A Letter to Our Patients Regarding Reopening Plans

tara.anders Dentistry, Patient Safety and Wellness

To All Our Valued Patients,

Like many healthcare providers and businesses, our regular schedule and hours have been altered due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Over the past few weeks, we have seen patients on an emergency only basis and have been working to reschedule patients as we could. As we near the expiration date of Executive Order 31 from Governor Bill Lee limiting dental procedures, we have worked to create a “back in office” plan that functions to promote a safe and healthy environment for our patients and staff.

Here is our initial plan moving forward:

  • Starting Wednesday, May 6th, our offices will reopen to patients; however, we will limit daily appointments to adhere to social distancing guidelines.
  • Our office will continue to follow infection control recommendations made by the American Dental Association (ADA), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). We follow the activities of these agencies so that we are up to date on any new rulings or guidance that may be issued. We do this to make sure that our infection control procedures are current and adhere to each agency’s recommendations.

You may see some changes when it is time for your next appointment. We made these changes to help protect our patients and staff. For example:

  • Our office will communicate with you beforehand to ask some screening questions. You’ll be asked those same questions again when you are in the office.
  • We have hand sanitizer that we will ask you to use when you enter the office. You will also find some in the reception area and other places in the office for you to use as needed.
  • You may see that our waiting room will no longer offer magazines, children’s toys and so forth, since those items are difficult to clean and disinfect.
  • Appointments will be managed to allow for social distancing between patients. That might mean that you’re offered fewer options for scheduling your appointment.
  • We will do our best to allow greater time between patients to reduce waiting times for you, as well as to reduce the number of patients in the reception area at any one time.

As other guidelines are released for safely opening fully to the public, we will keep you updated. Our hope is to return to normal operations over the course of the following weeks. However, if conditions or legislation require that the office stay partially closed or even return to an emergency appointment only state, we will alter operations accordingly, and you will be informed of the updated procedures.

Please know our decisions are not made lightly and must follow the guidance and procedures set forth by the American Dental Association, as well as the Tennessee Dental Association. We thank you for your patience and understanding as we continue to navigate these ever-changing times.

Warmest Regards,

The Doctors and Staff at University General Dentists