We have re-opened!

IMPORTANT PATIENT UPDATE

Dear Valued Patients,

We hope this update finds you and your family in good health. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic over the last few months leaves us all looking forward to recovering to a ‘new’ normal. While many things have changed, our biggest priority, the safety and well-being of our patients and team members, remains unchanged.

Dentists in Ontario have finally received updated guidelines from the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario and Public Health Ontario to enable dentists to provide care amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The new guidelines for providing care during the COVID-19 pandemic have been stipulated to allow dentists and our office to provide the best treatment attainable without compromising the health and safety of patients and staff.

Our office was recently built in 2016. The operatories are closed with floor to ceiling walls, and the hallways, foyer, and waiting rooms are very spacious. Dr. Straus has recently purchased HEPA (“High Efficiency Particulate Air”) Filtration units. These HEPA Filtration units, in conjunction with a modern HVAC system office design, have allowed our office to provide a safe and effective environment to treat our patients.

There will be additional measures put in place to keep you and team members safe. We believe our patients deserve to know what these new protocols involve, why, and how they will keep them safe. We ask you to take a moment to read over the following sections.

Team Health

All Stratford Dental team members will be screened daily BEFORE reporting to work for any COVID-19 symptoms or potential exposure to COVID-19.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

All Stratford Dental team members will be wearing additional personal protective equipment (PPE). This protects the team member and the patient. During treatment, team members will be masked at all times. Additionally, receptionists will greet you from behind acetate barriers. During aerosol generating procedures, dentists and dental assistants may wear face shields, goggles, gowns, gloves, and N95 or greater respirator masks. Team members put on fresh, new equipment before seeing each patient.

Sterilization

Infection control has always been a top priority for our practice. Our infection control processes ensure that you are both safe and comfortable. Dental offices already use hospital grade sterilization equipment and disinfecting agents. All team members in our office are trained to ensure proper and rigorous sterilization and record keeping of all of our dental instruments.

Operatory Disinfection and Air Purification

Operatories have always been cleaned and disinfected before and after each patient. Provisional doors have been put in place to prevent any aerosols generated during a procedure from making their way into the hallways or waiting room. After a patient has been treated, the room is kept closed and empty for a specific amount of time to allow our filtration systems to reduce the aerosols by 99.9%. The newly equipped operatories with HEPA air filtration units ("High Efficiency Particulate Air" filtration), in conjunction with a modern HVAC system allow for the aerosols to be reduced quickly. Our goal is for our patients and team members to breathe comfortably, confidently, and safely in our office.

Office Disinfection and Physical Distancing

Waiting room chairs have been separated by at least six feet to ensure safe physical distance. All magazines and toys have been removed from the waiting areas. The point of sales terminal has a barrier on it and is wiped with hospital grade disinfectant wipes after each patient use. Credit and debit cards are the preferred forms of payment at this time. Non-treatment areas will be disinfected frequently throughout the day, including but not limited to door handles, countertops, reception chair arms, faucets and toilet handles in the patient bathroom. Numerous signs have been posted throughout the office to remind and encourage patients and team members to maintain a safe physical distance of two metres or six feet (aside from when rendering treatment to a patient in the operatory at which point the dentist and dental assistant may wear face shields, gowns, goggles, masks and gloves).

New Appointment Procedures and Patient Health

Do not come to the office if you are sick.

Patients will be seen by appointment only. Walk-ins are not permitted; please instead call our office.

We NEED verbal confirmation of your appointment. Note this is a major change in process. This is required because we are mandated by Public Health to screen all appointed patients for symptoms of COVID-19 the day prior to their appointment and at the time of their appointment. Text messaging options may still be initially used, but verbal confirmation and screening will need to occur the day before your appointment.

Patients are required to wear a mask or face covering from home when entering the office, waiting for their appointment, and on completion of their appointment when checking out. Patients are asked to sanitize their hands or wash their hands frequently throughout their visit. A hand sanitizing station has been added immediately upon entry and throughout the office.

Patients are asked to come alone to their appointment unless an accommodation is required (such as, a parent accompanying a young child receiving dental treatment or a patient who requires a translator or personal assistant).

A consent form for treatment will be required upon entry and your temperature will be taken by a team member prior to providing treatment.

Dental Hygiene Appointments

Care provided by our dental hygienists has now been permitted. As stated above, we at Stratford Dental have taken multiple steps to provide the safest environment for patients and staff. Oral health is vitally important to one’s overall health and we look forward to seeing you to provide optimal care. For those patients who had their hygiene appointments postponed during the COVID-19 office closure, you will be receiving a phone call shortly to reschedule your appointment.

We will get through this together.

Thank you in advance for your co-operation and patience.

Yours truly, Dr. Mark Straus & Team at Stratford Dental
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