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.
In light of recent guidance by the Illinois Department of Public Health and appropriate advisory and regulatory authorities, we have chosen to gradually and cautiously open our office. Our plan is to prioritize existing and in-process treatment plans, and then phase in elective work and hygiene appointments.
We want to assure you that while many things have changed, one thing has remained the same – our unwavering commitment to patient safety to ensure you are both safe and comfortable during treatment.
With safety as a top priority, we’re actively taking the necessary steps to ensure patient care is completed with strict infection control measures. We continue to act with an abundance of caution in alignment with recommendations from the American Dental Association (ADA), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
At your next visit (and beforehand), you will notice enhanced safety procedures, which have been put into place to help protect our patients, doctors, and staff. These include:
- Our dental care team will communicate with you before your visit and ask several screening questions as a precautionary measure. When you arrive for your appointment, you will be asked these same screening questions again. We will also administer a pre-screening assessment as recommended by the ADA.
- In order to reduce the number of people in the office, our check-in process and visitor policy have been updated. Details will be shared with you when you schedule your appointment
- We have hand sanitizer that we will ask you to use when you enter the office. You will also find hand sanitizer in the reception area and strategically placed throughout the office for you to use as needed.
- You will notice our waiting room will no longer offer magazines, children’s toys and so forth, since those items are difficult to clean and disinfect.
- Appointments will be managed to allow for social distancing between patients. That might mean that you’re offered different options for scheduling your appointment. In many locations we have expanded our office hours to accommodate your busy schedule.
- 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.
Important Patient Guidelines Update
For patients with appointments, please read this entire list to understand what has changed and to make sure you are fully prepared for your visit.
1. Please brush, floss and rinse your mouth before coming in.
2. Please arrive on time. We will not be seeing late patients. If you arrive late, we will need to reschedule your appointment.
3. Everyone entering the office should be wearing a mask, and should wear the mask at all times when they are not being treated. If the patient/guardian does not have a mask, the office will provide them with one.
4. When you get to the office, text us or call us at the office and we will let you know when you can come in.
5. Please enter the office through the main entrance of the office. A staff member will meet you at the door.
6. Only the patient and one (1) parent/guardian/escort is allowed into the office. No other people without appointments are allowed.
7. After checking the child in, parents/guardians may be asked to wait in their car while their child receives treatment, depending on space.
8. If multiple children have an appointment, only one parent should accompany them.
9. Anyone that enters the office will have their temperature taken and will be asked to answer a few questions about their current health. Any patient with a fever, runny nose, coughing, vomiting or diarrhea will need to be rescheduled.
10. You will need to wash your hands and you may be asked to rinse your mouth with antiseptic mouthwash.
11. We will do as much of the check-in and check-out process in the treatment room in order to limit interaction at the front desk.
- If you were unable to provide your insurance information when you scheduled your appointment, please call with that information at least four (4) days before your appointment. If we are unable to verify your information, you will be able to pay out-of-pocket.
- Our appointment times may seem unusual because we are staggering start times to reduce contact between patients (example: 9:10 AM)
- We are offering expanded hours to help maintain social distancing between patients. This means we may open earlier and stay open later.
- If you aren’t feeling well and your appointment is less than five (5) days away, please call us to reschedule.
Should you need to make an appointment – or reschedule an existing one, please call our office directly at (815) 981-8778 or fill out an online request here.
We look forward to seeing you soon 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. We value your trust and loyalty and look forward to welcoming back our patients, neighbors and friends.
Your First Smiles Dental Team