COVID SAFETY UPDATE

UPDATE

It is great to be back! We've completed our fourth month of patient care in the new world of dentistry. It's been a terrific success with the support of our caring and loyal patients. We can't thank you enough for your perseverance!  Please check out our welcome back video here: 

https://youtu.be/hvhxm_0uwe4

I wish to express my team's sincere best wishes for those of you who are getting back to school and college experiences. Education looks different in this COVID era, but our heartfelt wishes for your success in the future remain resolute.

My fervent hope is that you and your families have weathered this unprecedented series of storms safely and in good health. I hope to get to see you soon.

This update will be long (I apologize in advance!) as it addresses 3 things:

  1. Methods to contact our office for general appointments and care
  2. Status of Reopening
  3. What we’ve done to secure patient and team safety

 

1. Methods to contact our office:

For general concerns or questions during office hours, please call 603-882-3001 and leave a message describing your concern.

PLEASE NOTE: All appointments made prior to the June 1, 2020 were canceled and new appointments and time allotments have been created in order to accommodate the changes in environment created by our national leaders at the ADA, OSHA, NIH, CDC and OSAP, and to comply with the mandates of our local and state governments that are required to provide care for our patients. If you had scheduled an appointment prior to shutdown, please contact Gina or Melissa to update your appointment.

For emergency needs after hours, call 603-882-3001 and leave a message describing your concern so that my staff may address your concerns on the following business day and then follow the prompts to contact me directly. We will arrange care for every emergency need, and have the ability to initiate a tele-dental triage consultation, if needed, to manage your needs appropriately and accordingly.

2. Status of Reopening

Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have been here for you. In addition, we have been in the office for full-time, regular patient care since June 1, 2020. We completed a "soft opening to permit our patients and staff to acclimate to the changes induced by the viral crisis that has forced us to shut down our work, our travel and our lives.

Starting July 1, we began "new normal" scheduling" and welcomed back our patients for continuing care--two full weeks ahead of schedule! We decreased June’s extended appointment times from 120 minutes to 90 minutes; incorporated block schedules to limit the number of patients "crossing paths;" and enhanced the post-treatment sterilization and disinfection procedures. Now that we are fully trained, fully equipped with aerosol mitigation protocols, and experienced, our regular hygiene appointment times are being reduced in order to accommodate the safe care of more patients. We are back at full steam to provide preventive cleaning, periodontal (gum disease) therapy and the full range of restorative and surgical therapies.

3. What we’ve done to secure patient and team safety

It is and always has been my opinion that the profession of dentistry has been successfully managing infection control since the late 1980s, when HIV and Hepatitis-B invaded our world, by maintaining constant vigilance to the contagiousness of the aerosols created during dental treatment. Despite the close nature of our work, there has not been a single case of practitioner-to-patient or patient-to-practitioner transmission of aids or hepatitis in the United States during my career of almost 35 years! I expect COVID-19 to be no different. We who are most at risk of contamination by the virus know that it is safe to visit your dentist--and we want EVERYONE to stay healthy!

Since our office closed on March 17, I spent approximately 60 hours of study and research in order to update my infectious disease knowledge base with webinars and training from the CDC, the WHO, the ADA, the New Hampshire Dental Society and numerous consulting firms around the country. In addition, I have spent uncounted hours gathering data on aerosol mitigation and procuring personal protection equipment to maintain the health and safety of my team members so they are able to provide you with the best and safest dental care possible.

In mid-April, we began the process of upgrading our technical services and began the renovation of our physical office to mitigate the potential for aerosol contamination, thereby limiting the airborne spread of potentially infectious germs:

  1. Installed Vanguard chairside HEPA aerosol suction units that will collect up to 95% of the spray created during dental treatments.
  2. Installed Molekule HEPA/PECO air scrubber purifiers in each of the treatment rooms.
  3. Installed Purebreeze and Molekule HEPA air purifiers in hallways and "public" spaces.
  4. Upgraded the office HVAC system to MERV-11 filtration.
  5. Ordered hand-held Purevac high volume evacuation systems in each of the hygiene treatment rooms to further reduce risk at the point of aerosol generation.
  6. Installed tempered glass partitions in the administration areas of the office.
  7. Installed doors on all treatment rooms.

Until we meet again in person, as we ease back into the regular swing of life post-quarantine, please be safe. Wash your hands, wear a mask when you are indoors in public places (not when out in the fresh air!), practice social distancing and support your local small businesses. Look for more information and communication in your email in the coming weeks.

Scott F Bobbitt DMD MAGD DICOI