Safely Caring For Your Smile
Dear Clauss Orthodontics Patients,
We are beyond ready to get back to work and see everyone that we have missed so much! We hope this letter finds everyone healthy, happy, and prepared to ease back into regular routines. Much has changed since we saw you last. We are all still coming to grips with the COVID-19 pandemic and the events triggered by it. Everyone on the planet has been affected by COVID-19. We want to update you on our office, it's measured re-opening, and the steps we are taking to ensure we do everything possible to keep our patients and our team healthy.
To that end, we plan to reopen to patients on Wednesday, May 26th. We will be following rigorous scheduling protocols and office measures to ensure the safety and well-being of our patients and the team members at Clauss Orthodontics.
We ask for your patience as we needed to postpone many appointments over the past seven weeks. We know that there is a strong desire to get your treatment back on track as soon as possible. We have already begun rescheduling patients on a first-canceled-first-rescheduled basis, which is fair, efficient, and will serve everyone by getting you back on track.
You may notice some temporary changes in some of our office procedures which include the following:
- Compliance, cleanliness and safety have always been one of our top priorities at Clauss Orthodontics. Our sterilization methods will continue to be closely monitored and tested, we will continue to exceed all CDC and OSHA guidelines, and our staff remains fully trained and certified in these areas as well.
- In order to be sure we continue to live up to these expectations and in light of the increased difficulty in obtaining sufficient PPE to stock two offices in the current health crisis, we have made the difficult decision to temporarily see patients only in our Watertown office. This will allow us adequate time and staff to maintain the highest standards as well as perform all of the additional duties required for health and safety. We ask for your patience until we feel comfortable that we can maintain both offices to our high standards.
- Most observation appointments will be rescheduled for the fall. Dr. Clauss will review the records to be sure there that this would not cause any unnecessary issues.
- Both observation and retainer check appointments will be offered the opportunity to utilize our “virtual visit” protocol which will allow Dr. Clauss to evaluate your bite, teeth, and/or retainers by submitting photos. Our staff can provide details when they contact you to reschedule these appointments.
- There will be a reduced number of patient appointments per day (approximately two-thirds of the regular appointment load). This will allow us the additional time and space needed to maintain proper social distancing within the office.
- Please wait for one of our office staff to contact you to reschedule any postponed appointment(s). We have a very accurate and comprehensive list of every appointment that was postponed, including the date and time.
- Emergencies will continue only to be defined by pain or bleeding. For the time being, broken brackets and ill-fitting aligner trays do not constitute an emergency and will be scheduled into an available regular appointment slot.
- When you arrive for your appointment, please observe the following protocol:
- Remain in your vehicle. The front door will remain locked. Please text our office at (860) 274-6625 to let us know when you have arrived (remember to include the patient’s name).
- Our scheduling coordinators will respond via text with a link to submit a short online Health Screening Form. Any person indicating recent exposure to someone with COVID-19 or having signs and symptoms of the same will be asked to refrain from entering the office and not return for the specified 14-day self-quarantine period.
- One of our awesome staff (dressed in appropriate PPE) will meet the patient at the entry door, at which time the patient’s temperature will be obtained using a touchless thermometer. If the temp is over 100.4 degrees F, the patient will be asked to refrain from entering the office and not return for the specified 14-day self-quarantine period.
- When the appointment has concluded, the assistant will text or call you to inform you what was completed at the visit and when the next appointment should be scheduled.
- A scheduling coordinator will then call shortly to schedule the next appointment.
- For the health and well-being of our patients and staff, we request that whenever possible only the patient that is being treated enter the office. The only exception for this will be for very young patients or new patient exams. Of those, only one parent or caregiver should accompany the patient. We ask that no other family members or friends enter the office.
- Please bring your own mask or face covering and wear it to your appointment. Federal guidelines for social distancing and wearing masks in businesses continue, so bring the mask you have been using. If you do not have your own, we will provide one; however, personal protective equipment supplies are dangerously low. No one will be allowed to enter the office while not wearing a mask or face covering.
- Maintain standard 6-foot social distancing protocol whenever possible while in the office.
- Use of the toothbrushing station will be limited to one patient at any one time to reduce the risk of cross-contamination. The second brushing station will temporarily be closed.
- For some procedures, patients will be asked to rinse with a diluted hydrogen peroxide mouth rinse for 30 seconds prior to starting the appointment
- Patients will be seated every-other-chair in the office to maintain proper social distancing.
- We ask for understanding while we will try to address all of your treatment needs during your visit. Individuals with multiple broken brackets may not have everything completed during this visit due to strict scheduling times.
- WE LOVE OUR PATIENTS! We also love to chat with you at your appointment. Please understand that conversations will be significantly reduced to allow for social distancing, running on time, disinfection of treatment chairs and instruments, etc.
- Our coffee & tea station will be temporarily closed to prevent cross-contamination. If you would like bottled water, our front desk staff will happily provide you with some.
- Every team member (including Dr. Clauss) will complete our Health Screening form and have their temperature recorded on a daily basis. Any positive responses to the questions or a temperature over 100.4 F will result in the staff member being sent home for a 14-day self-quarantine.
- You will find upon arrival that our furniture has been rearranged. You'll also notice other changes to ensure the health and well-being of our patients and our team.
- We have removed all reading material from the reception area and temporarily closed our game room to prevent cross-contamination.
We are so grateful for every one of our patients, and this time away has only served to make us even more thankful for each of you. You are the life-force of our practice, and this is why we are taking your safety VERY seriously. We would ask for your patience and understanding. We will do our utmost to reduce any effects this closure may have had on your treatment progress or estimated completion time. Please forgive us as we are focusing on getting each of you back on track while not exposing our team members or patients to unnecessary risk.
If you have any questions, please feel free to call, email or text our office.
We appreciate every one of you, here's to your health and smile!
Dr. Clauss, Christie, Mandi, Megan, Susan, Kelly, Karen and Cathy