We hope that this letter finds you in good health as our community returns to activity after the COVID-19 shutdown. This has been the most challenging obstacle we have faced as a business. I feel blessed to have a dedicated staff and supportive family to help navigate the ups and downs.
We were fully closed for all but emergencies for seven weeks and partially closed for an additional three weeks; just this week we have brought back all of our employees to their regular schedules, but are still operating at a reduced capacity due to COVID-19 complications. We canceled over 700 appointments during this time and feel badly that so many of you were affected by the closure. We appreciate your support and loyalty to the practice and ask for your continued patience as we work with you to achieve your optimal oral health.
For those of you who missed your cleaning appointments due to the COVID-19 shutdown, we are especially appreciative of your patience. We have been and will continue to diligently call each of you in the order of your original appointment to get you back on the schedule. Currently the hygiene schedule is booked through the end of July with appointments that were scheduled pre-COVID.
We are taking the following steps to increase the capacity in the practice:
- We have temporarily stopped accepting new patients for cleaning appointments
- We will be opening on selective Saturdays for cleanings when staffing is available
- We have transitioned to a new patient management software program, which will increase administrative efficiency and will allow more patient directed options, such as an online payment portal (coming soon!)
- We now require verbal confirmation for all appointments. Any unconfirmed appointment will be removed and opened for patients awaiting care if still unconfirmed one business day prior
- We are moving forward with our expansion plans to add three additional treatment rooms and anticipate completion by September 2020
Please always feel free to reach out if you need anything. We are here to help! We are currently experiencing a higher call volume than our phone lines and staff can sometimes handle. We have added two new phone lines and have now brought back all our staff but getting a busy signal or going to voicemail when you call is still happening. If you are having trouble getting through to us and have a question or want to make an appointment that isn’t urgent, we are always happy to help via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lastly, your safety as we deal with the new reality of COVID-19 is paramount. We are following all the government and dental association guidelines to keep you safe. Please do not come into the practice if you are experiencing any sign of fever or illness or have traveled out of state. If you need an appointment and have traveled out of state in the previous 14 days, we will help coordinate a COVID-19 test prior to your visit. We will be taking your temperature and completing a screening process prior to each appointment. We also ask that only the patient (one guardian in the case of minors) come into the practice to limit person-to-person contact. Please continue to use physical distancing when not in direct dental care and wear your mask into the practice. We continue to assess our ability to see younger patients for cleanings and will update you as our polices evolve; for now we are limiting routine care to adults and children older than five.
We are dedicated to the highest level of dental care in a safe and professional environment. Our core values of FAMILY, PASSION, COMFORT, CONVENIENCE, and MUTUAL RESPECT continue guide our daily decisions in these challenging times. Thank you again for your support and patience.
Bradford Allen, DDS
Owner, Allen Dental Group LLC