Letter To Patients
What to Expect When we Return
We hope this letter finds you and your family in good health. Our community has been through a lot over the last few months, and all of us are looking forward to resuming our normal habits and routines. We want to provide an update on the actions that we are taking at Bordentown Braces and Cream Ridge Orthodontics to support the health and well-being of our patients and team. While our offices have been closed, our team has had extensive training regarding our modified operating procedures. As we prepare to re-open our offices we will be implementing some necessary changes and we ask for your help and understanding as we navigate through this challenging time together. While you may notice quite a few changes, one thing has remained the same: our commitment to your safety. Rest assured that we have always followed the CDC and OSHA guidelines for disinfection, sterilization and infection control. We will continue to take the same precautions we have always taken to ensure the safety and well-being of our patients and team. We will continue to utilize our personal protective equipment (PPE), although you may see us wearing more of it, including face shields and isolation gowns. Despite our changes, it is of the utmost importance for us to conserve our PPE, as it is still very hard to acquire and in limited supply. It is for these reasons, we are asking for you to follow the procedures we have put in place so that we may conserve the PPE, while still continuing to treat our patients and provide the best possible care that you deserve and have become accustomed to.
Patients with Appointments Previously Cancelled
Since our appointment interval is typically 6-8 weeks, approximately 750 appointments were cancelled during this time. You will be receiving a call very soon to schedule your next appointment. In an effort not to overwhelm our staff, please wait for us to contact you. We have an accurate and comprehensive list of everyone that needs to be rescheduled. Patients are being triaged according to 1) the type of appointment needed, 2) time of their last visit, meaning first-canceled-first-rescheduled and 3) the mandates and recommendations provided by the state to safely schedule. We have been working long hours to come up with a plan to get everyone in as quickly and safely as possible; so, please be as flexible as you can, while we work through contacting everyone. We will temporarily be increasing our hours, and adding additional work days. However, due to social distancing requirements, we will have less team members and patients in our office at any given time. As mentioned above, we will only be scheduling about ½ of the patients we normally would have seen at any given time.
Please rest assured that every patients chart has been reviewed while we have been out of the office. Even though we have not personally seen you, we have been monitoring your treatment all along. We will work tirelessly to get everyone back on track, so you do not see a significant delay in your treatment. As mentioned in previous letters, please continue to wear your retainers and elastics as prescribed and maintain a diligent brushing and flossing regimen, paying additional attention to the gumline where plaque tends to build up most. If you need more elastics, please call or email our office, and we will send some to you, or arrange a time for you to pick them up from our office mailbox.
We will continue to see some of our patients with Virtual Visits, including patients with expanders, Motion appliances, retainers and some Invisalign patients. You will be contacted and scheduled for a Virtual Visit, just like any other appointment. Instructions and a link for your Virtual Visit will be sent to you once you have an appointment.
Changes to Office Visits during Covid 19
7-day appointment reminder: We will send out a text and email reminder 7 days before your appointment. This will have a link to this letter where you will be able to review all of changes to office visits during Covid 19. This will prepare you so that you know what to expect on your upcoming visit.
1-day appointment reminder: You will receive a text and email reminder the day before your appointment. There will be a link for our Wellness Screening, Patient Advisory and Acknowledgement. Everyone who enters the office will be required to fill out this screening form, prior to each visit, so that we can best protect our team and other patients. You must reply to the screening questions and confirm your appointment. If you need to reschedule an existing appointment due to sickness, we will be as accommodating as possible, while making it a priority to maintain the safety of our patients and team.
Curbside Waiting Room
The morning of your appointment, you will receive one more reminder. We will remind you to notify us if any symptoms have occurred. It will also let you know to text us when you arrive to the office and remain in your car. Our office doors will remain closed at all times. Please text the office when you arrive and we will welcome you into the office once we are ready for you to be seated. In an effort to maintain social distancing we are limiting the amount of people in our office and reception area. We understand these are unprecedented times. Our office has always taken pride in our “Open Door” philosophy. Just like you, we are hoping to work our way back to a more normal routine in the future.
Please arrive 5-10 minutes before your scheduled appointment. If you are late, we will not be able to see you, or have to perform a limited procedure, as we will not be able to “squeeze you in”. We will be scheduling about 1/2 the patients we would normally see in order to seat patients at least 6 feet apart.
We are asking that only the patient come into the office and everyone else remain in the car. Patients will be given a report to take to their parents once their appointment has been completed. If you are accompanying a child that is receiving a new appliance then one parent will be asked to come in once it is time to review care instructions. One parent may also be present at an initial consultation, or to accompany a child under 8 years old. No siblings or friends will be allowed.
If you have any specific questions you would like addressed during the appointment, please call ahead of the appointment to make note of your questions, and Dr. Newman or a member of our team will contact you after the patient is seen. Since our team will be using additional PPE in the clinical area, we will not be able to leave the treatment area to speak with you.
Please brush and floss your teeth before your appointment, as the brushing stations will be closed to minimize aerosol generation. You will be given a 1.5% hydrogen peroxide pre-procedural rinse prior to beginning your treatment.
Please arrive with a mask on, and keep your mask on, until your treatment begins. Anyone entering the office must have a mask on at all times.
Upon entering our office, your temperature will be taken. Please do not take any Tylenol or Advil, or drink anything hot or cold at least 30 minutes before your appointment. If you, or an accompanying parent, have been sick with a respiratory infection or temperature above 99.6 in the past 14 days, or exhibit coughing or sneezing, you will be asked to reschedule and you will not be seen.
We will take the temperatures of every team member, including Dr. Newman, immediately upon arrival at work, and after lunch. Any team member at 99.6 F or above will be sent home. Every team member will answer the health questionnaire that our patients are required to answer, and will do so every day prior to arriving at work. If any questions disqualify the team member, they will not be allowed to come in to work, following the same procedures we are asking our patients to follow.
You will also be asked to sanitize your hands. We will have hand washing stations and hand sanitizer available.
There will be no self-check in station and minimal seating in the reception area as the majority of our patients and parents will remain in their cars. We have removed all games, toys, books, magazines and pens from the reception area.
Once Your Appointment is Completed
Please call the office to make your follow-up appointment while you are still in the parking lot of our office. Despite adding hours and days to our normal work week, our appointment intervals may be longer than usual for a few months while we are still under social distancing recommendations. Waiting to make a follow up appointment will only extend that interval.
If a payment is due the day of the appointment, you will be texted. We will be able to take credit card payments over the phone while your child is being treated.
We realize that this “New Normal” will not be easy for all of us. And, we thank you in advance for your patience and understanding. We are so grateful for every one of our patients, and this is why we are taking your safety VERY seriously. We value your trust and loyalty, and are privileged to serve you and the community. We promise to do everything in our power to keep you all safe, healthy and treatment progressing.
We look forward to welcoming back all of our patients, neighbors and friends.
Thank you, be well and keep smiling! Dr. Newman, Corrine, Lisa, Katie, Ronnie, Leeanne, Jordan and Daisy