cut and pasted information for the early 2020 Pandemic
Whew...... Our new phone got up and running last Friday. Staff is getting trained on the messaging service. An email will go out this week detailing return policies. Below is a sample of a form that each patient will fill out upon scheduling and will repeat upon arrival to any scheduled visit.
Happy Mother's Day Weekend! 5/9/2020
At Your Dentistry Today, all non-emergency procedures ceased as of 3/17/2020 and we have been following the lead of Delaware's Division of Health for guidance on decisions for expanding essential services beyond emergency care. Our efforts, as well as those of other dental offices across the state, to limit care has had a positive effect to keep the larger population safe. Last week we were given the word by the Division of Health that services could expand to include treatment of previously diagnosed oral health conditions that would cause harm to the patient if left untreated. The Governor has projected 6/1/2020 as the new target for Phase 1 which would authorize a return to normal services.
My primary goal is safety for all my patients and staff. Here is what we are doing:
Staff discussions of the implementation of new protocol and technology.
The office messaging service is scheduled to be back on-line this week.
Installation of a new phone system will allow direct texting features.
Updating the air handler system and physical barriers in the office.
Staff training in the higher level masking and other PPE items.
Implementation of a teledental program.
We will be going through all appointments that had been scheduled at the onset of the Pandemic but did not occur,as well as those currently scheduled through June. We will contact you regarding your appointment. If you had an appointment scheduled, do not assume it is confirmed. The old system had been reminding some accounts through email until it was corrected. Please be patient and allow us time to get the schedule back in order. We are excited to see you!
I am seeing guidelines on ADA and AGD websites suggesting that dentists use rubber dams and schedule longer visits to allow for room decontamination. So while you may see physical changes in the office you may not note any dramatic changes in clinical procedures since we have had those already in place. Many of you are familiar with the use of rubber dam from past procedures. I was able to solve many potential emergencies in these past 6 plus weeks with help from the intra-oral photos in my patients files. I've been known to document procedures with photos. If patients or staff ever asked why we needed them, I guess I should have said, "but we might need them in the middle of a pandemic to minimize emergencies and give us proper intel to make treatment decisions.
I am still available by email for emergencies at email@example.com and personal cell at 610-308-8270 for text/calls. Non-urgent matters should still go to general office email at firstname.lastname@example.org which is also checked daily. Once again, we look forward to seeing you because We About YOU, Not Just Your Teeth!
The postings on this portion of the website provides our patients and the community with current information. Last evening, the announcement of the State Dental Society was posted with my introduction. In clarification,
This is what to expect:
Some staff will return to begin training of new systems in the upcoming week so phone calls will start to be answered live. We will post those updated hours after the schedule is created.
Our office communication system for phone/email messaging will be made active.
Our teledentistry option will be announced to serve you in many ways. Dr. Matthias can communicate with you via video to review any dental concerns and make any plans to prepare for your specific return whether weeks or months later for re-care appointments or treatment.
I emphasis the need for a slow return given the current conditions. Do not expect much more than emergency care in the first 2-3 weeks. I will be monitoring the local conditions of the overall situation and will be following the lead from the Governor while monitoring information by the CDC, DHSS and DPH. We have all recently been made aware of the phrase- "We are all in this together". It is absolutely true. Please be patient as we refocus our attention to "SAFELY resume excellent dentistry in a patient-friendly environment where, We Care About YOU, Not Just Your Teeth!
Breaking News 4/28/2020 Breaking News
Less than an hour ago--The Delaware Dental Society released this statement to it's members.
I am aware of the information that lead to the announcement since I contributed on the referenced AD HOC Committee Task Force.
The most important qualifier that can not be stressed enough in the return to routine dental care is " Slowly Transition Back"!
Over the past few weeks I have been working on office protocol and acquitting new equipment and technologies to make re-opening possible in this new era. The staff at Your Dentistry Today will be undergoing training to implement new features such as our "curbside check-in" procedures and training in the software of the Tele-dentistry program and features of our office communication system. I able to acquire the appropriate PPE for staff as well as additional masks and sanitizers for patient use. Just today our infra-red thermometers arrived as well as our sani-wipe back order and hand sanitizer. Although my clinical staff is trained in infection control,my front office will have training and rest assured that while many things at the office have changed, one thing that has remained the same: "We Care About YOU!, Not Just Your Teeth!"---
Expect full live all day phone coverage starting 5/4/2020. Please exhibit patience as we begin. There may be time restrictions of when certain aerosol producing procedures are done and at what time on certain days so please realize that scheduling will be done with employee and patient safety in mind. If you have any questions or concerns you can call me or email me at email@example.com
Below is the statement from the DSDS which is the State American Dental Association:
The current DSDS recommendation regarding dental treatment during the COVID-19 pandemic expires on April 30, 2020. As stated in previous messages, there are a lot of critical factors that need to be considered before we update our formal recommendation.
At the end of March, the DSDS formally recommended that all Delaware dentists limit their practices to urgent/emergency care only until April 20, 2020, and later extended it to April 30, 2020. During that time, Governor Carney issued a stay-at-home order closing all non-essential businesses. Although dental offices were classified as essential businesses and were allowed to remain open, the DSDS determined that it was appropriate to help control the spread of COVID-19 across the state by closing our offices to routine dentistry.
As we now approach the end of April, we believe that dentists in Delaware have greatly contributed to flattening the curve of the COVID-19 spread, while keeping patients with urgent dental needs out of hospital emergency departments. By limiting our practices to emergency care, we also allowed scarce PPE resources to be preserved for front line health care workers as they dealt with COVID-19 patients.
The DSDS is issuing guidance for Delaware dentists to slowly transition back into routine dental care starting May 4, 2020.
