We hope this letter finds you and your family in good health. The world including our community has experienced hardships over the last several months, and all of us are looking forward to resuming our normal routines. While many things have changed, one thing has remained the same - our continued commitment to your safety.
Infection control has always been a top priority for our practice and you have surely noted this during your prior visits to our office. Our strict infection control processes are made so that when you receive care at our office, it’s both safe and comfortable. We want to update you about the infection control procedures we continue and some we have added to our practice to keep patients and staff safe.
Our office follows 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), as well as local ordinances (this is why we were closed for 6 weeks ending May 8, 2020). We continually monitor 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 agencies’ recommendations.
You may see some changes when it is time for your next appointment. We made these additional protocols to help protect both our patients and staff. For example:
• Our office will communicate with you beforehand by text, email or phone to ask some screening questions. You’ll be asked those same questions again when you enter 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, and before you leave if you like.
• You may see that our reception area will no longer display magazines and other items which cannot be properly disinfected. Our usual furniture is in storage and we have replaced it with fewer plastic chairs that can be spaced and are easily sanitized. We run an ozone generator every night in our office to more effectively sanitize when we are not present.
• We will be taking your temperature prior to any treatment each time you are in our office. We also keep a daily log of the temperatures we take of each team member including the doctors. Anyone who has a fever will be sent home.
• 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. You may wait in your car if you want, call us when you arrive, and we will notify you when we are ready to bring you directly to the treatment area. Please wear a mask (homemade is fine) when entering the office (this is a local ordinance). We request that you do not bring others with you and if you must , we ask that they remain in the car if able.
• The temperature in our office is set 1 -2 degrees cooler now as the additional personal protective equipment we are wearing makes us uncomfortably heated. Please bring appropriate clothing if you are usually cold.
• We implemented a germicidal UV light which kills molds, bacteria and viruses in our AC air unit years ago and still maintain it. We also have several new HEPA air filtration units throughout our office to further filter the air. During your cleaning and periodontal care visits, you will notice we are now using Releaf suction devices on every patient to reduce aerosols. Many patients have remarked how nice and comfortable these are during their cleanings so we may continue to use these indefinitely.
We have been operational since May 8, 2020 and have successfully been able to keep our patients and team comfortable and safe with our new protocols. Our patients have been very receptive and appreciative of our expanded safety precautions. Rather than raise our fees as some offices are doing, we have instituted a small per visit PPE charge to help offset some of the increased costs for everyone's protection and safety. We hope to eliminate this fee when the price of PPE required comes back to normal (our masks alone have increased up to 10 times the usual cost). We already have eliminated this fee on many procedures that do not cause aerosols to be produced.
We look forward to seeing you again and are happy to answer any questions you may have about the steps we have implemented to keep everyone safe in our practice. To make an appointment, please call our office at 727-384-4151. For office updates follow us at Facebook.com/StPeteDentist/ or return to this page .
Thank you for being our patient. We value your trust and loyalty and look forward to welcoming back our patients, neighbors and friends.
Wishing you good health,
Dr. Steven Bloom, Dr. Brittany Pierpont, and the amazing team of
Bloom & Wygodski Family Dentistry