A Message From Thief River Falls Family Dentistry
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 and oral health.
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 is 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) and the Minnesota Board of Dentistry (MBD). 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 do this to make sure that our infection control procedures are current and adhere to each agencies’ recommendations.
You may see some changes when it is time for your next appointment. We made these changes to help protect our patients and staff. You can view these here:
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, please call our office at 218-681-2545.
Thank you for being our patient. We value your trust and loyalty and look forward to welcoming back our patients, neighbors, and friends.
Dr. Eickman and Team
TRFFD During COVID-19
We know that information puts people at ease, and we have increased our efforts to provide you with helpful information about our how our practice operates and how we plan to handle the scheduling, in-operatory, and check-in process beginning immediately and for the foreseeable future.
Scheduling Your Appointment
- Appointments will be scheduled with enough time that warrants complete disinfection of operatories and reduces double scheduling
- All appointments will have added time between start/end times to reduce patients coming in contact with each other.
- Patients appointments that were canceled in March/April and existing patients of record will be given priority over new patients.
- The Minnesota Board of Dentistry has asked us to try to take care of the most urgent needs of our patients first. To make room in the schedule for the most urgent situations arising during the COVID-19 time frame, patients may be asked to reschedule appointments that are already made. This will be done in three phases:
- Phase I – the most urgent dental conditions that if left untreated will result in deterioration of the patient’s health.
- Phase II – less urgent dental conditions that will take longer to result in deterioration of the patient’s health.
- Phase III – the least urgent dental conditions. These patients are the most likely to be asked to shift.
- We may not be able to accommodate family members that want to be seen at the same time.
Checking In For Your Appointment
- All Patients who are not getting work done are required to bring and wear a FACE MASK while in our office.
- Please use the hand sanitizer provided for patients when you enter and respect social distancing while in the office.
- All forms and paperwork should be viewed online, before showing up to the office.
- The safety of our patients and staff is of the utmost importance. We have invested heavily to help control and prevent the spread of any unknown virus that may be in our office. Because of this, you will be charged a $19 fee for D1999 “COVID prevention and protection.” This may or may not be covered by your insurance.
- Payment will be arranged before your appointment in order to expedite your dismissal.
- Insurance – You will leave directly out the side door after your appointment.
- Credit Card – We will take down your CC information before your appointment. Then you can leave out the side door immediately after your appointment.
- Cash/check – We will have you fill out a check before your appointment. We will then fill in the charges after the appointment is complete.
- If patients need itemized copies of the charges, they will be sent via mail or email.
- Patients will be required to complete a separate patient screening questionnaire and have their temperature taken by a team member before going back to the clinical area of the practice.
- Patients will be evaluated for any flu like symptoms (runny nose, sneezing, cough, raspy voice, etc.).
- Patients should come alone to their appointments unless they need a companion (minors, special needs, etc.)
- Anybody waiting for a patient and who does not need to be in the waiting room or operatory and should wait in their vehicle.
- Patients, staff, and visitors should use hand sanitizer before touching anything.
- Seating in our waiting room will be spaced out for social distancing, and if needed, patients may wait in their vehicles.
During Your Appointment
- Patient will be walked in to the Dental Operatory and given a Mandatory Pre-Rinse with a Peroxide at a minimum of 1.0% concentration for 60 seconds before starting any procedure.
- You will notice a different amount of Personal Protective Equipment required by OSHA on our team members. This is to ensure staff and patients are as safe as possible.
- During your appointment you may notice some modified instrumentation that allows for improved control or aerosols in the operatory.
- Each clinical area/room in the office has been equipped with a HEPA/ Plasmacluster Ionizing air purifier. These turn over the air in each room more frequently and help reduce or eliminate air pollutants including viruses, mold, bacteria, and odors.
Forms To Complete Prior To Your Appointment
Please print out the following forms and bring the completed forms with to your appointment.
Infection Control Protocols & Precautionary Actions
At Thief River Falls Family Dentistry, our team has followed the required infection control precautions as indicated by OSHA, CDC, ADA, and state board guidelines. We have disinfected our dental practice on a frequent basis to protect our patients and staff members from infections diseases such as Hepatitis B & C, HIV, and Tuberculosis and now to include COVID-19. Historically we have operated in a way that anyone can be potentially infectious even in the absence of symptoms.
What measures have we always taken?
- Respiratory hygiene/cough etiquette
- Annual OSHA training for all staff members
- Sharps safety (engineering & work practice controls)
- Sterile instruments and devices
- Clean and disinfected environmental surfaces
- Leave scrubs/clothes worn during treatment at dental practice for washing
- Disinfected patient waiting area and restrooms
- Cleaned our carpets and flooring
- Deferred elective dental treatment until declared non-infectious by a physician.
- (ex. Tuberculosis CRF 1910.134 Respiratory Protection)
Changes we have made to minimize risk as a result of COVID-19
- New patient screening, check-in and scheduling processes adjusted to limit waiting room traffic and screening for patient cold/flu health before treatment
- More frequent hand hygiene and cleaning of office space surfaces
- Adding plastic barriers in office and clinical areas
- Adjusting flow of patient traffic to minimize proximity with other patients and staff
- Adding Air purifiers with plasmacluster ion technology in clinical rooms to reduce/eliminate air pollutants like viruses, bacteria, mold, and odors
- Hand scaling, isolite, leaf suction, purevac and rubber dam when appropriate during procedures to reduce aerosol spread
- Increased PPE (personal protective equipment) ex. N-95 respirators, face shields, etc.