Office visits during COVID-19

Sunday, May 10, 2020
To our wonderfully amazing SmileOn family,

We have to say you all are the BEST patients in the WORLD! Your flexibility and understanding throughout the past couple of months have been very much appreciated. We are so excited to welcome you back next week! Take a moment to watch this heartfelt message to YOU from Doc Ak: This email will outline SmileOn’s reopening protocols so be sure to read this entire message so you will know exactly what to expect at your next appointment. See you soon!

SmileOn Orthodontics COVID-19 Reopening Office Protocols
With an abundance of caution, we have adopted the following protocols to be used as guidelines for operation during this COVID-19 pandemic. Thank you for your cooperation in working with us as a team to ensure the health and safety of all of us!

Before your appointment:

  1. CONFIRMATION & FORMS: You will receive an email reminding you of your upcoming appointment and informing you to expect a text that will be sent on the morning of your appointment. This important text will contain a link to a Patient Health Screening Form and Informed Consent that MUST BE COMPLETED THE DAY OF your appointment PRIOR to your arrival. Let us know if there have been any changes to your cell phone number or email address so we can keep you informed and in the loop.
  2. TEMPERATURE: Please take your temperature before leaving home. We will be retaking your temperature upon arrival. Note: Drinking warm liquids (coffee/hot tea) and being outdoors in the warmer weather may increase temperatures, so avoid if possible. Stay home if your temperature is higher than 100 degrees. Our appointment cancellation fees will be waived at this time.
  3. BRUSH & POTTY: Please brush your teeth and you should use the restroom at home as the brushing station and restroom will be closed. Of course, if you’ve got to go….you’ve GOT TO GO (we understand and restrooms will be thoroughly sanitized after each use).
  4. MASK: A nose and mouth covering are required for anyone entering the office. Please bring one with you. All the cool kids are wearing them!
  5. COMFORT: Patients may bring a sweatshirt to the appointment if they tend to get cold. The temperatures may be cooler in the office to keep the SmileOntourage comfortable in their protective gear. You may bring a blanket (standard or weighted) as SmileOn’s weighted blankets will not be available at this time. Please bring anything else to ensure your comfort and a device in case you’d like for your child to keep in touch during his/her appointment.

Checking in for your appointment:

  1. TEXT: Please text us when you arrive for your appointment at 512-982-9330. Please wait in your vehicle.
  2. VERIFICATION: We will verify that your Health Screening Form & Informed Consent have been completed. Once verified, we will ask for you to leave your vehicle and come to the office.
  3. MASK & HAND SANITIZER: When you arrive with your mask on, you will be instructed to use hand sanitizer (even applies to anyone who accompanies the patient).
  4. TEMPERATURE: We will take your temperature with a forehead contact thermometer. If your temperature is higher than 100 degrees, we will reschedule your appointment.
  5. WAITING: You may return to your car to wait to be called back to the clinic OR you may wait in the reception area where the chairs are more than 6 feet apart. For everyone’s safety only essential people are being allowed into the office at this time. NO companions. We are requesting that ONLY patients go to the clinic area.

    Parents: For now, your car is the waiting room. Come prepared with a refreshing beverage, jam out to some cool tunes or a fun podcast. We will do our best to let you know how long your child’s appointment will last. Feel free to call 512-337-2325 or text us at 512-982-9330 if you need anything! If you would like to FaceTime with your child during their appointment, feel free to bring devices for that.

During your appointment:

  1. NAMASTE/KONICHIWA: As much as we want to offer you a hug, for everyone’s safety, we won’t be hugging or even shaking your hand. We’ll be enthusiastically greeting you with folded hands (namaste!), a bow (konichiwa!) or a hand over our heart.
  2. PAPERLESS: No paperwork will be given in the operatory. Everything will be sent via email or text.
  3. DISTANCE: We will only be seeing patients in our dental chairs that are in the four corners of our open-bay maintaining more than a 6 ft. minimum, ideally seeing only 2-3 patients at any given time.
  4. MASK: Please wear your mask prior to entry & wear it until we’re ready to treat you. We will be asking you to wash your hands while we do the same.
  5. PPE: You’ll see our team dressed like we usually do with a mask, goggles, gloves and our scrubs/scrub jacket on. For certain types of appointments, we will be wearing KN95 masks and face shields.
  6. RINSE: We will be asking you to do a special rinse at the chair for 30 seconds prior to beginning treatment.
  7. GREAT CARE: The remainder of your appointment will be similar to your typical SmileOn experience.

Checking out after your appointment:

  1. TREATMENT REVIEW: Once your appointment is completed, a clinical team member will review with you what was done at the appointment, and when Doc Ak would like to see you next. If the patient is a minor, a clinical team member will text the parent on file with you what was done at the appointment, and when Doc Ak would like to see your child next.
  2. REPORT: Our team will ask you to report to us any signs/symptoms of COVID-19 within 14 days of your appointment.
  3. SCHEDULING: You will then be able to schedule your next appointment at the front desk or via text depending on your preference. For minors, we will text the parent about the next appointment.
  4. PAYMENTS: Payments can be made in the office (without us having to handle your credit card as you are able to insert your card into our card reader), online or via text.

Additional precautions that our team is taking to ensure your safety:

  • We are operating at a reduced capacity. Please be patient with us as we schedule patients accordingly.
  • We are refraining from touching our face, mouth, nose & eyes and ask you to do the same!
  • We have removed all items that are difficult to disinfect (like toys, magazines and the coffee bar). We’ve limited seating to areas that we can wipe down.
  • We will disinfect ALL surfaces after use and all common area every 30 minutes – including, pens, clipboards, counter, phone, keyboard, front door handles (interior and exterior), reception chairs, bathroom (toilet bowl, toilet handle, grab bar, faucet and handles, counters, door handles (inside and outside).
  • We have installed sneeze guards at our front desk.
  • We have installed two medical grade HEPA filters in the office each of which works to filter up to 5000 sq. ft. per hour, to ensure the air you breath in the office is as clean as possible.
  • Upon arrival to the office, our clinical team will be changing from street clothes to work clothes, including shoes- Upon departure from the office, our clinical team will change from work clothes to street clothes, including shoes. We’ll be doing laundry on-site each day.
  • Although our clinical team will be donning their PPE, our admin team will be wearing masks, as well as gloves if and when needed.
  • Each day, every team member on the SmileOntourage will be screened for a temperature.

For all you visual learners, we’ve got an infogram attached with all the pertinent info on it AND we’ve created a video recapping everything in this email:

We apologize for any inconveniences any changes may cause you and appreciate your understanding in helping us ensure everyone’s well being & safety!

So very excited to see you soon (albeit with some extra bells & whistles in the name of safety),

Dr. Akash ‘Doc Ak’ Pandya & the SmileOntourage at SmileOn Orthodontics

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