How we are keeping you safe... Covid-19 Precautions & Information
We can’t wait to see you soon...
Oral health is a gateway to your overall health, and your health is our top priority. As you might have imagined, things will be a little different for your visit. To keep you safe and smiling, our practice is adhering to the American Dental Association’s guidance for providing dental care during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Before your appointment -
- We will contact you prior to your visit to check on your current health status, by email.
- You will be asked to limit the number of people you bring to your appointment (this could entail leaving your children at home or having older children go into the office alone)
- We have automated many visit reminders and paperwork request, please check your email inbox to see recent messges from us.
What to bring to your visit –
- A face mask.
- A blue or black pen for paperwork.
- Any previously printed or completed paperwork you finished.
- Your cell phone to be able to contact us upon your arrival.
- Covid test results or appointment confirmation with your name and date on it.
- Your smile!
When you arrive -
- Call or TEXT (408) 259-1280
- You may wait in the car or the in the hallway until you get a reply.
- Paperwork not previously completed electronically will be waiting for you on the door.
- Please complete all pages and let us know once your done by calling or texting.
- Once your room is ready, we will inform you to enter the office by text. Or we will announce your name in the hallway.
During your appointment -
- For your safety and ours, you’ll be asked to wear a mask.
- Your temperature will be taken with a touchless thermometer.
- Once brought to your room, we will ask you to rinse your mouth with a preventative mouthwash.
- The dental team will wear additional personal protective equipment (PPE), including face masks, plastic face shields, goggles and surgical gowns or long-sleeved lab coats
- There may be a loud suction used for your safety please be prepared for extra noise during treatment. (A fan sound)
After your appointment -
- To prepare for the next patient, staff will thoroughly clean the areas you’ve been in using cleansers specifically designed to deactivate the COVID-19 virus.
- When you are walked to the front office, we may use electronic communication to complete the following tasks:
-Send you next visit appointment details.
-Send you a new Treatment plan, along with cost estimates.
-Ask you to pay on our website for monies not previously collected.
All of this is done with your health as our utmost priority. You can rest assured that we are taking every precaution to ensure that our office is optimized for maximum safety. Please feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns you have about your visit. We look forward to seeing you!
Q Can I put off my dental appointment until after the COVID-19 pandemic is over?
A Regular dental appointments are an important part of taking care of your overall health. While it can be tempting to put off your regular checkup until things feel more “normal” again, I advise against it. Routine appointments give me an opportunity to check for a number of health conditions and catch them early. Some conditions, like tooth decay, can be more difficult, painful and expensive to treat if they’re left undetected. Your health and safety is, and has always been, my top priority. My staff and I are taking every precaution to limit the risk of COVID-19 transmission at your visit.
Q What about teledentistry (VIRTUAL EXAM/CONSULT)? Can I substitute a virtual visit for my regular appointment?
A A phone or video appointment isn’t the same as your regular appointment. Teledentistry can be helpful in some situations, such as deciding if an oral health issue you’re experiencing is an emergency that requires immediate treatment or if it’s something that can wait a bit. If you think you may be experiencing a dental emergency, call my office and we’ll help you decide if you need to come in.
Q What are you doing differently because of COVID-19?
A There are a number of science-backed steps my staff and I are taking to help limit the spread of COVID-19. These include: • Increased personal protective equipment including masks, face shields, goggles and surgical gowns or long-sleeved lab coats. • Increased cleaning protocols. This includes using disinfectants known to kill the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, removing high-touch items like magazines and toys from waiting rooms and frequently cleaning items like pens and clipboards. • Asking you to change your behavior by asking you to wait outside rather than in waiting rooms when possible, wearing face masks and not bringing additional people to your appointment.
Q I’ve heard it’s safer to schedule your appointment for first thing in the morning — the office will be cleaner because there haven’t been patients coming through before me. Is that true?
A You should schedule your dental appointment for the time of day that works for you. The same enhanced cleaning protocols occur all day long, including leaving the room empty after a patient leaves to allow the appropriate time necessary as part of thoroughly cleaning and disinfecting the space between patients.
Q How is your dental team monitoring themselves for COVID-19?
A Staff at our practice are subject to daily health screenings. This includes taking their temperatures to make sure they don’t have a fever and asking them a series of health-related questions each day to make sure they’re not experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19.
Q I see you added a charge related to COVID-19 to my bill. What’s that for?
A The safety of patients and dental staff is my highest priority. Because of the shortages in personal protective equipment (PPE), the cost of (PPE) has increased considerably. Our office is including this charge during the pandemic until supply can meet demand and costs are controlled. If you have a dental benefit plan, it may cover some or all of these charges and the ADA has been advocating for payment from insurance companies across the country. However, the outcome is up to each plan.
Q You said you cannot see me as a patient because of my COVID-19 risk. Can you do that?
A Yes. The safety of our patients and the dental team is our highest priority. As Dentists, we use our professional judgment and guidance from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and ADA to determine risk levels for seeing patients. If it was determined that you were high risk, or had a high temperature on the day of your appointment, we can have a conversation about which factors determined delay of service, so that you can self-monitor and reschedule.
New Safety Procedures:
1. Temperature Readings- All patients, staff, and doctors will have their temperature checked daily with a non-contact thermometer before entering the office. No exceptions.
2. Screenings- All patients are required to answer a two step series of health questions regarding recent health problems, potential contacts as well as travel history. The first screening is done about 1 week before the treatment date. The second is asked the day before or day of treatment.
3. Covid-19 Testing- All patients having specific types of (Aerosolizing) treatment, will be required to have the covid-19 testing 3-4 days before treatment date. Testing will be typically requested through your Primary Care Medical Physician. This is to ensure all patients before you have not been exposed and are cleared. It allows a safe zone office to be maintained.
4. Masks/P.P.E.- All patients, staff, and doctors will be required to wear masks 100% of the time, unless treatment is being done for patients. We have also been able to acquire all recommended/suggested PPE for the staff use for the extra safety measures for the benefit of our patients.
5. Capacity Limitations- We are limiting family members in the office and exam room. We will significantly reduce patient schedule in order to ensure social distancing.
6. Extra Equipment- We have invested in many items throughout the office to keep everyone safe:
-Front Desk Acrylic sneeze guards
-N95 and level 3 surgical face masks for all staff
-Hand Sanitizers at all transaction stations (up to 90% alcohol based)
-HEPA air purifiers in ALL rooms
-We have installed a Negative Pressure treatment room
-High Volume Evacuation Systems
-Extraoral Dental Aerosols Suctions
-Disinfecting Fogging System
-A few other sterilizing systems to keep all clean and safe.
All Items purchased are EPA/CDC - Certified/Recommended.
At Sikka Dental Corp, we are constantly looking for new and innovative ways that make it easier for you to connect with us. We will continue the use of 24/7 communication through Text, Phone, and Email to where you can inform us of your office arrival, send questions, or photos anytime. These systems help us interact with our patients efficiantly and contact less, which in turns helps with social distancing protocols.
Online Secure Payments are also now available through our website www.DrSikka.com with our “Pay Now” button. You may make a secure payment anytime with a credit card or checking account directly to us.
We are happy to announce our new secure electronic signature system DocuSign. This service makes it more convenient for you to sign paperwork securely and electronically.
Virtual Consults/Exam have launched and are available to help screen needed treatment before coming into the office. This allows the patient to have a secure messaging exchange with photos and questions or an online secure meeting may be initiated if needed to help complete your request. This service seems most helpful for patients whom may be hesitant to come into the office for a consult. For more details click HERE.