June 1st, 2020
To Our Valued Patients,
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. We want to tell you about the infection control procedures we follow in our practice to keep patients and staff safe.
Our office follows 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 follow the activities of these agencies so that we are up-to-date on any new rulings or guidance that may be issued.
We chose to remain closed until now, to allow for extra time to make the many necessary changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic. You will likely notice these 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.
•We have a sign posted outside the office, asking all patients to remain in your car and call us upon arrival at (605) 996-9235, for further instruction before entering the office. We ask all patients please do this so we can maintain appropriate social distancing and have as few patients in our reception room as possible, and explain our new intake protocol with you over the phone. Thank you in advance for your consideration regarding this matter.
•We have hand sanitizer just inside the front door that we will ask you to use when you enter the office. You will also find some outside of the restroom and other places throughout the office for you to use as needed.
•You will 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.
•You will see that our reception room now has only a few chairs to ensure all patients are maintaining social distance.
•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.
•We have also removed all items other than a few essentials from all countertops throughout the office.
•We have physical barriers between patients and staff members in the reception room.
•We have installed several new types of dispensers within our operatories to ensure proper infection control protocol.
•We have installed air purification systems in all operatories and the reception room.
•Staff members will be wearing N95 masks and surgical caps.
These are just a few of the changes we’ve made that will be visible to our patients, but many more have been implemented as the safety of our patients and dental team are of the utmost importance to us. As such, we will continue to monitor the situation within our community and make changes as are necessary. This includes potentially closing again if recommended by government officials, or if we personally feel it is the best choice to ensure the safety of our patients, dental team and community.
We look forward to seeing you again and are happy to answer any questions you may have about the steps we have taken and will continue to take to keep you, and every patient, safe in our practice.
To make an appointment, please call our office at (605) 996-9235 or on our appointment request page.
Thank you for being our patient. We value your trust and loyalty and look forward to welcoming back our patients, neighbors and friends.
Dr. Timothy M. Drake and My Outstanding Dental Team
For the protection of all our patients and staff due the recent outbreak of coronavirus, we are requesting the following:
If you have an illness or are exhibiting symptoms, we ask you to please inform us when scheduling your dental appointment so we can make appropriate arrangements if need be. Some illness and symptoms include:
- A cold or the flu
- Cough or shortness of breath
- Fever or nausea
- Severe headaches, body or muscle aches
- Stomach pain, chest pain or difficulty breathing
- Sore throat
- Loss of taste or smell
- Vomiting or diarrhea
- Active tuberculosis (TB)
- Mumps, measles, chickenpox
- Other contagious disease
*Please notify our staff before your appointment if you or someone you are in close contact with have recently traveled, or if you have been exposed to someone else who was diagnosed with COVID-19 or who was quarantined as a precaution.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us immediately. We hear the concern and uncertainty you may be feeling about coronavirus (COVID-19) and are working hard to provide all our patients with the emergency care and support they need during this time. We are drawing from our valuable experience in managing other infectious diseases. One of the most important things you can do right now is to stay informed from trusted resources. Our goal is to make sure you have the information you need to stay healthy and know what steps to take if you are worried you might have COVID-19. The links below provide additional information regarding the coronavirus:
World Health Organization (WHO): https://www.who.int
Centers for Disease Control (CDC): https://www.cdc.gov
South Dakota Department of Health: https://covid.sd.gov/
Call South Dakota's Information Line at: 1(800) 997-2880
What to do if you may have coronavirus:
- Please isolate yourself at home.
• Call your physician and ask for recommendations.
• Wash your hands often throughout the day. Use soap and water and scrub for at least 20 seconds.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
• Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze. Throw away used tissues and wash your hands.
• Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that are touched frequently. Use regular household cleaning spray or wipe. Follow instructions on the package.
With your help, we can ensure that our employees stay safe and healthy so they can focus on what they do best, providing ethical quality dental care for our community.
Our team will continue to monitor the situation and provide updated information when warranted. We will remain open in the mornings to answer calls and for emergency procedures only. If you have a dental emergency after these hours, please call our office at (605) 996-9235 for the emergency phone number and leave us a detailed voice message on both phones, including your first and last name, date of birth, a brief description of your dental emergency and where we can reach you. Thank you for your patronage, and please stay safe.