Our community has been through a lot over the last few months, and all of us are looking forward to resuming our normal habits and routines. We are happy to let you know our office has opened back up as of Monday, May 18th. While many things have changed, one thing has remained the same: our commitment to your safety.
Infection control has always been a top priority for our practice. Our office follows infection control recommendations made by the American Dental Association (ADA), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Washington Industrial Safety and Health Act (WISHA). We follow the activities of these agencies so that we are up-to-date on any new rulings or guidance that may be issued. We do this to make sure that our infection control procedures are current and adhere to each agency’s recommendations.
Due to new recommendations made by these organizations and due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you may see some changes when it is time for your next appointment. We made these changes to help protect our patients and our staff members. For example:
- Our office will communicate with you at least one business day before your appointment to ask some screening questions to assess your risk for COVID-19. Staff is also answering these questions every day they work. You will be asked those same questions again when you are in the office.
- Upon arrival to your appointment, we will ask you to wait in your car call us to let us know you have arrived. Once we are ready to take you back for your appointment, we will call you to let you know it is time to come inside. This ensures proper social distancing. Because we are working so hard to maintain a safe social distance, it is very important you arrive on time for your appointment. Anyone arriving more than 15 minutes late to their appointment will be asked to reschedule.
- Only the patient will be allowed to enter the office and companions will need to wait in the car. If the patient is a minor, we ask that only one parent comes with them to their appointment.
- You’ll be asked to wear your own mask when you enter our office. We will provide you with one if you don’t have any but due to a shortage of masks, we would appreciate you bringing your own when possible. You’ll then be asked to put it on when we are not working in your mouth.
- We ask you to take your temperature at least an hour before your appointment and then we will take your temperature again when you arrive to the office. If your temperature is above 100.4 we will ask you to reschedule. Staff members are also taking their temperature daily prior to seeing patients.
- Once we have taken you back, we will have you wash your hands and swish with a mouth rinse that consists of Hydrogen Peroxide and listerine.
- Clinical Staff will be wearing N95 respirators (or equiv) with an ASTM level I mask over it or ASTM level III masks combined with polycarbonate face shield and eye protection. Our front office will also be wearing masks and you will see new cough/sneeze shields protecting them.
- It is likely that your hygienist will not use the cavitron to reduce the amount of aerosols in the office. If the cavitron is used, we have purchased new high vacuum suction equipment to capture aerosols.
- We also have new HEPA13 filtration systems set up through the office.
- You may see that our waiting room will no longer offer magazines, children’s toys and so forth, since those items are difficult to clean and disinfect.
- Appointments will be managed to allow for social distancing between patients. That might mean that you’re offered fewer options for scheduling your appointment.
- We will do our best to allow greater time between patients to reduce waiting times for you, as well as to reduce the number of patients in the reception area at any one time.
- We are set up to use contactless payment options such as Apple and Google Pay. We also accept tap to pay if your credit/debit card has that capability. Cash/checks are a last resort.
We look forward to seeing you again and are happy to answer any questions you may have about the steps we take to keep you, and every patient, safe in our practice. To make an appointment, please call our office at 425-774-5596 or visit our website at nicholemartindmd.com.
Please keep in mind, we rescheduled 600 appointments during the shutdown! We have added additional days and hours to help make up for the time loss but most likely you may be waiting longer than normal to get in for your teeth cleaning. Please let us know if you would like to be put on our cancellation list.
Thank you for being our patient. We value your trust and loyalty and look forward to welcoming back our patients, neighbors and friends.
Dr. Martin and team