JULY 27, 2020:
Just wanted to post an update since the practice has been open for 3 months now since the COVID-19 shutdown this last spring, hopefully achieving a new routine while we all deal with life with COVID-19. We have been very happy to see so many smiling faces coming back in the office! Everyone has been so kind and patient in bearing with the extra procedures and precautions, and we are continuously learning and evolving as we receive feedback from you as well as from agencies such as the CDC and World Health Organization.
I just wanted to clarify our screening procedures regarding waiting in the car when dropping off your child for their appointments. Some appointments require responsible party interaction (such as getting braces on, signing contracts, progress review, or appointments that need extra instruction). For other routine appointments, generally, a responsible party is not required to be with the patient in the clinic.
In light of COVID-19, we try to keep as few people inside the office as possible to allow for maximum social distancing. While our waiting room is technically closed, we do have some chairs that are spread apart to allow for overflow or if there is someone who would otherwise wait in the car but perhaps their air conditioning is broken or low on fuel.
An accompanying responsible party adult is allowed to come back with a child patient. The screening staff member will first suggest you stay in the car, but if you want to come back with your child you are free to do so.
MAY 11, 2020:
We are underway into our second week of re-opening and we are pleased to report that everything is going well with our new plan in place. Some things to expect in our office that will be different than you are used to:
- Patients will be screened upon entering the office. Those who have flu-like symptoms or fever will be asked to leave and to call and reschedule the appointment. For patients who travel long distances to get to the office, we recommend that you take your temperature the day of your appointment to avoid finding out that you have to reschedule when you get here.
- Everyone else will be asked to remain in their car. Of course, child patients can be accompanied by one responsible party adult. Our waiting room is open, but at limited capacity for social distancing so we ask to keep it as empty as possible.
- Social distancing is in effect in our office. Our appointments have more time between them to allow our staff extra time to make sure all surfaces are disinfected, and also to reduce the amount of patients entering the office at one time. All of our treatment areas are more than 6ft apart.
- Appointments that produce an aerosol (where we use high speed rotary instruments can create a cloud of dust or spray) will be done in an isolated room of the office.
- If you are entering the office, we encourage you to wear a mask if you have one.
Even with these CDC and ADA recommended guidelines, we understand that some may still want to postpone their treatment. If you need anything or have questions, please call us at (843) 293-3522 or email us at email@example.com. You can also reply to the text message reminder to communicate with our office. Soon, we will be adding virtual appointments for new patient screening appointments and retainer checks, so stay tuned!
APRIL 27, 2020:
Dear RMO Family,
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. While many things have changed, one thing has remained the same: our commitment to your 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. Our office follows infection control recommendations made by the South Carolina Dental Association (SCDA), American Dental Association (ADA), American Association of Orthodontists (AAO), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). We follow the activities of these agencies and regularly receive training 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 agencies’ recommendations.
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 beforehand to ask some screening questions. You’ll be asked those same questions again when you are in the office.
• Only patients are allowed in the office for their appointments. Patients under 18 years old or needing special assistance may be accompanied by one adult responsible party. All others should wait in the car.
• We have hand sanitizer that we will ask you to use when you enter the office.
• 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.
• Appointments will be managed to allow for social distancing between patients. That might mean that you’re offered fewer options for scheduling your appointment.
• 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.
How Will We Reschedule Patients? Do I Need to Call?
For those of you who had appointments during the office closure (March 19 through May 1), starting May 4 we will call you to reschedule. Please do not call the office unless you have a separate concern or emergency. Again, we will reach out to you so you do not need to call us. When we re-open, no doubt we will be flooded with phone calls and we will work quickly and efficiently to get everyone back on the schedule. If you need an answer to a question that does not need an immediate response, feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
For those of you who already have appointments scheduled on May 6 and beyond, plan on keeping those appointments but feel free to call or email if you would like to cancel or postpone those appointments. We understand that not everyone is in a position where they are ready to start or continue with orthodontic treatment, but we are standing by for when you are ready.
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.
Thank you for being our patient. We value your trust and loyalty and look forward to welcoming back our patients, neighbors, and friends.