With the recent increase in production and importation of equipment and supplies, there is now a steady increase in the availability of PPE. In addition, there is concern that the delay and subsequent backlog of non-emergency dental care will soon have a catastrophic effect on the oral health and overall health of Delawareans. As you all know, routine dental visits are essential for the diagnosis of dental and oral health problems and prompt treatment of these problems can prevent more invasive procedures and more extensive problems.
In order to safely re-open our dental offices to routine care during the COVID-19 pandemic, the DSDS strongly urges all dentists to continue to follow the same guidelines/protocols that they have been using while treating emergency/urgent dental needs since the start of this pandemic. As a minimum, special consideration should be given to screening our patients and staff before entering the office, reconfiguring our office waiting rooms to allow for social distancing, and staggering appointments which limits the number of people in our offices and allows for additional time for cleaning and disinfecting between patients. In addition, please review the latest modification to Governor Carney’s State of Emergency (see below).
In preparation for office re-opening, the DSDS established an Ad Hoc Committee Task Force to provide dentists with important tools and resources to protect their patients, office staff and themselves. As mentioned in my message on April 25, we are working on assembling the findings of our Task Force into a Return to Work Guide. The guide is a compilation of the ADA Interim Guidance for Minimizing Risk of COVID-19 Transmission, the ADA Return to Work Interim Guidance Toolkit and the findings of the five work groups of our Task Force. In order to utilize our guide effectively, all members should have access to both of these ADA documents.
YDT update - 4/24/2020
For the past few weeks I have been organizing and researching equipment, methods and strategies to keep my staff and patients healthy and safe. My service positions in both the ADA and AGD on the state and national level have given me insights on how to proceed. In fact, I spent the majority of this week working as the Group leader on the committee charged with "Establishing interim recommendations for re-opening dental offices to routine care in Delaware". You can expect a phased approach to bring back routine services. There will be new routines that both staff and patients will now follow as well as adjustments to certain procedures and office times. I am also unveiling the tele-dentistry options. Across the world there is a saying about "we are all in this together". It is absolutely true. I look forward to sharing these innovations with you in the upcoming days.
Follow the same procedure of leaving non-urgent office matters at firstname.lastname@example.org or leaving an office voicemail which is checked daily. My personal cell is given on the voicemail if you have a dental emergency.
COVID-19 office update---4/11/2020
It came to my attention that e-mail appointment reminders have still been auto-generated. On 3/17/2020 we purposely disabled the office communicator so that texts/emails would not be generated during the state of emergency. Like so many other customer service websites,the company was inundated by thousands of other dental offices doing the same procedural maneuver. Text messaging ceased but apparently not e-mails. On 4/3/2020 we again spoke to customer service to have the e-mail reminder inactive and they said it occurred. We will find out if it was only the remaining ones queued up that still were sent or if there is a glitch. My sincere apologies if anyone was sent a reminder of a non-existent appointment. When it is safe to resume routine appointments we will plan a strategy to reschedule. We all should be aware that change is inevitable and I suspect that we may change business hours to facilitate our patients whose lives/schedules were affected. I am researching air-filtration systems/teledentistry options and other innovative ways to deliver care for our patients. Phone messages will be checked daily. Dr Matthias is available by email at email@example.com and his personal cell is 610-308-8270 for text/calls. Non-urgent matters should still go to general office email at firstname.lastname@example.org which is also checked daily
Stay safe and be well! - Dr. Matthias
(any other year one would not take April 1st postings seriously--but this year is an exception)
Although some guidelines speak of 4/26/2020 as the anticipated opening At this time there is no reason to put on a specific date. We we make our re-opening beyond "emergency only" at a time that it is safe for our patients and staff. As president of Delaware AGD, I will be informed of state guidelines to pass onto many other dental offices in the state, so trust that we will be making informed decisions. Details from prior posts below show how my patients can reach to me. I will soon unveil a Teledentistry application which will allows real-time contact for my patients. Being on the fancy face-time application does make me anxious to see my hair stylist. Now that many office family and personal matters are handled, we will be amping up the content on facebook of useful info and fun items too. We look forward to seeing our patient's smiles when we make it through this situation. Dr. Matthias
COVID-19 Schedule Change Update—POSTED 03/24/2020
As recommended by the State Dental Societies, Your Dentistry Today & Your Sleep Solution will remain closed through April 6th, 2020. Dr. Matthias is available to handle emergencies. Phone messages will be checked daily. Dr Matthias is available by email at email@example.com and his personal cell is 610-308-8270 for text/calls. Non-urgent matters should still go to general office email at firstname.lastname@example.org which is also checked daily.
We are posting content related to current events as well as overdue additions so check out www.yourdentistrytoday.com and follow our Facebook page @yourdentistrytoday if you have not in the past.
Thank you for your patience and understanding as we face the challenges together during this uncertain time. Reach out to us if we can be of any help to you or your loved ones.
Be safe and stay healthy!
POSTED ON 3/17/2020
Dr Matthias is deeply concerned with the health and well-being of our patients, staff, families and overall community with respect to the COVID-19 situation. Dr Matthias is the president of the Delaware Academy of General Dentistry and has been working with the other leaders in organized dentistry on messaging to the overall dental community in the state. As of this morning, on 3/17/2020, Your Dentistry Today and Your Sleep Solution has voluntarily suspended routine elective procedures though the end next week and will be prepared to extend or modify as events unfold. Dr Matthias plans to be in the office with a skeletal staff in order to treat any dental emergencies for our patients of record. Handling dental emergencies alleviates burdens placed on hospital emergency rooms. To keep the lines of communication open Dr Matthias can be reached directly on his personal email at email@example.com. We thank you for your patience and understanding as we face the challenges of this pandemic together. Look for updates to follow!