COVID-19 Re-Opening Protocols

Welcome back to Montgomery Pediatric Dentistry! Our community has been through so much over these past few months and all of us here are looking forward to returning to what we love to do: taking care of your little ones! While many things have changed, one thing has remained the same, our commitment to delivering the safest possible dental care.

Upon reopening, we want to assure you that Montgomery Pediatric Dentistry will continue to meet or exceed all guidelines set forth by the American Dental Association (ADA), the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). We are closely following all updates provided by these agencies and are committed to adhering to all the latest recommendations.

Behind the scenes, we’ve always been dedicated the highest degree of disinfection and sterilization. In the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic, we will be implementing new protective measures to minimize infection risk for patients and team members. Rest assured, Montgomery Pediatric Dentistry will always hold itself to the highest infection control standard. Our kids come here too!

Montgomery Pediatric Dentistry thanks you for trusting us to assure the safety of both our patients and our team members during these times. We are excited to show you how prepared we are and how well we have adapted to our new safety changes!

Screening Over the Phone

Prior to each scheduled dental appointment, a member of our team will be giving you a call to confirm your child’s upcoming dental appointment. If you see us calling, please pick up. We will have some important things to discuss.

In addition to confirming your appointment, we will then proceed to ask you a few simple screening questions:

  • Has the patient or anyone in the family had a fever in the past 14 days?
  • Has the patient or anyone in the family had any cough or difficulty breathing?
  • Any other flu-like symptoms, such as GI upset, headache, or fatigue?
  • Any rash, swelling of the hands, redness of the eyes, swollen neck?
  • Has anyone been in contact with a confirmed COVID-19 positive patient?

If you answer yes to any of the screening questions, we may recommend a teledentistry visit before coming into the office, where the dentist will be able to answer questions over the phone before determining if an office visit is necessary.

If you get a voicemail from us before your child’s dental appointment, please call us back so we can complete the screening process. As an alternative, you can complete this screening questionnaire online at mpdsmiles.com.

Before Your Appointment

  • To limit the amount of time spent in the office, we are requiring that all new patients complete their paperwork on our website before their appointment.
  • If you are a returning patient, we will let you know if you need to complete the medical history update form also found on our website. This way, you won’t need to complete any forms when you get here.
  • Let us know if your dental insurance has changed before the visit.
  • If you get a text from our office, you can also text us back. Emojis are encouraged!
  • We will continue to offer complimentary verification of dental insurance benefits whereby our team members call your insurance company and verify your benefits ahead of time. This means that our computer system will be as accurate as possible when it comes to coverage and expected payments.

Instructions for Accompanying Your Child

  • We require that only 1 parent accompany their child to his or her dental visit and that both the parent and the child wear a facial covering or mask.
  • We understand that some young children (age 1 through age 4) may not tolerate a mask but all older children should be in a mask to help protect our team members.
  • No siblings will be permitted unless they also have an appointment on the same day.
  • Parents of older children are welcome to wait in the car or wait in our socially distant reception area during their child’s appointment.
  • If you choose to accompany your child into the treatment room, we require that you stay in the room for the duration of the visit and not walk in and out of the room.

Parking Lot Waiting Room and Patient Entry

We are dedicated to practicing appropriate social distancing measures and as a result we are happy to introduce our new Parking Lot Waiting Room protocol!

  • Upon parking in our lot, please call the main office line 609-454-3722 and you will be prompted to select #1. We have a dedicated phone inside the office, and we will pick up the phone and check you into the system.
  • You will then be instructed to either wait in your car until we are ready for you or to come right in if we are ready to bring you to the treatment room.
  • Before walking through the front door, one of our team members will take you and your child’s temperature with a contact-less thermometer that will not touch your skin.
  • We will then ask that both the parent and the patient use one of our readily available hand sanitizers found throughout the office.
  • If you came into the office with gloves on, we ask that you dispose of your gloves and use hand sanitizer in order to eliminate cross-contamination. ➢ Hand hygiene and not touching your face are more important than wearing gloves!

Fast-Pass Check-Out

  • To facilitate an expedient exit of the building, we are moving all traditional “checkout” procedures into the treatment room.
  • Upon completion of the dental visit, you will be instructed to stay in the room to make your next appointment (both treatment appointments and 6-month cleaning appointments).
  • If your child requires a follow-up visit for dental treatment, a team member will review the treatment plan with you right in the treatment room.
  • In addition, we will now be accepting payment in the treatment rooms.
  • This will allow you to have a “Fast-Pass Check-Out” where you can leave the building and completely bypass the check-out area.
  • As always, payment will be due same-day and we will utilize “no-touch” payment systems.
  • If we know ahead of time that your child will have a co-pay, deductible, or other payments due, we will collect this payment before their appointment either on the confirmation call or while you’re in the parking lot waiting room.

Appointment Modifications

  • To reduce interaction with other families, we will be adding more time in between appointments and staggering start times for different families.
  • We will be expanding some of our hours into the morning and expanding into the evening in order to accommodate the high demand for dental appointments in direct response to our closure.
  • Although we will do our best to accommodate each scheduling request, we ask that you be flexible with our office as your preferred time may not be available.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

  • Our entire team will now be required to wear masks at all times. Please remember that although you can’t see our faces, we will be smiling behind the masks!
  • Goggles, face shields, and long gowns may also be worn depending on the treatment that will be provided. Some dental procedures can create some splatter of water back at the dentist or hygienist and we will be limiting those procedures or protecting ourselves with more PPE if we must do them.

Infection Prevention Practices

The next time you are in one of our treatment rooms you may notice a medical device on the counter: this is because we have invested in air purification systems that include both a HEPA14 rated filter and an ultraviolet germicidal lamp. This combination of approaches minimizes the possibility of any airborne disease. This system can take a pathogen as small as a virus out of the air and eradicate it. We are excited to be able to provide the highest quality air for our team members as well as our families.

We were passionate about infection control before COVID-19, and now we can have all of our skills on display! Every instrument at MPD is wrapped in a specialized cassette and packaged and sterilized in a state-of-the-art sterilization system. Every room is thoroughly sterilized before and after every patient.

We have been spending time during our shut-down learning! Our entire team has been participating in and will continue to participate in continuing education specifically geared toward infection prevention in the dental office setting.

Please forgive us if we wash our hands 100 times in your presence, but we are seriously committed to the cleanest possible work environment. You are in our office for just a short time, but we work here and are passionate about keeping it clean!

Employee Screening

Not only are we taking your temperature and your child’s temperature, but we are taking our temperatures at the start of every day as well! Whether you are a patient or a team member, anyone with a 99 or higher will be asked to leave.

We have an open and friendly team culture where no one is afraid to speak up if they have been feeling ill and we are asking our team members to take no chances with their health. If we have any mild symptoms at all, we will be required to stay home.

Gratitude

Every day our team gathers for a morning huddle to review the day. Each of these meetings ends with a unique gratitude statement.

Although a global pandemic took us out of work for months, threatened our health, and forced us to change so many protocols here at work, we remain grateful. Grateful for the opportunity to work in such a rewarding profession. Grateful to heal a hurting tooth. Grateful to reassure a concerned parent. Grateful to educate on the importance of oral health. Grateful for having the kind of workplace that feels more like a second home than a job. And most importantly, grateful to you: our wonderful families who have supported us through it all.

Our Sincerest Thanks,

Dr. Ciano, Dr. Russo, Dr. Sidhu, Heidi, Heather, Angela, Cherlene, Nermeen, Julie, Valerie, and Annette.

Questions? You can reach us at [email protected]