Health Team

Local dentist describes appointment, office changes

As North Carolina gradually reopens, more people are making appointments they've put off for months such as getting teeth cleaned at the dentist's office.

As North Carolina gradually reopens, more people are making appointments they've put off for months such as getting teeth cleaned at the dentist's office.

Reporter: Jeff HoganProducer: Valerie AguirrePosted Updated
>>> AS NORTH CAROLINA GRADUALLY REOPENS, MORE AND MORE PEOPLE ARE MAKING APPOINTMENTS THAT THEY'VE PUT OFF FOR MONTHS. THAT INCLUDES MAY BE GETTING YOUR TEETH CLEANED OR REGULAR CHECKUP AT THE DENTIST OFFICE FOR YOU TO SHOW US HOW THINGS MAY HAVE CHANGED, THE NEXT TIME YOU SCHEDULE A CLEANING, WE HAVE JOINED WITH A DENTIST WORKING IN CARY AND AN ADJUNCT PROFESSOR. WELL-VERSED IN WHAT WE WERE TALKING ABOUT TODAY. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING US. I GUESSED RIGHT OFF THE BAT, I WANT TO ASK YOU IF I'M COMING TO SEE YOU TODAY FOR A REGULAR CHECKUP, WHAT AM I GOING TO SEE DIFFERENT WANT TO WALK IN? >> THAT'S A GREAT QUESTION. THANKS FOR HAVING ME ON TODAY. THIS IS A LITTLE DIFFERENT ON ZOOM, BUT IT IS GREAT TO BE HERE. WE ARE FOLLOWING GUIDELINES WITH CDC AND THE AMERICAN DENTAL ASSOCIATION. SOME OF THE CHANGES IS THAT YOUR CAR IS YOUR NEW WAITING ROOM. WE ARE TEXTING PATIENTS PRESCREENING QUESTIONNAIRE. WE ARE ASKING PATIENTS TO LIMIT THE NUMBER OF GUESTS THAT WILL BE WITH YOU DURING YOUR APPOINTMENTS. AS DENTISTS AND NOW TEAM MEMBERS, WE ARE JUST WEARING A LOT MORE PROTECTIVE GEAR RIGHT NOW TO KEEP YOU SAFE AND TO KEEP OUR COMMUNITY SAFE AS WELL. >> HOW ABOUT PROFESSIONALLY SPEAKING, YOUR CRAFT. HAVE YOU COLLABORATED WITH A LOT OF OTHER DENTISTS OUT THERE? DO YOU SEE THIS AS A BEST PRACTICE, LIKE HOW DO WE DO THIS DURING THIS UNPRECEDENTED TIME? >> I THINK THE DENTAL COMMUNITY THROUGH OUR LOCAL DENTAL SOCIETY , YOU KNOW, NATIONAL DENTAL SOCIETIES AS WELL, WE HAVE ALL COME TOGETHER TO COME UP WITH REALLY GOOD GUIDELINES IN GUIDANCE WITH THE CDC AS WELL, AND SO WE ARE NAVIGATING THIS TOGETHER. IT HAS BEEN REALLY TOUGH, BUT WE WANT TO KEEP THE COMMUNITY SAFE. ORAL HEALTH IS REALLY IMPORTANT TO YOUR OVERALL SYSTEMIC HEALTH AND WELLNESS. WE WANT TO ALLOW PATIENTS TO FEEL SAFE AND COME TO OUR OFFICES AND KNOW THAT WE ARE TAKING THE BEST PRECAUTIONS FOR THEM. >> WHAT ARE THE EARLY RETURNS FROM SOME OF YOUR PATIENTS AS THEY COME TO YOUR OFFICE THROUGH THIS REOPENING PROCESS? WHAT ARE YOU HEARING MOST? >> YOU KNOW, IT'S ACTUALLY AMAZING. WE HAD OUR SOFT OPENING ON THE 18th, WHICH WAS LAST MONDAY. PATIENTS ARE REALLY GRATEFUL THAT WE ARE HERE. THEY ARE REALLY HAPPY TO SEE US. AS A DENTIST, SOMETIMES MANY OF YOU KNOW IT'S NOT FUN TO GO TO THE DENTIST A LOT. IT HAS BEEN SO NICE TO HEAR. IT HAS BEEN SO WONDERFUL. IT'S