The safety of our patients and staff is our first priority. After being closed for two month to all non-urgent dental care starting, we are re-opened for all dental procedures on June 1 per Governor Cuomo’s order on May 31. If you want to schedule an appointment or have any other questions and concerns, please call us at 212-355-4510 or email us from our contact us page and we will reply right away.
After two long months of having our practice providing only urgent care due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we are reopening on June 1 for all procedures.
Having been open for emergency and urgent treatment for over two months, not only allowed us to serve our community in urgent need, but also provided an opportunity to develop a protocol to ensure safety of our staff and patients. One thing you may not know about me is that I am a hypochondriac and germophobe, but this time I was able to put my vices to good use. Also, I have a 16-month-old daughter and parents over 65 years old, who babysit her and whom I see several times a week. Therefore, the search for a safety protocol in my dental practice became both a professional and personal journey for me.
I follow American Dental Association (ADA) and OSHA guidelines in my practice. However, this time, I was initially left on my own to figure out what safety protocol I needed to implement as neither ADA nor OSHA had experience with this virus. As dentists, we have always been highly experienced with treating patients with infectious diseases such as Hepatitis C and HIV for decades while keeping our staff and patients safe. Just like the AIDS epidemic in the 80s assured a new set of universal precautions and forever changed the practice of dentistry, Covid-19 is changing the way we are practicing today.
For the past two months I have been working diligently on obtaining all needed personal protective equipment (PPE). You are going to see our staff wearing N95 masks, shields, and protective gowns in addition to the simple surgical masks we wore before. All shields, masks, and gowns are either sterilized or disposed after seeing each patient.
Some of you may have heard about the ‘aerosol’ which is created during dental treatment, which may carry the virus if a patient is infected. Therefore, I obtained additional equipment to decrease spread of Covid-19 through air particles. We use UVC light to disinfect rooms in between patients. I have also installed a central air purification system in each treatment room, which utilizes shielded UV light to continuously disinfect the air. It can replace the air in each room with newly disinfected air every 15 minutes.
In addition, you will see a few extra devices that help with suctioning aerosol right next to you, which is either extra-oral suction or additional intra-oral high-speed suction.
We are keeping the surfaces and everything you need to touch thoroughly disinfected with the appropriate FDA-approved coronavirus cleaning substances which are highly capable of killing the virus in 15-60 seconds.
To minimize the contact with surfaces and administrative staff, we have installed touchless credit card processing, Apple pay, Samsung pay and other touchless devices such as faucets, soap dispensers, and disinfectant dispensers.
To minimize the amount of paper handling, we will be emailing all post-care instructions, treatment plans, and receipts to you. We are also asking our patients to submit payments through Zelle rather than writing us a check or handing over cash, if possible. You can add [email protected] as a recipient for Zelle payments.
All patients will be required to answer a questionnaire one business day prior to their scheduled dental visit to verify that there are no symptoms associated with Covid-19, including elevated body temperature, or being in contact with a person recently diagnosed or suspected of having Coronavirus. We will measure your temperature upon arrival once again.
Before entering the office, you will be required to put your mask on. If you do not have one, we have them available at the entrance. You will always be asked to wear your mask while in the office, except when you are actively receiving dental treatment. This will help us minimize the exposure of the personnel not actively involved with your dental treatment. To further protect our front desk personnel, we installed sneeze guards. In our waiting room, we have installed Dyson Pure Cool Cryptomic with HEPA filter to continuously remove air borne particles.
You will be asked to disinfect your hands and leave all your personal belongings, except your phone, in the waiting area. We also installed installing lockers, which will allow you to safely store your belongings for the duration of your dental appointment.
We are working extremely hard to minimize contact and maintain 6 feet of safe distance between patients. We are spacing our appointments to have no more than two people in the waiting area at any given time (in most cases, you will be the only person). To achieve this, we are asking our adult patients to arrive alone. If you need an escort due to your medical situation, please advise us in advance so we can make proper accommodations.
In addition, we are placing a few benches directly outside of the office, so if there is more than one person in the waiting area, you can comfortably wait outside.
All our personnel have been tested for antibodies. We have finger-prick antibody tests available to you as well for $50, which produce results 10 minutes.
As the world learns daily on the best ways to cope with Covid-19, so do we. We welcome your feedback and questions, and are happy to address your concerns, as we will strive daily to keep our patients and our personnel safe.
Dr. Olga Malkin