Dear Friends, Colleagues and Patients,
This has been a challenging time in our lives. The world has been afflicted by COVID-19 — causing tremendous suffering, stress and hardship. We must pay our deepest respects to medical colleagues on the front lines. Thank you for helping care for patients in hospitals all around the world; for dealing with lack of personal protective equipment, ventilators, and other necessary equipment; for not giving up when hope is virtually lost. Doctors and nurses, you will forever be our heroes. For all of families enduring heartache, grief and loss, you are always in our thoughts and hope that you find the strength to heal. Those in a financial bind and isolated in quarantine, we understand your frustration and the difficulty of this period. Being in isolation is extremely difficult. We want you to know this too shall pass, hang in there.
Today I received a letter from a colleague who saw one of our patients for an emergency. She was reporting pain due to “tremendous amount of stress, which has gotten much worse since the COVID19 outbreak”. The patient ended up having dental implants removed due to infection, lack of timely dental care/ teeth cleaning, and extensive teeth grinding. It is stories like these which make it so difficult for our profession. We want to be able to help patients and avoid cracked teeth and pain, to give the 3-month cleaning patients their time and properly stop the progression of bone loss (or, periodontal disease) …but, right now, we can’t.
Dear Patients, please know, we understand your frustration and we fully intend to come back as soon as possible to resume your dental care. Science tells us that the mouth is a “gateway” to the rest of the body. We know that cardiovascular disease and Alzheimer’s disease have been linked to the bacteria of the mouth, and we dentists truly feel that we have an “essential” role to fill during this time.
As you may know, dentists all across the country have been forced to close their doors by executive order of the State. In Washington State, the very first case of Coronavirus-19 was reported in January 2020, also the first case in the nation. Soon thereafter, an entire nursing home was shut down because of an increased number of cases and deaths of the elderly. It did not take much for COVID-19 to spread like wildfire. We were the first state that was hit hard… but we’re also the first state to advance in many ways. University of Washington is active in testing new vaccines and providing a generous supply of swab kits. And, we are known lovingly as “HANDWashington: The Curve Flattening State” since the number of new cases and deaths have significantly dropped. The quarantine order and response has been amazing. The scientific community’s effort has been truly astounding! We have much to be thankful for.
Now, as far as our clinic, we’re following strict PPE guidelines to maintain the HIGHEST level of safety for our team and patients.
- We use VistaClear Water Purification system that takes out contaminants from the City line; we shocked the system in March and will shock it again in May
- Barriers, disinfectants and personal protective equipment are critical for our every day work
- There will be an introduction of HEPA filters in patient operatories
- We will have dedicated hand-washing and touch-less sanitation stations
- Patient intake forms will change to include patient temperature with a touch-free thermometer
- We will screen all patients that we seen to protect the well-being of everyone here
- Our office is looking toward obtaining serology test kits to see who has immunity to COVID-19
- We will provide hand sanitizer bottles to every patient that comes in for the first month
Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.
As always, we look forward to your feedback and suggestions to improving the dental experience. And remember, try not to grind your teeth, or ask us about a bite-guard!
Dr. Ilona Furman, DDS, PS