UPDATE -- 5/29/2020:
I have some good news: our office begins resuming patient care next week. While many things have changed, one thing has remained the same: our commitment to your care and safety.
Infection control has always been a top priority for our practice and you may have seen this during your visits to our office. Our infection control processes are made so that when you receive care, it’s both safe and comfortable. We want to tell you about the infection control procedures we follow in 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). We closely 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.
We have implemented and are following the Social Distancing Protocol as determined by Santa Clara County. We frequently decontaminate common areas throughout the day. In addition, we have placed air purification units in all the operatories and in other key locations in the office.
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 before your appointment to ask some screening questions. You’ll be asked those same questions again when you arrive at our office in a special “Patient Screening” location (our front door). A member of our team will be stationed there to greet you and ask the screening questions.
- We will ask you to call us when you arrive so that we may let you know when we are ready to see you at the screening area. We will take and record your temperature as a part of the screening process.
- We may ask that you wait in the car before or after your screening to manage the patient traffic in our 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.
- Masks must always be worn by all persons for the entire visit. We will have you remove your mask for your procedure only.
- 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. We will further attempt to minimize paperwork in our office by utilizing our digital patient management system.
- Appointments will be managed to allow for social distancing between patients, as well as to allow more time for room disinfection and changing of personal protective equipment (PPE). That might mean that you’re offered fewer options for scheduling your appointment. That also means that there are less appointments available. We hope and expect that, as we continue to move forward, there will be more flexibility.
- We ask that only the patient be present at the appointment in order to adhere to social distancing measures. If an essential caregiver accompanies the patient he/she may wait in the car during the appointment. If he/she elects to remain in the waiting room, he/she must wear a mask and use hand sanitizer.
- We will provide a mouth rinse of 1.5% hydrogen peroxide prior to the appointment.
- Please note that our text and e-mail appointment communications may continue to be temporarily disabled.
For those of you who had a scheduled appointment during the period that the office was closed (March 16th to May 28th), we will be contacting you to reschedule your appointment, For those who have an appointment scheduled from June 1st going forward, please understand that we will need to reschedule that appointment to a later date in order to accommodate those who have already missed an appointment, as well as patients who have urgent care needs.
We will do everything possible to make sure you feel safe and welcome in this new environment.
We look forward to seeing you again and are happy to answer any questions you may have about the steps we take to keep you, and every patient, safe in our practice. If you have any questions or concerns, please call our office at (408) 847-7358 or visit our website at www.nickchiodds.com.
Thank you for your patience and understanding. We value your trust and loyalty and look forward to welcoming you back -- our patients, neighbors and friends.
Nick Chiotellis, DDS
Heather Hutchison, RDH
Sandra Kadluboski, RDH
Veronica Mejia, RDA
Carmen Ramos, DA
Erica Renteria, RDA
Our Office’s Safety Precautions
To help prevent the transmission of all respiratory infections, including COVID-19, we adhere to standardized infection control measures, such as performing hand hygiene, providing tissues and no-touch receptacles to throw away used tissues, and offering facemasks to patients who are coughing. We follow routine cleaning and disinfection strategies, using cleaners and water to pre-clean surfaces prior to applying an EPA-registered, hospital-grade disinfectant, as well as appropriate sterilization of all tools and equipment. We also use new facemasks and gloves for each patient per guidelines set by the FDA and CDC.
While our office already adheres to these standard precautions, there are several common sense recommendations we are implementing to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
- Screening patients for signs or symptoms of infection when we update their medical histories.
- Making sure our masks, gloves, and eye protection are appropriate for the procedures performed.
- Cleaning and disinfecting public areas frequently, including door handles, chairs, and bathrooms.
If you have an appointment scheduled within the next few weeks, please contact our office if you experience any of the following:
- Shortness of breath
- Travel within the past 14 days to affected geographical regions
We will discuss your health status, the dental treatment you require, and whether or not visiting our office will be safe for you, our other patients, and our staff.
When you visit our office, we ask that you arrive on time for your appointment, rather than too early. This will minimize the amount of time you spend in our waiting room or reception area. If you have respiratory symptoms, we will ask that you wear a facemask.
How can you prevent contracting or spreading COVID-19?
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for 20 seconds. If you don’t have access to soap and water, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Maintain at least six feet of distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze. Do not use your hands.
- Stay home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance. Calling in advance will allow your healthcare provider to quickly direct you to the right health facility.
If you would like more information about our office’s dedication to your health and safety, please give us a call. For more information about what you can do to prevent the spread of COVID-19, please visit the World Health Organization website.