nonemergency treatment is extremely fluid: at this time, it is recommended through April 6th. I feel it will be longer as the USA starts to see increases with the number of COVID-19 cases. I hope I am wrong. For any patient with dental appointments between now and April 6th, someone from our office will contact you to cancel your appointment. All patients affected by this are being placed on a special QUICK CALL RESCHEDULE LIST. Our plan in the future once we recommence patient care as usual is to increase our office hours to meet the demands of our patients’ needs. Our entire staff is on board with increasing our patient care hours in order to provide you with the best dental care possible as soon as we are able.
I want all of our patients to know we are here for you if you have a dental emergency. We have a reduced staff working every Monday and Wednesday from 9:30am-12:30pm. Please call before you come to the office. We will be able to give you a designated appointment time. Once you arrive at our office, please call our office number, 910-295-4343, to let us know you have arrived. When we are ready for you, we will call you on your cell phone. We are not allowing patients to wait in the waiting room so as to follow social distancing protocols. We have some updated medical/social history questionnaires for patients to answer before we begin treatment. If you are sick with anything, please do not attempt to come to our office. I will be happy to call you personally and discuss your dental problem. Also, patients may reach me after hours on the office cell phone (910) 639-0491. I am providing a link from the American Dental Association to help you determine if you are having a dental emergency:
Our goal in seeing patients only for dental emergencies is to reduce the aerosols which we create during our routine dental procedures. These aerosols contain lots of bacteria and viruses naturally. Since COVID-19 is spread mainly via respiratory transmission, we as a profession must be extremely cautious and selective with our patient treatment for the safety and well-being of patients, ourselves and our community.
The safety and well-being of our patients continues to be our primary concern. We will continue to monitor the status of COVID-19 nationally and within our community and keep you up to date regarding our plans to reopen for business as usual.
I urge you to contact us if you have any questions or concerns. Again, we can be reached by office phone at (910) 295-4343, office emergency cell phone (910) 639-0491, or by email to email@example.com and will respond as soon as we can. Please take great care of yourselves and we hope to see the end of this pandemic very soon.
Dr. Shannon Allison