COVID 19 – Coronavirus Update
To our West Georgia Orthodontics family,
We hope this message finds you well during these challenging times as we all cope with COVID-19.
As you all should have heard by now, Georgia has already opened its doors and dental offices have been cleared to re-open as of May 1st. As a small business owner, I know firsthand the effects of closing a business for an extended period of time. It has not been easy. But even as much as I worry about my business and the toll this closing has had on my family and staff, I also know that it is my responsibility as a healthcare provider to make decisions that help prevent the spread of the virus and prioritize the safety of myself, my staff and my patients. Therefore, after careful consideration, we have decided to postpone reopening our doors until May 18th.
We are now reviewing safety protocols and regulations related to providing orthodontic care during the COVID-19 pandemic and will make all the necessary changes in order to minimize the spread of the virus. On average, we usually see about 80 patients per day. We will cut that in half. In addition to this, we will also be requiring pre-screening questionnaires, temperature checks and masks to be worn by everyone who enters our doors. We will also be ramping up our infection control protocols and the use of personal protective equipment, closing our tooth brushing station and waiting rooms, installing sanitizer dispensers and hands-free door openers, and much more.
As always, you can continue to expect excellence from us. Giving you something to smile about will continue to be our goal. Please note at this time that the schedule is still being tweaked and we will be reaching out to reschedule all missed appointments. Because all patients have been affected by this closure and availability is limited, we will automatically reschedule all appointments for the first available and you may contact us if you have a conflict.
Please stay safe and thank you for your patience as we navigate this new normal. We miss you and cannot wait to see your smiling faces again soon! We will get through this together!
Dr. Holman and Staff
What to Expect When You Come to Our Office + Pre-Visit Instructions
Please take note of the new following health and safety policies and lookout for an email and/or text with your new appointment date and time if you haven’t already heard from us. We are making some changes around the office to keep our patients safe and want to keep everyone informed. Thank you!
- If you or anyone in your household has tested positive for COVID-19, are awaiting test results, or exhibiting any symptoms of COVID-19 such as fever, cough, runny nose, tightness in the chest, shortness of breath, or loss of taste or smell, please let us know so we can reschedule your appointment.
- Everyone who enters our office must be wearing a face mask. We are only able to stock enough disposable masks for the use of our staff, so we ask that each patient bring their own.
- Everyone who enters our office will also have their temperature taken (no-touch forehead thermometer) and will be provided with hand sanitizer to use. If you have a fever, you will be asked to reschedule.
- Our reception area will be closed. This means that we will ask patients to wait in their car until their treatment chair is ready. Please arrive 10 minutes early and call the office when you arrive at (706) 660-0221.
- Only patients will be permitted in the office at this time. We will make exceptions for minors or those with a disability. In that case, one adult may accompany the patient and wait in the reception area – this person will also be asked to complete the COVID Questionnaire and Informed Consent, wear a mask, and have their temperature taken. Please no siblings or other guests. No one other than the patient will be allowed in the clinical area.
- Our tooth-brushing area will be closed to prevent cross-contamination, so please brush and floss prior to your appointment.
- Half the number of patients will be seen than usual. This “socially distant” schedule will, unfortunately, make finding the perfect appointment time a little more difficult. We understand many of our patients are concerned about not having been seen in our office for some time and empathize completely. We will be working very hard to catch up on over 1500 missed appointments and will attempt to see every patient in the order that they were originally scheduled unless there is an urgent concern that involves swelling or pain. Broken brackets are not considered emergencies and will be repaired at your scheduled appointment.
- Procedures that usually require a high-speed handpiece and generate dental aerosols (such as the removal of braces or aligner attachments) will now be completed using a composite removing plier. The use of high-speed handpieces will be avoided at this time.
- In addition to our already rigorous sterilization and disinfection protocols, you will also notice air purification units around the office and our staff wearing more protective wear than usual. Our staff will be undergoing extra training related to infection control during the COVID-19 pandemic and will also undergo daily temperature checks and screening questions to monitor their own health.