Coronavirus Update

UPDATED MAY 7th, 2020

Dear ZFO Patients and Families,

I hope that this message finds everyone healthy, happy, and ready to smile! Starting the week of May 11th, we are going to begin a slow re-opening of our office to continue orthodontic treatment. Some of you have not been seen for a long time, and I appreciate your patience in this process. Due to the nature of orthodontic treatment being a continual process, treatment needs to be monitored and we are ready and prepared to continue that journey. 

I want to give some updates on the following which you will find at the end of this letter:

- Appointments and scheduling
- Expectations before, during, and after your visit
- Our new protocols
- Teamwork

I can assure you that I have done everything that I can to prepare for the re-opening, and I will continue to monitor for new developments and recommendations as they change over time. We are going to stay as up-to-date as possible.

We ask for you patience. We had to cancel hundreds of appointments, and we know there is a strong desire to return to our office to continue treatment. We will eventually have everyone back on track, but please understand it will take time. The new changes benefit everyone, but we do have to be very firm with our processes and protocols to ensure the safety of our patients as well as our team. 

We have already begun to schedule patients in a first-cancelled, first-rescheduled order which is fair, efficient, and will serve to get everyone back on track. If you require special accommodation, please reach out to us. If for whatever reason you would like to delay your appointment for the future, you must contact us to let us know so that we can still provide guidance and advice. 

We are so grateful for every one of you! We are dedicated to this community, and this is why we are taking your safety very seriously. Once again, we ask for your patience and understanding. Expect that your treatment progress has been delayed, as has your estimated completion time. We wish that were not the case, but for many patients, it is the truth. Please forgive us as we are focusing on getting each of you back on track while not exposing our team members or patients to unnecessary risk. 

Sincerely,
Dr. Zach


LINK TO SCREENING QUESTIONNAIRE: HERE


APPOINTMENTS AND SCHEDULING:
- PLEASE WAIT FOR OUR OFFICE TO CONTACT YOU FOR AN APPOINTMENT. We have a long list of people to contact, and this will make for more efficient scheduling by our team. 
- COMFORT/URGENT APPOINTMENTS: These appointments will still only be seen on an as-needed basis for significant pain or bleeding. For now, broken brackets are not considered urgent comfort appointments
- RETAINER CHECKS: All retainer check appointments will be postponed until the fall with exception of certain cases that Dr. Zach sees necessary; if you have retainer concerns, please call us and we can still schedule an appointment
- GROWTH CHECKS: Growth check appointments will be seen on a case-by-case basis; in many cases, they will be postponed until the fall; if you have concerns and would like to be seen sooner, please call us and we can still schedule an appointment


BEFORE YOUR VISIT:
- PLEASE BRUSH YOUR TEETH THOROUGHLY RIGHT BEFORE YOUR APPPOINTMENT and do not come in with excessive food or debris on your teeth/braces. Our tooth brushing station is closed and is now a designated station for our patients to wash their hands.
- EVERYONE WHO ENTERS OUR BUILDING MUST HAVE A MASK (both patient and parents). Please come prepared.


YOUR VISIT:
- FOR ALL MINORS (18 and younger), a parent must be at the appointment to sign a questionnaire regarding COVID symptoms and exposure. If you cannot come, you must contact our office prior to the appointment for the form and send a SIGNED COPY with your child. Unfortunately, we cannot make any exceptions to this rule.
- PLEASE ARRIVE ON-TIME. We have staggered arrival times to limit the number of people in our building at any given time. Arriving too early will likely lead to waiting, and late arrivals may need to be rescheduled.
- When you arrive, REMAIN IN YOUR CAR AND CALL our office to let us know you have arrived. We will let you know when to come in.
- For any minor patient, ONE parent/guardian should come in to sign a questionnaire form regarding COVID symptoms and exposure. Absolutely no other individuals will be allowed. We encourage that parents return to their car after signing our questionnaire.
- DO NOT COME IF YOU ARE FEELING ILL. Any question indicating recent exposure to COVID-19 or anyone with signs/symptoms will be asked to leave immediately and will not be able to return for at least the specified 14-day self-quarantine requirement. 
- THE PATIENT’S TEMPERATURE WILL BE TAKEN using a touchless thermometer. If the temperature is > 100 degrees F, you will be asked to leave immediately and will not be able to return for at least the specified 14-day self-quarantine requirement.
- PLEASE MAINTAIN 6-FOOT SOCIAL DISTANCING guidelines while in the office and seated in the waiting room. Reception furniture has been limited to accommodate this guideline.
- Patients will be asked to wash or sanitize their hands before and after their appointment.
- Patients will be asked to rinse with Colgate Peroxyl mouth rinse at their chair where an assistant will suction.
- We ask for understanding as we try to address all of your needs at your visit. Individuals with multiple broken brackets or issues may not have everything completed during the visit due to strict scheduling times. If you anticipate you or child needs more time for these issues, let us know beforehand.


AFTER THE VISIT: 
- DO NOT DRIVE HOME RIGHT AWAY - WE NEED TO SCHEDULE YOUR NEXT VISIT! For child patients, one of our team members will call you to update you on progress and schedule the next appointment. We will not be scheduling at our front desk at this time.
- ADULT PATIENTS – you will be scheduled while seated in the chair.

OUR NEW PROTOCOLS:
- HOURS: Our office hours are now Monday to Friday 8:00am to 4:00pm until further notice. We have extended our clinic hours to space out appointments, catch up on overdue treatment, and allow for extensive cleaning of our office twice per day. We will notify you once normal hours of operation resume in the future.
- BARRIERS: You will notice clear barriers at our front desk as well as in our consult room. Additionally, we have placed barriers between our chairs in the clinic (which are 7 feet apart). We will continue to operate our medical grade HEPA filter in our treatment area (this has been present prior to the pandemic).
- CLEANING: Office cleaning will take place in the morning, midday, and evening. 
- RECEPTION ROOM: Furniture has been limited and no magazines or books are available. We encourage non-patients (parents/guardians) to wait in the car or outside. 

TEAMWORK:
- OUR TEAM IS SCREENED ON A DAILY BASIS with a questionnaire, and temperature is taken daily. Any team member with COVID symptoms or a fever >100 degree F will be required to go home.
- OUR TEAM HAS BEEN THOROUGHLY TRAINED on the new protocols. Please be patient as things may take more time at first as we are adapting to our new protocols. 

 

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