What our patients are saying...


 

Smiles in PPE


News from Smiles

Your health and safety is our top priority and we want to make you aware of the following new procedures:
            
  • If you are sick please call our office to reschedule.   
  • All people (children included) entering the office must wear a mask and will have their temperature taken.  Refusal to wear a mask will result in rescheduling the appointment.  We are all in this together.
We have gone paperless!

  • ALL patients seen ( ortho and pedo) are required to complete a COVID Health Questionnaire 24 Hours PRIOR to the appointment.
    • Pediatric dental patients (under 18 years of age)
      • Registration Form #1.  Families with more THAN 1 child being seen the same day may complete this form (once) and list all children being seen.   
      • Medical History Form #2 (old purple form)
      •  
    • Adult dental patients (18 years and older)        
      • Registration Form #3
      • Medical History Form #4
  •  
  • To access these new digital forms, simply click the link below and enter the Patient Name and the "Actual Appointment Date" so we can locate them.
  •  
  • We require ALL forms completed 24 hours PRIOR  to your visit to avoid delay or rescheduling.  * Unfortunately the form system will not provide a confirmation at the end of the submission.  However, since we are unable to see you without the completed forms, staff will ONLY call you if we have not received them.  
     Things you need to know about your visit:

  • When you arrive, please refer to the signs posted outside of our building.
  • Stay in your car and text the patient name to the number listed to let us know you are here.
  • We are encouraging patients to come into the office on their own.  If you must come in with your child, we ask that only ONE adult come in for that visit.
  • Check out including making of future appointments and collecting for services will now be completed from your car.
  • We accept only credit card payments at this time.
  • We will be wearing N95's, surgical masks, goggles, shields, gowns, head coverings and gloves.  Please talk with your child and prepare them so they are not scared.    
  • We have implemented a minimal fee per patient per dental visit for PPE (personal protective equipment). See below for more on PPE
  • The TOY machine has been removed for sanitation purposes.  We added "surprises" to the goodie bag.  Please prepare your child to avoid their disappointment. 
  • Kindly brush and floss before your appointment.  Our brushing stations will be closed.
  • We strictly follow all guidelines of the CDC, OSHA, ADA and the state of Connecticut.  Please refer to their websites for complete information.
  • Commonly asked questions:

    1. What have you done to change the office since re-opening?
    • The office will look different! Updates include plexiglass barriers at the front desk, barriers in the orthodontic bay, virtual check in and check out process, upgraded air filtration throughout the office to clean the air of viruses and bacteria, patient hand sanitizing stations throughout, and temperature check points for patients and parents.
  • 2. What are you wearing for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) that is different than before?
    • We have always adhered to the highest standards of infection control.  However, now we have new mandates that include the following: N95 respirators for all clinical staff, surgical masks that cover the N95 respirators, surgical gowns, surgical head coverings and face shields.
  • 3. Why do you charge a PPE fee for all dental visits?
    • Dentists are currently not part of the federal or state supply chain for PPE.  Yet in order to provide care to patients, we have new mandates to use N95 respirators for all clinical staff, surgical masks to cover those, surgical gowns, surgical head coverings and full face shields.  These are difficult to source.  We are responsible for sourcing our own PPE and in this current environment, it is very costly and difficult to acquire.  This is very much beyond the normal cost of doing business.  Some insurance companies have already begun to recognize the extreme pandemic PPE burden on dental offices and will be covering the fee.  The American Dental Association is currently calling for dental insurance companies to adjust their fees to account for the increasing cost of PPE across the board.  The standard PPE charge in the dental industry is currently between $10-$20 per dental visit.   Note that this fee will not apply to orthodontic visits.
  • 4.  Why can't you just increase your fees to account for the extra cost of  PPE?
    • This is a complicated answer that requires some understanding of insurance reimbursement policies.  Rarely do insurance companies reimburse the actual fees billed.  Usually the agreed upon fees received are lower than the fees charged. If we decide to increase a fee, the insurance company will not increase what they pay us.  Insurance companies generally do not negotiate fees on a yearly basis.  Many will only consider increasing reimbursement within contracts, every couple of years.
  • 5.  Why is only one parent/adult allowed in the office with their child for a visit?
    • While we have always loved having our families together in the office, currently, during this Pandemic, we have been mandated to practice social distancing as a method to mitigate the spread of Covid 19.  Offices have been instructed by federal and state authorities that they must decrease the number of people in their space at any one time.  We are adhering to this policy by staggering patient appointments, spacing out providers and patients throughout the office, and allowing only one parent/adult with a child per visit.
  • 6.  How are you trying to enforce social distancing in your office?
    • The waiting room is currently your car.
    • We are limiting the number of adults accompanying a patient into the office to one.  We are encouraging patients to come in to the office on their own.
    • We have changed our check in and check out process to be done over the phone. ( We will call you in the car- be sure to keep your line open and available so you don't miss it).
    • We are positioning providers apart from one another throughout the office.
    • We are utilizing teledentistry for many emergencies, new patient visits, and orthodontic consults.
    • Staff and patients are required to wear masks at all possible times.
    • We are staggering our staff hours and lunches.
    • Overall, there is a decreased number of available appointments at this time. Smiles will not seem as busy as it did before Covid 19.
  • 7.  How do we know you and your staff are healthy during this time?
    • Staff have strict procedures that they must adhere to in order to present for work.  Each morning they answer a series of Covid 19 screening questions and have their temperature taken and logged prior to reporting to the clinical areas.  
  • 8. Why are we being asked the Covid 19 screening questions and filling out questionnaires?
    • Current federal and state mandates require dental offices to screen all patients via a questionnaire WITHIN 24 hours of their scheduled appointment, then again right before treatment and to make one last call 2 days after the visit to confirm no new Covid symptoms.
  • 9. Why are we getting so many emails and messages from the practice lately?
    • Dental offices throughout the country were closed for elective procedures for 2 or more months.  As a result of this pandemic, dental offices have had to make many adjustments in order to re-open. It is important for us at Smiles, to communicate these changes to our patients so that we can provide the best care with transparency.  Please understand that we are simply trying our best to keep everyone in the loop!

                            

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