Dr. Munn and Dr. Ross
and the Team at Ross and Munn Orthodontics
APRIL 1, 2020:
Just an update to our previous notice: Based on the recommendations by our dental association and the CDC, with the next few weeks being critical for the virus spread, we are canceling patients through the rest of April and will attempt to re-open Monday, May 4. Any questions, concerns, or orthodontic emergencies, please call our office at 843-293-3522 or email us at email@example.com
MARCH 31, 2020:
We appreciate how accommodating you have been regarding the COVID-19 situation. We are constantly reviewing our policies to make sure they are in line with the South Carolina Dental Association and the SC State Board of Dentistry to ensure the safety of both you and our staff during this trying time.
While checking the charts of patients whose appointments have been canceled, our office has reached out to some of you and many have already emailed or called with questions about their treatment or finances. If you have an appointment that was canceled and have an active type of treatment (for example rubber bands, headgear, springs) that you are concerned about, please do the following two things:
Step 1) With the best lighting possible (outside in the sun or in a well-lit room), use your phone camera to take a picture of the area of concern. Ideal pictures are either directly of an affected area, a center front-on and/or side picture of the biggest smile you can make (you can even use fingers to help retract lips), and for overbites a picture that is angled upward from below the chin. Basically, try to take the best picture (or pictures) that illustrate your concern.
Step 2) Email the pictures and a message about your concern to firstname.lastname@example.org and include the patient's full name and their treating doctor's name (Dr. Munn or Dr. Ross). This will help us get further instructions back to you as soon as possible.
As always, if you have an emergency please call our office at 843-293-3522 for instructions on how to reach an on-call staff member. You can also call our office number to get an up-to-date message about our office closure. Right now we are closed through April 10, but it is looking like we may have to close for the entire month of April.
Take care everyone and be safe!
MARCH 30, 2020:
The SCDA has not made any further specific recommendations yet, but has indicated that dental offices re-opening at the beginning of April may be premature. Thank you so much for being patient with us as we all navigate this outbreak. Our number one priority is safety for our patients as well as our staff. We are going to continue our closure through the week of April 6-10 and will again reevaluate when to re-open given what the experts are recommending. Our new projected re-open date is Monday, April 13. However, this could change, so please check this site, our Facebook, or give our office a call for the most up to date information and if you have any questions about treatment or financials. As always, we will see emergency appointments as needed. Stay safe, everyone!
MARCH 16, 2020:
On 3/16/2020 the South Carolina Dental Association made the recommendation that dental offices in South Carolina should close to non-emergency procedures for the following 2 weeks. It is likely that their recommendation may broaden depending on how the COVID-19 outbreak unfolds.
We are no longer scheduling routine appointments for the remainder of March 2020. Please call our office at 843-293-3522 to reschedule or for any questions.
For the next two weeks (through the end of March):
- Our office will be open on a limited schedule to answer and return phone calls and to see emergency patients only
- Emergency patients seen can be accompanied by one parent or responsible party only
- Elderly responsible party and those who are immunocompromised should remain in the car
- Anyone who has flu-like symptoms or has been in contact with someone with flu-like symptoms in the past 14 days should reschedule (fever, chills, body ache, dry cough, difficulty breathing)
We apologize for the inconvenience but our priority is the health and safety of our patients and staff. We will post further updates on this page and on our social media.
MARCH 15, 2020:
To Our Patient Family:
In light of recent developments, we wanted an opportunity to share what we are doing to protect the health of our patients, our orthodontic team and our community. As a healthcare facility, we practice rigorous infection control protocols within our office, however, we encourage you to also take part in both prevention and disease control:
- Have you or someone close to you had any contact with individuals that may have shown symptoms of respiratory illness, which includes but is not limited to sore throat, sneezing, coughing or fever?
- Have you traveled internationally in the last 14 days?
- Have you visited or occupied any area that the government has determined is high-risk for infection?
If you answered “yes” to any of the above questions, please call us at 843-293-3522 to reschedule your appointment once you or your close contact’s symptoms have resolved.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), states that the best defense against most respiratory illnesses, including the flu and Coronavirus (COVID-19), is to practice the following preventative measures daily, which include:
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces – Within our practice, this is performed daily and between each patient visit.
- Clean your hands often - Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with your hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick – put distance between yourself and other people, especially for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with the tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. If you do not have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow (not your hands) to prevent the spread of respiratory particles.
- Most importantly, stay home if you are sick.
Please rest assured that we will do everything in our power to keep you and our staff healthy. We greatly appreciate your help in accomplishing this goal and are certain that together, we will be able to provide both the safe environment and the quality care that you have come to expect from our practice.
Michael R. Munn, DMD, MS
Loring L. Ross, DDS, MS
and the staff at Ross and Munn Orthodontics