We hope this letter finds you and your family in good health. Our communities have been through a lot over the last few months, and all of us are looking forward to resuming our normal habits and routines. While many things have changed, one thing has remained the same: our office’s commitment to your safety. Infection control has always been a top priority in our practice. We follow recommendations and guidelines made by the American Dental Association (ADA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), as well as the guidelines that have been set forth by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). This allows us to make sure that our infection control procedures are up-to-date and enables us to provide the safest environment for our patients and their family members. We ask that you please be patient and understand that we will do our best to accommodate your scheduling needs as we know many of you are anxious to get back into our office.
During this time, we have implemented additional safety precautions to help protect our patients and staff.
- Upon scheduling an appointment, 24-48 hours in advance of that appointment, a COVID-19 questionnaire will be texted or given to you over the phone. This questionnaire must be completed before you arrive at the office. We will postpone treatment for any patient who has experienced or been in contact with someone who has experienced the following symptoms within 14 days of the scheduled appointment date: fever, cough, loss of taste and/or smell, flu-like symptoms, difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, and fatigue. If you are over the age of 65 or have preexisting health conditions (as recommended by CDC) such as diabetes, chronic lung disease or asthma, serious heart conditions, are immunocompromised, or chronic kidney or liver disease, we recommend you do not visit the office at this time. If this is a concern to you, we would be happy to review this with your physician as well. If you fall into this category but need to accompany a child or family member for a visit, please call our office as we will handle this request on a case-by-case basis.
- We will be scheduling appointments in a manner that promotes social distancing and allows for adequate time for us to disinfect all areas of use in between patient appointments. Due to the additional time needed to adequately disinfect and restore the rooms for the next patients, you may encounter some difficulty in obtaining the desired time for your appointments. You may also be asked to reschedule an appointment. Please be patient with this, as it is for the safety of all those that are in the office. We will do our best to get you in for what is needed. We will do our best to keep to the schedule and ask that you do the same. It is important that you do not miss your appointment, arrive late or cancel with less than 48 hours notice as it may be weeks before we are able to reappoint you (with the exception of illness, of course!)
- Upon arrival at our office, call (847) 526-2831 or text us (847) 534-8119 before entering the office to let us know you have arrived. We will call or text you once the office is ready for you to enter. We ask that patients enter the office unaccompanied, if possible. For those patients who need a guardian to accompany them, we ask that this be limited to a single-family member. In general, we will be keeping the door locked in order to discourage additional visitors in the office unexpectedly. Every person entering the office is expected to wear a face covering and will be asked to sanitize their hands immediately upon entry. Please take your temperature the morning of your appointment. We will confirm no fever with a contactless thermometer upon your arrival, as well as review the medical questionnaire again.
- We have always taken great pride in making our office warm, relaxing and inviting, so it’s a little bittersweet for us to have to make changes though it will be to promote overall health and safety. Our waiting room will no longer offer magazines, charging stations, children’s toys, and so forth, since these items are difficult to clean and disinfect. Clear plastic screens (sneeze guards) have been installed at the front desk to minimize exposure to airborne pathogens. You may choose to more safely use an online payment method, located on our website (www.nortwestdentalhealth.com). If no payments or paperwork is required, you may be able to just exit the office without an additional stop at the front desk, or request any paperwork emailed to you.
- You will also notice that our doctors and staff will be wearing all of the recommended personal protective equipment (PPE). Because of the extra coverage of the PPE, the office will be kept at a cooler temperature. You may want to bring additional clothing for your comfort. We will still have blankets available, as they will be laundered after their usage. The rooms will also appear different, as they may have more protective barriers covering objects and any unnecessary clutter will be cleared out of the room.
Thank you for being part of our family dental practice. We value your trust and loyalty and look forward to welcoming you back. We have missed you all and are excited to be back doing what we love. Please always feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns.
Yours In Health-
Dr. Lynn Podlasek
Dr. Silvio Arauz
And the staff at Northwest Dental Health and Aesthetics