A Message from Dr. Ed Booth

Dentistry Has Been Preparing for This for 32 Years

A Message from Dr. Ed Booth

 

“May you live in interesting times.”

I think we’re there.

This unexpected time away from my staff and patients due to a worldwide pandemic has been both reflective and challenging. We’ve gone from shock and disbelief to acceptance of a “new normal” for everyone—but I firmly believe that our “new” normal will be a better one.

After more than 20 hours of continuing education webinars; Zoom, WebEx, and GoTo meetings; and constantly changing updates, I’d like to share a few of the simple positives I’ve gleaned from my dental colleagues:

“I haven’t had this much time off since I was eight years old.”  

“Look at this as a sabbatical. We always wanted enough time to learn new skills and read more journal articles.”  

“Use this time to train your team by doing top-down internal audits and make the staff manual effective for all the changes that are coming.”

And my personal favorite: 

 “Dentistry has been preparing for this for 32 years.” 

 No statement could be truer than this last one as it relates to our dental practice. 

 Yes, it’s hard to believe, but we’ve been here for all of those 32 years—through the initiation of hepatitis vaccinations, universal protocols for HIV/AIDS, and an abundance of other infection-control measures that are essential to our protection and safety. 

What is it that makes our dental office stand out above and beyond those who haven’t been down this road of experience before? There’s more than one answer. 

  1. First of all, I am no stranger to working in infectious environments. I was hospital trained in dental school at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. During that time, I did extensive rotations through Grady Memorial Hospital, The Fulton County V.A. Hospital, and the Ben Massell Clinic operated by The United Way.

  2. After opening my practice, I was on staff for 10 years at Greensboro Hospital, which later became Humana Hospital and then part of Cone Health.

  3. My practice philosophy has always centered on individual, focused patient care—meaning we see 1 to 2 patients per hour, not 4 to 5. This allows us to adapt to evolving infection-control standards with minimal change to our physical office structure and our ability to deliver personalized and safe patient care.

You’ll see that our new COVID-19 protocols are similar to what we’ve been doing all along—but with the addition of several new enhanced precautions we’ll be taking during this pandemic era. We want to protect you—our wonderful family of patients—and ourselves so that we can give you the exceptional level of care you expect and deserve when you visit our dental practice.

Our office has always gone above and beyond the recommended CDC infection-control standards, and we are fully prepared for this new normal.

That being said, here’s what you can expect at your next visit to our office:

  • We’ll ask you to text or call us when you arrive for your appointment and remain in your vehicle or outside the office building. We’ll text you when we’re ready for you to check in.

  • We ask that you wear a mask or other face covering of your own before entering the building.

  • As soon as you enter the building, we’ll take and record your temperature with a touch-free infrared thermometer. If your temperature is 100.4 degrees or higher, we’ll reschedule your appointment. If your temperature is 100.3 or lower, we’ll ask a set of prescreening questions and proceed from there based on your answers.

  • We’ll ask you to use the hand sanitizer supplied in the waiting room.

  • Based on the date of your most recent visit, either a staff member will escort you immediately to a treatment room or we’ll have you check in at the waiting-room computer. All touched surfaces are sterilized with a UV light and disinfectants before you enter and once you leave the waiting room.

  • You’ll notice our waiting room no longer has magazines and books. This is because they’re difficult to disinfect; however, we expect your time in our waiting room to be very brief.

  • Please arrive alone for your appointment. Exceptions are one parent or guardian if your child is the patient or one caretaker if you require assistance. For those situations, the parent, guardian, or caretaker must also wear a mask or face covering while in the waiting room.

  • No more than 2 people in addition to a member of our staff will be allowed in the waiting room at one time. Please maintain a personal distance of at least 6 feet if someone else is in the waiting room.

  • Only the patient will be allowed in the treatment room. Parents, guardians, and caretakers will not be allowed to enter the treatment room and must stay in the waiting room, in their car, or outside the building.

  • Our staff members are trained in infection control and will be wearing additional PPE (personal protective equipment), including face masks, face shields, and head covers during treatment.

As I said before, we are fully prepared and trained to handle this new normal, and we look forward to seeing you and taking care of your dental needs.

On behalf of us all, thank you for your continued confidence and loyalty!

Dr. Edwin L. Booth, Jr.