Margaret Culotta-Norton, DDS, PC
Peter B. Grinc, DDS
WE MISSED YOU!
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.
Muriel Bowser and the DC Board of Dentistry have given the healthcare community the green light to resume non-emergency care. Therefore, our office will be opening on June 8, 2020 for patient care. Carolyn, Maribeth, Janelle and Donna will be in the office June 2nd. They will be making calls to reappoint those who had appointments that need to be rescheduled. We will be making some changes to the times we offer appointments to allow for social distancing in the office. We ask that you be patient with us as we figure out our new normal. 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 and office at any one time.
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. We want to tell you about the infection control procedures we follow in our practice to keep our patients, our staff and families safe.
Our office follows infection control recommendations made by the American Dental Association (ADA), the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). We follow the activities of these agencies 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. All treatment rooms and instruments are sanitized and sterilized after each use.
We know you have heard about Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and how important it is for healthcare workers to wear it. We can assure you that during the past few months we have been able to procure the required PPE to keep all of us safe. All staff working in the office will have their temperature taken and will answer screening questions concerning their health daily.
You will 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 will be asked those same questions again when you are in the office. Please be mindful to answer phone calls from our office. It is imperative that we ask you these questions before your appointment. Over the past several years all of us have become accustomed to confirming with texts and emails. That can still be done, but we will need to speak to you over the phone also.
- All patients and staff will wear masks prior to and after treatment.
- You will be asked to complete a separate COVID-19 health questionnaire. Your temperature and oxygen saturation level will also be taken prior to your treatment. The touch-free digital thermometer and the pulse oximeter are disinfected after each use. In the event you have a fever and or are experiencing symptoms that could be indicative of the COVID-19 virus we will be unable to treat you that day and you will be sent home with instructions.
- We have hand sanitizer that we will ask you to use when you enter the office. You will also find some in other areas of the office to you to use as needed.
- Our reception area has fewer chairs and they are spaced six feet apart to encourage the current social distancing rules. It is important for you to continue to follow that guidance.
- We will no longer offer magazines, children’s toys, etc. in the reception area since those items are difficult to clean and disinfect.
- The front desk is now enclosed with protective glass to protect you and our staff. Our receptionist will wear gloves and mask while checking in and checking out patients. The front desk and reception area will be wiped and disinfected every hour.
- HEPA air filters have been installed throughout the office.
- The doctors, hygienists and assistants will look a little different. They will be wearing a head covering, mask, gown, gloves and face shield while actively treating you. We will give you protective glasses to wear as well.
To minimize traffic in the office, we ask that you do not arrive more that 15 minutes early for your appointment and that you do not bring anyone with you to your appointment unless you are in need of assistance. If you are earlier than 15 minutes or will be late, please call the office at 202-833-1111. We will let you know if we can see you early or if we need to reappoint you if you are late.
We are excited to see all our patients again, however, we ask that you call to reschedule your appointment if you have any of the following:
- Signs of illness that could possibly indicate a fever or the flu, such as chills, headache and generalized achiness
- Coughing, sneezing and shortness of breath
- Had close contact with someone who has had these symptoms in the last 2 weeks
- Have had close contact with someone who has tested positive to COVID-19 or has had symptoms of COVID-19 in the past 2 weeks
- We ask that you wait a minimum of 14 days before your next appointment if you have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 or have answered yes to any of the above.
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, our staff and families, safe in our practice. To make an appointment, please call our office after June 1 at 202-833-1111. Please also visit our website at www.drculottanorton.com for more information.
Thank you for being our patient. We value your trust and loyalty and look forward to welcoming you back!
Margaret Culotta-Norton, DDS
Peter B. Grinc, DDS