May 4, 2020
Hello Smile Gallery Friends,
There is a lot of information swirling but no clear updates as to when dentists in California and in Placer county can return to our offices for non-emergency care. With that in mind, we wanted to share the updates we do have, and will provide more information as it becomes available.
When we are able to reopen our practice for “routine dental care,” we will notify you and begin individual calls to schedule urgent needs and to reschedule appointments that were missed. Look out for information forthcoming as regional and national guidelines are revised and personal protective equipment (PPE) becomes available to the dental community.
As we move toward re-opening, and to protect the health and safety of our patients, staff and the community we are taking the following precautions to help stop the spread of COVID-19:
During this time it is imperative that you stay at home and reschedule your appointment if you are experiencing any symptoms including a fever over 100.4 degrees, cough, difficulty breathing, sore throat, severe fatigue, OR if you or a family member have had contact with another person with confirmed COVID-19 within the past 14 days. Please note there is never a penalty for rescheduling an appointment for a patient or parent who is sick.
WHAT WE ARE DOING
Increasing cleaning and disinfecting procedures, and adding new surgically clean air filtration systems
Implementing contactless payments and paperless forms
Offering more hand sanitizer stations
Implementing social distancing by both limiting the number of patients scheduled and staggering appointment times. This could mean that you’re offered fewer options for scheduling your appointment.
Our goal is to first accommodate urgent treatment or emergencies, which could result in fewer options for scheduling routine care. Thank you for understanding while we take care of children who have had dental pain and emergencies during this time.
Creating special appointment times for vulnerable patients and parents. Screening all employees for symptoms of COVID-19 and performing temperature and pulse oximeter readings before every shift
All staff will wear PPE appropriate for their assigned duties
WHAT TO EXPECT FOR YOUR APPOINTMENT
Our office will communicate with you beforehand to ask some screening questions, with the intent of reducing time spent in the office. You’ll be asked to verify your answers again when you enter the office.
To enter, you must have an appointment scheduled AND be wearing a mask
You may see that our waiting room will no longer offer magazines, children’s toys, video games, etc since those items are difficult to clean and disinfect
You will be asked to use hand sanitizer upon entering the building
We may ask you to sign up for our patient portal to view treatment plans and make payments
For patients, we will perform a screening before your appointment which includes a symptoms check, temperature reading and pulse oximeter reading
You must have an appointment to enter the office
Masks will be required of all patients entering the building, including children over the age of 3 who are able
One “patient companion” will be allowed if this is a parent, guardian, caregiver or translator
The Smile Gallery Team
April 3, 2020:
Dear Families and Friends,
In these uncertain times, we want to reach out to let you know that we are thinking of you and your families, and that we miss you all. We look forward to the return of your smiling faces in the office, and the laughter and joy that you bring!
We are now three weeks into our office closure and want to check in. Dr. Speed, Dr. Hearn (yes, he’s back!), and all of the Smile Gallery staff are thinking of you and are here for any dental emergencies that arise. We are available to answer urgent questions and to see dental emergencies to do our part to relieve the burden on our urgent care and emergency facilities. Please call the office phone at 916-782-5503 for instructions.
We know that things in our world and yours are changing faster than any of us could have expected a few months ago. But, one thing that won’t change is our commitment to your families and your children, and staying on the cutting edge of dentistry. When the time comes to open our doors again, we will have protocols and equipment in place to deliver safe, high quality care. We have always gone above and beyond with infection control and we will continue to add measures related to COVID-19 with your families’ safety as our priority. There will be challenges to face, but we will face them together. There will be sacrifices to be made, but we will sacrifice together.
The Smile Gallery Team
P.S. We’re in contact with the tooth fairy, and she says she will still be visiting wearing proper “fairy protective equipment.” In case anyone was worried...
March 18, 2020:
In the face of the unprecedented public health crisis surrounding COVID-19, and on the recommendation of the California Dental Association, we will be closing the Smile Gallery from March 16th until March 27th. We have flexible policies in place to reschedule appointments and handle dental emergencies on a case-by-case basis.
As the situation evolves, we will have more information will be posted to the Smile Gallery website, and social media. These are historic times, and we feel profound gratitude for our patients and the outpouring of support from our community.
A reminder to all: Powerful conversations cannot be cancelled. Love cannot be cancelled. Hope cannot be cancelled.
We look forward to seeing you and your families soon, and we will continue to be here for you in any way we can.