As of 5/11/2020 our dental office is open for all dental treatment. We are excited to welcome patients back to our office for continued care and treatment needs. Our current hours are Monday-Thursday from 8am-4pm.
Our office has made every effort and then some to continue our pursuit of excellence in following OSHA and CDC guidelines for delivery of dental care. We have a long history of the highest standards in this regard; therefore, you will notice changes from our previous routines to ensure your continued safety. We will continue to create social distancing for patients in our dental office with our new routines. Here are our additional protocols for patients:
1. Our staff will prescreen patients prior to scheduling appointments.
2. We have extended our appointment times in order to decrease patient-to-patient interactions.
3. Patients must wear masks upon entering and exiting our building.
4. We ask that patients call us upon arrival and we will contact you and meet you at the door and escort you to your operatory.
5. All patients are screened for body temperature, BP/P, oxygen saturation.
6. All patients fill out a COVID-19 screening health history prior to any dental treatment.
While many of you are ready to return, we realize some patients would like to postpone any dental care. We are happy to honor any wishes of our patients with regards to dental treatment.
Additionally, there are many new protocols for our personal protective equipment to ensure staff safety and we have enacted new protocols between patients to reduce dental aerosols and prevent cross-contamination. Many of these new protocols are utilized by hospitals to sterilize patient rooms and treatment areas between patients.
Again, we are happy to be back and taking care of our family of patients.
Shannon Allison, DDS
Dear Patient Family,
Based on the latest updates from Governor Cooper, the American Dental Association, the North Carolina Dental Board and the North Carolina Dental Society, we plan to open our office on May 11th. This is subject to change based upon future recommendations.
Our office is available to each of our patients for dental emergencies. We continue to have office hours on Mondays and Wednesdays for emergencies. Our first goal has been to triage over the phone to determine if a patient needs to be seen in our office for emergency care.
We have made some changes in our office which will enhance the safety of our patients and staff. As we have routinely, our dental office will be in the forefront of providing the best care for our patients in a clean and safe environment.
Those patients whose appointments have been cancelled will be rescheduled. You will be contacted for an appointment. Please know that our number one priority is having the best experience for each of our patients. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to email me at email@example.com or call or text me at 910-639-0491. Additionally, you may contact our office directly at (910) 295-4343.
We look forward to seeing you at your next appointment. I will keep you updated with any changes. Thank you for allowing us to take care of your dental needs.
Yours in Better Dental Health,
Dr. Shannon Allison
April 2, 2020
Dear Allison and Associates’ patient family,
In cooperation with President Trump’s directive for “Stay at Home” practices and in compliance with the American Dental Association recommendations, our dental practice will continue to be closed except for emergency dental treatment. We anticipate closure of our dental office until at earliest May 4th, 2020. Hopefully, our nation is able to “flatten the curve” and reduce the number of simultaneous COVID-19 infections. It seems like our community is doing a good job of minimizing unnecessary activities and social interactions. It is a difficult time for everyone here and worldwide, but we must continue our efforts. We all look forward to returning to our busy lives even with the changes that this pandemic will cause in our future lives.
Any patients which are having their appointments rescheduled, please be assured that we will make every effort to reappoint you promptly for your dental appointments. Our entire team is dedicated to increasing our office hours in order to take care of your dental needs. All patients being rescheduled are being placed on our priority list for new appointment times in the future. We have not yet set our schedule for our increased office hours as the COVID-19 situation changes every day. We do not want to be presumptuous. Just know that we will be there for you in the future.
For those of you who do have a dental emergency, we are available Monday and Wednesday from 9:30am-12:30pm. Please call our office number, (910) 295-4343, or our emergency cell number, (910) 639-0491, for prescreening prior to an appointment. If you are unsure whether or not you need to be seen, please call either phone number. We may also accept pictures via text to help you with your concerns. As a reference, the following conditions constitute dental emergencies which often require an office visit:
- Uncontrolled bleeding
- Cellulitis or a diffuse soft tissue bacterial infection with intra-oral or extra-oral swelling that potentially compromise the patient’s airway
- Severe dental pain from nerve inflammation
- Pericoronitis/soft tissue inflammation from wisdom teeth or wisdom tooth pain
- Surgical post-operative osteitis, dry socket dressing changes
- Abscess, or localized bacterial infection resulting in localized pain and swelling
- Tooth fracture resulting in severe pain or causing soft tissue trauma
- Dental trauma with avulsion/luxation/tooth loss
- Denture adjustments or repairs when function impeded for cancer patients
- Final crown/bridge cementation if the temporary restoration is lost, broken or causing gingival irritation
- Snipping or adjustment of an orthodontic wire or appliances piercing or ulcerating the oral mucosa
We have taken extra precautions to disinfect our dental office between patient visits. In addition to the standard OSHA sterilization and disinfection guidelines and Universal Precautions/PPE, we have put the following procedures and protocols into place:
- Patients are prescreened on the initial phone call
- Patients are asked to wait in their cars on arrival and call us when they arrive. We will then call patients once we are ready for them to be seen. We do this to prevent unnecessary contact among patients and staff.
- Patients are asked a series of questions to reaffirm we may see them and that their risk is low of being infected with Coronavirus.
- Patients must rinse prior to dentist exam to decrease bacteria and viral load in the oral cavity.
- Our staff wears masks for every patient interaction to protect us and protect our patients.
- Our treatment rooms are thoroughly disinfected between patients with agents which deactivate the Coronavirus and we alternate treatment rooms to allow agents to work longer in the environment.
- Our entrance/exit areas and waiting rooms are disinfected between patients entering and exiting.
We truly hope to see you all soon! Take care of yourselves.
Dr. Shannon Allison
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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