The COVID-19 pandemic has changed a lot of things about our daily lives. Now we are open and are seeing patients for non-emergency appointments. The American Dental Association has developed science-based guidance to dentists on extra steps we can take, in addition to the infection control procedures we’ve always followed, to help protect our patients and staff. Here’s what you can expect at your next appointment. Before Your Appointment Please call us if you feel ill or have a fever, and we will reschedule your appointment when you are better. Please limit the number of people you bring to the appointment. That could mean leaving your children at home or allowing older children to go into the office alone while you wait outside during their appointment. At Your Appointment Please wear a mask to the appointment or we can provide you with one. When you arrive at the office, you may wait outside in your car and call us, and we will call you in when we are ready for you. If you need to come inside to cool off, you are welcome to do so. When you enter the office, you will have your temperature taken, and you will be given a mouthwash to use. Inside the office, you may notice things people often touch in the waiting room – like toys or magazines – have been removed. We have hand sanitizer available for you to use, and we will wipe down items you touch, such as pens, clipboards, or furniture. When you’re in the dental chair, you may notice some things that look different from the last time you were there. We will also be using different protective equipment than we’ve used at previous appointments. This could include different masks, face shields, gowns and goggles. These additional precautions help protect both you and us. We may be using HEPA Air purifiers with ultraviolet light to clean the air in the office from time to time. After Your Appointment After your appointment is over, the staff will thoroughly clean the areas where you’ve been using disinfectants that are effective against the virus that causes COVID-19 to prepare for the next patient. This helps reduce the risk of illness being passed on to others. If you start feeling ill with the symptoms of COVID-19 within 14 days of your appointment, call the dental office. You may have already been carrying the virus at the time of your appointment, so anyone who came into contact with you during that time could be at risk of getting sick too. Remember, regular dental visits are an essential part of your overall health. Be sure to reschedule your dental checkups, so we can catch small problems early.