Important COVID-19 Updates from Dr. Summers

Hello Summers Ortho friends and family!

We have missed you and 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 some of our normal habits and routines. While many things have changed, one thing has remained the same: our commitment to you and your safety.

We will explain some of these measures and new protocols that we will be following for now. We are not ready to admit this is the “New Normal” yet… just that we are implementing some new procedures for the near future and will continue to modify and provide the highest SO experience you have come to expect.

Infection control has always been a top priority for our practice, and you most likely have noticed this during your visits to our office. Summers Orthodontics has always gone above and beyond in all aspects of our practice to benefit you and keep you safe. Our infection control processes are made so that when you receive care, it is both safe and comfortable for our patients, their family, and our team.

Our office has always followed infection control recommendations made by the American Dental Association (ADA), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). We will continue to 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, and surpass, each agencies’ recommendations.

You may see some changes when it is time for your next appointment. We made these changes to help further protect our patients and staff. For example:

  • Your appointment text reminders will now include a COVID-19 questionnaire link. You’ll be asked those same questions again when you arrive at the office. This is required, I am sorry. It will be most helpful that you answer the questions prior to your arrival and follow these guidelines to keep the patient flow ideal and minimize your time.

Please click the link below for the form that must complete BEFORE your arrival. We are working to make this 100% electronicand does not need to be printed out. Please leave the “In-Office” section blank as these will be completed by our concierge team during your check in.:https://formsroostergrin.com/SummersOrtho/COVID-19-Consent-English-Form.html

  • Please do not drink anything particularly hot or cold for at least 30 minutes prior to your arrival at the office as your core temperature will be immediately taken using a touchless thermometer. These beverages can affect your temperature and you will not be seen if your temperature is elevated.
  • Please also take your own temperature prior to leaving your home. This will eliminate any surprises when you arrive and should prevent you from being dismissed from the appointment.
  • Please brush your teeth at home, prior to your arrival. The tooth brushing stations are closed at this time.
  • When you arrive at the office, you will be met with our concierge team who will check your temperature, ask you the required questions, and check you in.
  • Please ensure you (as the patient) or those attending the appointment are wearing a mask. We are very sorry for this inconvenience! This is to further protect you, other patients and their families, and our SO Team.
    • Of course, if you or your child need the support of a family member, this will be accommodated – please let us know when you are checking in! The number of additional family members per patient is limited to one, and will be limited within the practice at any given time.
    • If your child can bring in a smart phone, we are happy to offer to FaceTime during the appointment to keep you informed in real time.
    • our new patients with exam or re-exam appointments, parents will be allowed, and are required, to accompany patients who are minors.
  • Patients will receive hand sanitizer and an oral rinse (such as Peroxyl by Colgate) that we will ask you to use when you enter the office. You will also find some in the reception and clinical areas and other places in the office for you to use as needed.
  • You will see that areas of our reception, including the game/video rooms, are currently closed and will not be utilized at this time. We are cautiously optimistic this will change soon. We are not able to offer magazines, children’s toys and so forth in the office since those items are difficult to clean and disinfect. The tooth brushing stations are closed to prevent aerosol/splatter. This is all for your safety. We will do our best to continue to deliver unparalleled service to you and your family, however!
  • Appointments will be managed to allow for social distancing between patients. Follow-up appointments will be assigned to each patient during the current appointment/procedure. We currently have fewer options for appointment availability. If you find the assigned appointment is not convenient for you, please call or email us and we will be happy to reschedule for you!
  • We will do our best to allow greater time between patients to reduce waiting times for you and allow us to further disinfect the clinical areas.
    • This brings an obvious point and concern. We will be seeing fewer patients each day, so we have opened additional days each month to ensure we can see all our wonderful patients!
    • We are blessed to have a large clinic and already have dividers between chairs, which are spaced a significantly great distance apart. We will be spreading patients even further apart in the clinic, alternating chairs in use and between patients. Aerosol procedures are not nearly as common in the orthodontic office, thankfully. They will continue to be done with extreme caution, at limited times and in restricted areas of the clinic, using high-volume suction, thus eliminating realistic aerosol concerns.
  • With regards to disinfection and sterility of the office, we have implemented several new procedures to ensure we are doing more than necessary for your safety and peace of mind.
    • The good news is COVID19 is easy to kill and eliminate
    • Our office and environment will be very safe for you and your family
    • We will be disinfecting all surfaces in the office even more regularly – and certainly between patients, as always.
    • We will be using a “fogger” to further disinfect the office at least twice per day when patients are not in the office.
    • Or team will be using the latest PPE to protect you and our SO Team. It will be a new, less-inviting look, but bear with us. New and improved uniforms may be coming…

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. To make an appointment, or to have any questions answered, please call our office at (864) 244-7545 or visit our website at www.summersortho.com

Thank you for being our patient. We value your trust and loyalty and look forward to welcoming back our patients, neighbors and friends.

Sincerely, Dr. Summers and the SO Team