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