BEEN POSITIVE, HONESTLY. IT HAS BEEN GREAT. >> IS JUST ONE OF THOSE THINGS THAT ALLOWS FOLKS TO GET BACK TO NORMALCY, WHETHER THEY CRINGE WHEN THEY HEAR THAT WORD GOING TO THE DENTIST OR NOT. YOU MENTIONED SOME OF THE SAFETY. OBVIOUSLY, THAT HAS TO BE SOME OF THEIR WORRY AS WELL. YOU KNOW, YOU CANNOT PERFORM YOUR CRAFT FROM HOME. YOU ARE RIGHT UP IN PEOPLE'S FACES. >> WE ARE, AND SO SOME OF THE THINGS THAT WE HAVE DONE IS OVER THE PAST FEW MONTHS, THERE HAVE BEEN LOTS OF CHANGES GOING ON. WE HAVE WATCHED AND SEEN IT. ONE THING I CAN TELL YOU IS WE ARE HERE. PATIENTS ARE COMMITTED TO THEIR SAFETY. THAT HASN'T CHANGED AT ALL. WE HAVE ACTUALLY INCREASED THE AMOUNT OF THINGS WE ARE DOING. WE ARE DOING DIFFERENT THINGS LIKE STAGGERING APPOINTMENTS AND ALLOWING MORE TIME FOR DISINFECTION DISINFECTION. WE HAVE BEEN TAKING TEMPERATURES FOR PATIENTS AND TEAM MEMBERS AS WE ARE LEAVING THE OFFICE. WE ADDED COUGH GUARDS TO A LOT OF THE DISTANCING. ANOTHER THING WE DID WAS ADD SURGICALLY CLEAN AIR SYSTEMS IN THE OFFICE. SO WE ARE DOING SO MUCH TO ALLOW PATIENTS TO SEE THAT WE DO CARE FOR THEIR SAFETY, AND WE DO CARE FOR OUR OWN SAFETY AS WELL. >> YES. THAT'S GOT TO BE, ULTIMATELY, IMPORTANT. I KNOW THAT A LOT OF DENTISTS DONATED A LOT OF PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT TO HELP WITH THE SHORTAGE GOING ON IN HOSPITALS AND NURSING HOMES. WHAT IS YOUR STOCKPILE LIKE? ARE YOU OKAY? >> THAT WAS A TOUGH PLACE FOR ME. PROFESSIONALLY AS AN OFFICE, WE WERE ABLE TO DONATE 50 BOXES OF GLOVES TO LOCAL AREA HOSPITALS, AND WE ARE OKAY AS OF NOW. I WAS ABLE TO SECURE SOME AND 95 MASKS AND ALSO LEVEL THREE MASKS AND PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT. I STILL NEED SOME PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT. WE ARE KIND OF GETTING THINGS MORE AS WE CAN, BUT WE FEEL SECURE. OUR PATIENTS FEEL SECURE, AND WE ARE HAPPY ABOUT THAT. ONE THING AS THE NORTH CAROLINA DENTAL SOCIETY WAS ABLE TO SECURE FOR OUR MEMBERS AND 95 MASKS, AND THAT WAS AMAZING FOR US. THAT'S SUPER AWESOME. THAT SHOWS A COLLABORATIVE EFFORT. IT'S REALLY NICE TO SEE THAT. >> THAT'S A GOOD STEP FORWARD. THANK YOU SO MUCH. I KNOW YOU HAVE BEEN A LONGTIME FRIEND OF THE PROGRAM. THANKS FOR THAT IMPORTANT INFORMATION HERE THIS MORNING. >> I APPRECIATE IT. IF ANYONE NEEDS US, WE ARE DOING VIRTUAL CONSULTATIONS THROUGH THE CLOSURE AND EVEN NOW FOR NEW AND EXISTING PATIENTS. IF PEOPLE DO NOT FEEL COMFORTABLE COMING TO THE OFFICE, WE DON'T MIND. GO ON OUR WEBSITE. GO AHEAD AND BOOK A VIRTUAL APPOINTMENT. WE WILL TALK TO YOU ABOUT YOUR DENTAL EMERGENCY OR EVEN YOUR TEETH IN GENERAL. YOU KNOW, COSMETICS, ANYTHING THAT YOU HAVE A QUESTION ABOUT YOUR TEETH AND YOUR OVERALL ORAL HEALTH, WE DON'T MIND HELPING YOU.



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