April 29th, 2020
To Our Fantastic Patients,
We will be celebrating our Strategic Re-Opening on Monday, May 4th! (Que fireworks and confetti!)
Please notice the use of the word “strategic”. This will NOT be business as usual. We are going to be moving slowly, as we are committed to doing everything we can to prevent further spread of COVID-19 in our valley.
We will not knowingly treat a patient that has the possibility of having COVID-19, as the risk to our other patients and staff is simply too great at this time. We will be screening all patients at scheduling and when they arrive for their appointment. How we are scheduling patients is also changing. For a complete list of changes we are making, protections we are implementing, and anything else you may want to know, please check out the COVID FAQ section of our website: http://www.ashlanddentist.com/covid-faq.html
We will be evaluating our procedures on a regular basis, and adjusting as necessary to be sure we are in compliance with all regulatory bodies.
- If you have a hygiene appointment that we have NOT contacted you to cancel, it is still on the books. We are currently calling to see who is planning on keeping their appointments and who wants to wait until COVID-19 is no longer a threat. You can help us with this by emailing email@example.com and letting us know. It will save us time, and we will contact to prescreen for your appointment, or reschedule if you prefer.
- Initially we will only be scheduling 2 hygienists a day instead of 3. This means we may need to change your appointment even if you want to keep it. We are doing this to reduce the number of staff and patients in the office to maintain proper social distancing standards.
- For patients who have treatment that was already scheduled OR we have spoken to you during our shut down, we will begin calling on Thursday, April 28th to get you scheduled. Again, we are limiting the number of patients the doctors will see per day, so please have patience with us.
- We have kept notes on all patients who we need to contact….it amounts to several hundred people. We are moving through this as quickly as we can, but I know it can be frustrating to wait. We are asking that, unless you are in pain or having an active infection, you refrain from calling to get scheduled unless you have not heard from us by May 18th.
The last thing that we are asking is the hardest one. Because of the constraints that we are working under, we may not have the ability to be as talkative or accommodating as we normally are. Changes in treatment standards means harder work for our hygienists. Prescreening every patient by the front desk staff means more time on the phone. We are asking for your understanding during this time because we may not seem as friendly as usual. It’s not that we don’t love and value all our patients. It is because we are trying to provide as much service as we can, to as many patients as we can, in a situation where we must limit the number of patients we can see, with fewer staff to accomplish it. To that end, it may not be possible to see the provider you want at the time you want. We have already had some challenges with our hygiene schedule, and current circumstances will not make things easier. Patient flexibility will help in allowing us to schedule in as timely manner possible.
We know this is an unsettling time for everyone. If you have any questions, please go to http://www.ashlanddentist.com/covid-faq.html to see if the answer is there. If not, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and Teri will respond within 2 working days.
We cannot thank you, our wonderful patients, enough for the kind words you have given us over the last couple of months. We know how fortunate we are to be in a community that supports and cares about each other. We appreciate you and look forward to the day when this challenge is behind us all.
Stay safe and healthy.
Dr. James Burneson
Dr. Edward Warr
The Staff at Today’s Dentistry
April 24, 2020
To Our Wonderful patients,
Governor Brown is allowing Medical and Dental offices to restart non-emergent and elective procedures as of May 1st. The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) has issued a set of guidelines that we are required to follow in order to begin seeing patients.
While we would like to open our doors immediately, the nature of COVID-19 and the steps laid out by the OHA require us to take this slowly. We must maintain social distancing, we must screen all patients for illness, and we must maintain a certain level of personal protective equipment (PPE) for staff.
All these items require us to make changes in how we schedule patients. There is also still a shortage of PPE. At the beginning of this crisis, we were asked to give up our excess PPE, which we did. While we do have gear here, getting replacements and adding to stock is proving to be a challenge.
We are asking for your patience and understanding as we navigate this new world of Dentistry. We will, by necessity, not be able to see as many patients in a day as we have previously. Because of the difficulty obtaining PPE, we will be building schedules slowly, and having to make some hard calls regarding priority. If we are unable to get PPE, we will have to cancel all appointments.
If you have an upcoming appointment scheduled May 4th or later, we WILL be in contact to either verify or reschedule your appointment, based on the above criteria. We do ask that if you have any of the symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, tiredness, dry cough) and you have an appointment within 14 days, you let us know so we can reschedule you.
If you are in a high-risk category (over 60 years of age, compromised immune system or lung and heart function), we ask that you strongly consider the balance of risks vs. benefits prior to treatment. We can help you make that decision. We will be answering phones from (at least) 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Monday through Thursday next week. We can also be reached by email at email@example.com. We will respond during the above mentioned hours.
Thank you for being such an amazing group of patients and working with us while we navigate a path forward. Stay safe and healthy.
Dr. James A. Burneson
Dr. Edward J. Warr
The Staff at Today’s Dentistry
Dear Wonderful Patients,
On March 19th, Governor Brown issued a new Executive Order that will keep dental offices closed to elective and non-urgent treatment until June 15th. This order will achieve two objectives, reduce unnecessary contacts between people, and preserve Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for the emergency response. Part of the Order requests that any provider with surplus PPE turn them over to the State. We agree with this course of action and have already donated face masks and gloves.
We are reaching out to every patient who is scheduled between now and then to cancel appointments. Due to the unique nature of this situation, we are not planning on immediately rescheduling appointments at this time. As we get closer to June 15th, and it appears that we will be allowed to resume seeing patients, we will need to triage care. As you can imagine, patients who are in discomfort or who have treatment that, if not quickly addressed, will lead to additional treatment, will be considered highest priority. Please understand this is still a very fluid situation and can change almost daily. As things update, we will keep you posted through the website, emails, and text blasts.
If you or a loved one has a dental emergency, please call 541-708-1109. This is Dr. Burneson’s phone, he will be fielding all emergency calls through the duration of this crisis. Please CLICK HERE for a list of dental emergencies. PLEASE ONLY USE THIS LINE IF YOU ARE HAVING A DENTAL EMERGENCY. Please call the office at 541-482-7771 for all non-emergency calls. Teri will be checking messages periodically, but we will not plan on keeping the office open at specific times. We apologize for the inconvenience.
THANK YOU for being such wonderful patients. This is a very uprecedented time for all of us, but community, hope, and kindness will get us through. Words cannot express our gratitude for your trust and confidence in our office and look forward to the day we get to see your lovely smiles in person.
Dr Burneson, Dr Warr, and the Staff of Today's Dentistry