Let us guide you through our New Normal…
We want to start by saying how much we have missed seeing all of our patients! It has been quite a journey through these past few months. Dentistry was unfortunately involved in one of the first outbreaks in this Pandemic due to a positive exposure at the Pacific Dental Conference (PDC), and we sadly lost a colleague in North Vancouver. Thankfully, none of our local dental personnel who attended the conference were impacted. Dr. Bonnie Henry, our Chief Public Health Officer, called for everyone who attended the PDC to enter into self-isolation on March 16, and on March 23, she suspended services at all the dental offices in BC except for emergency services. Due to the severe shortage of Advanced Personal Protection Equipment (PPE), most dental offices remained closed through our Phase 1 with only Regional Centers for Emergency Dentistry taking care of the most emergent/urgent of cases. It has been quite a challenging time for Dentistry, and we want to thank our patients for their patience.
As we re-open our practice, we are embracing our “New Normal” and we want to take this opportunity to introduce all the measures we have taken to keep you and our team safe.
Scheduling an appointment: Our receptionists will be pre-screening all our patients before an appointment is scheduled. 1-2 days prior to your appointment, we will again contact you for another health screening as we confirm your appointment. It is imperative that our receptionist is able to communicate with you for this screening. If she is unable to communicate with you, please assume that your appointment will need to be rescheduled.
Patient Screening & Self-Quarantine: We implore that all our patients be fully transparent about their health and risk of exposure during their screening. If you have symptoms or have been identified to have an increased risk of exposure, we will direct you to call 8-1-1 and proceed with self-isolation. We will re-schedule your appointment to a better time.
Arriving for your appointment: As you arrive at your parking spot, please phone our receptionist to check in. She will, once again, review your health screening. She is responsible for ensuring that the patient flow through the waiting area does not contravene the physical distancing requirements to keep you safe. She will advise you when you may enter our facility.
As you enter our waiting area, please perform hand hygiene with the alcohol hand rub provided. Your temperature may be taken. You will then be guided into a treatment room right away.
Please understand that if you enter our facility and have symptoms of being ill, you will be provided with a face mask and re-directed outside until we have an opportunity to re-direct your care.
You are very welcome to wear a non-medical mask to your appointment.
Our Reception area & Washroom: It will be noted that our waiting room will be very bare, and all surfaces will be cleaned and disinfected multiple times a day. There are plexiglass barriers at the reception counters to provide protection to both our patients and our staff. The Point-of-Sale machine and any stationary used will be disinfected after each use. Our receptionists will be disinfecting and cleaning their work spaces regularly throughout the day.
Our Patient Washroom will be closed, so please prepare for that before your appointment.
Drop-Ins: We will not be allowing anyone without an appointment to enter our facility until they have contacted our receptionist to coordinate the timing for entry. This is to ensure that we maintain a safe number of people in our space to preserve our physical distancing requirements.
Companions: At this time, we request that patients do not bring a companion with them, if at all possible. The companion will be asked to wait outside the office.
Only one parent may attend with their child and must accompany their child into the treatment room. It is strongly recommended that other siblings who do not have appointments not be present.
Staff Screening: All our team members will be screened, and a daily log will be kept. We will not come to work when we are sick. We will only return to work when we have been given the green light by our Primary Care Physician. We recognize that your appointment may be impacted by this stringent sickness policy.
Consents: All our staff will be required to sign a consent to work under these COVID conditions daily. Our patients will also be required to sign a consent to receive treatment under these COVID conditions before treatment can be provided.
Our Teams: At this time, we have divided our Staff into 2 teams….Dr. Gale’s team and Dr. Ettinger’s team. We are taking turns to work so that we are effectively reducing the number of people in our space at any one time to reduce the amount of contact between our staff members and between patients.
Our PPE: Due to the current situation in BC, where we have little to no community spread, our PHO & WorkSafeBC guided Regulations from the CDSBC do not call for any extra PPE when treating non-symptomatic patients. Having said that, most of our staff members feel better about adopting the level of PPE wear as you see us….closed-toe shoes, scrubs, gown, surgical mask, face shield and gloves.
Your Procedure: Before we start your procedure, we will request that you rinse your mouth with a 1% Hydrogen Peroxide Mouth Wash or with a Chlorhexidine Mouth Wash. Rubber dam will be placed, and High Volume Evacuation will be used to reduce the amount of aerosols generated during the procedure. Hygienists will be using continuous High Volume Evacuation during their use of Ultrasonic or Piezo instruments to minimize the amount of aerosols generated.
Cleaning & Sterilization: Please be reassured that your treatment room and all equipment used will have been disinfected or sterilized as per full Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) requirements by our College of Dental Surgeons of BC (CDSBC). All counters and surfaces will have been thoroughly wiped and disinfected.
Our pediatric patients: We are sorry that we will not be able to allow our little patients to choose their own prizes at this time. We will be choosing a prize for them to minimize any cross-contamination of objects. Of course, they can look from a distance to make their selection.
Next appointments & Payments: After your procedure, you will be guided up to the reception area to manage your financial arrangements and to schedule for your next care appointment. You may choose to do contactless payments with e-transfers to email@example.com. Please be concise with your questions and limit the time for conversation with our receptionists.
Home care: After your appointment, please return directly home to shower, wash your hair and change your clothes before heading out or interacting with anyone outside of your isolation “bubble”.
As Health Care Providers, we understand clearly the rationale behind all the precautions we are taking. But as small-town Family Dentists who find the most joy out of visiting with our patients and developing a relationship with them, we find all these COVID restrictions to be very austere and we hope that we can return to our “Old Normal” really soon. Until then, please be patient with us as we try to keep everyone safe in our care and employment.
Dr. Philomena Gale, Dr. Grace Ettinger & Team
MacKenzie Dental Centre, Revelstoke
MacKenzie Dental Centre
Suite #101 – 101 First Street West
PO Box 2638
Revelstoke, BC, V0E 2S0