What Your Dental Team at Smiles in Framingham Is Doing to Keep You Healthy

Dear Patients and Parents,

The health and well-being of our patients is our top priority, now and always. In response to the coronavirus pandemic, we are closely following and adhering to precautions advised by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

The Massachussets Dental Society and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry have recently recommended cancelling all elective, non-urgent dental visits until further notice. We will be calling to reschedule most routine dental and orthodontic visits as a result of these recommendations. The office will be open limited hours to care for patients with issues that should not wait. I will also be available for any emergencies.

We want to assure you that we are taking continuous steps to ensure that our office remains a safe place for every patient. It’s important for you to know that dentists are experts in infection control. For instance, we have been trained to prevent the spread of infectious diseases such as flu, HIV, hepatitis, and tuberculosis. The precautions we take every day will also help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

We follow precautions developed by the CDC to protect both health care personnel and patients. We sterilize all instruments after each use and clean each dental operatory after each patient visit, using surface disinfectants that kill all known infectious diseases, including coronavirus. Dedicated hand washing and one-time use disposable materials also help maintain a safe environment for our patients. Our staff are regularly trained in these procedures. Here is a full list of our standard procedures upon reopening:

-We have always done what we could to maintain high standards for patient care and safety.

-In light of the Covid 19 pandemic, it is prudent to make changes to heighten our infection prevention measures to protect our patients, our staff, and everyone’s families. These include screening of staff and visitors, infection prevention barriers, and social distancing measures

-Some of the changes include new protective gear for staff, such as face shields, hair and shoe covers, and different masks.

-We have removed magazines and toys, and made every effort to reduce clutter to facilitate cleaning and disinfection of all surfaces.

-Plexiglass sneeze barriers will be present in the reception area to protect the front desk staff.

-We will ask you some questions to screen for infection risk, both when you make your appointment and when you arrive on the day of the appointment.

-Staff members will also be asked similar questions each day they report for work.

-We will be taking temperatures to screen for possible Covid-19 infection.

-We ask that you remain in your car when you arrive for your appointment. Call us at 508-872-0555 to let us know you have arrived.  We will bring you into the office when we are ready for you.

-Please limit the number of people in the office to aid in social distancing. Whenever possible, please leave siblings at home and have older children come in by themselves.

-We will be seeing fewer patients each day and will keep patients from different families spaced out.

-There will be a patient care station just inside the entrance with hand sanitizer, masks, and gloves if you do not have your own. For your protection and for those around you, we ask that you wear a mask whenever possible.

-We are applying additional focus and time on cleaning door handles, faucets, and other items with high-traffic hand touches.

-We will try to run on time, but safety comes first. Please expect all appointment to take longer than usual.

We will be happy to discuss any concerns you may have. Just call or email.

If you would like to reschedule an upcoming appointment or talk through any concerns, please feel free to contact our office at 508-872-0555. This number will also give you the emergency contact information if we are closed.

Remember, the best way to protect yourself and your community is with everyday preventative actions, like washing hands often and disinfecting surfaces regularly. These actions will help minimize and slow the spread of the coronavirus.

For the most up-to-date information and guidance, please visit the CDC website at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus.

With very best wishes for your continued good health,
Dr. Deborah Himelhoch and the team at Smiles in Framingham