Dear Patient Families,
On March 19th, Governor Inslee signed an executive order prohibiting “non-urgent procedures that require medical and dental professionals to wear personal protective equipment”. The purpose of this order was to direct all personal protective equipment resources to hospitals in preparation for the ability to safely provide treatment in anticipation of a surge in COVID-19 infections. Stay at home orders and social distancing have effectively “flattened the curve” and fortunately in our area, the infection rate has significantly reduced. This executive order will expire on May 19th and medical and dental offices will be able to resume caring for their patients while following enhanced infection control protocols.
As a response to the challenges presented by COVID-19, we have instituted specific infection control protocols under the direction of the American Dental Association (ADA) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, (CDC). In addition, we have made structural changes and are adding new equipment technology to further improve our efforts to provide safe, comfortable, and high quality pediatric dental and orthodontic care. We hope you will still recognize us as we will be wearing enhanced personal protective equipment including face-shields, masks, and clinical gowns. Some of the notable structural changes include plexiglass shields placed in the reception entry and business office areas as well as in the clinical treatment area. We have added new technology by ordering specialized individual chair-side Dental High Evacuation Suction units incorporating HEPA-Rx Particulate and Carbon Filtration with Germicidal UV-C+ light chambers to effectively capture and disinfect aerosols generated during certain dental procedures. Hospital grade air purification machines in the clinic and reception areas, incorporating HEPA/Carbon filters and Germicidal UV light technology, have also been ordered. Designated patient hand washing stations and removal of items, such as, magazines and toys will allow for frequent and easy disinfection of all hard surfaces. You will also see limited seating in the reception area to allow for social distancing. Other protocols will include communication regarding your family’s current health status prior to scheduling an appointment and pre-appointment screening questions and body temperature checks upon arriving. We will be requesting that you stay in your car until called into the office and that only one person accompanies your child for their appointment. We are also requesting that you wear your own face mask upon entering the office.
The initial reopening plan will focus on our patients who are currently undergoing active orthodontic treatment. These visits will be limited to examinations and adjustments. Any placement or removal of orthodontic appliances will be scheduled for a later date. We will continue to see all emergency patients who may be experiencing dental pain, dental infection, or dental trauma. Upon completion of the office physical changes and technology upgrades, we will begin to provide all treatment services involving routine pediatric dental and orthodontic care. We will be calling patient families to schedule appointments, but we also encourage you to contact our office to help in this process (360) 943-6600.
We have missed all of you and we are excited to see you again very soon!
Dr. Andrew Kapust and Team