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The health and looks of your teeth and the perceived social status

Besides your regular cleaning, what is the most common reason you go to the dentist? Tooth hurting? Well, it's a good time to make an ap...

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

New safety measures and protocols in place

Since we re-opened after the Shelter In Place we had a big wave of Patients who wanted to do their treatments and cleanings! For different reasons, from being bored from staying at home for too long, to overdue to extra disposable income, since people didn't have a chance to travel, or go out too much. Whatever the reasons are - it's always good to take care of your oral health earlier rather than later. Since then we had a steady influx of Patients doing treatments that they postponed for a while, or just ready to improve their smile!

We also had our share of Patients that were not comfortable to come in a dental office (or anywhere else for that matter), and for good reasons that we understand. Some have a weak immune system, some have babies at home, children or older parents that they don't want to put at risk. 

That's why we are as cautious as possible when it comes to infection control, and dealing with the COVID-19 virus. We have the toughest measures and protocols in place to to put our Patients at ease when it comes to infection control and limit of virus spreading. We are set up for a Virtual Waiting Room, we ask Patients to call/text us when they park and we'll invite them in for screening questions, temperature and testing. We ask everyone to wear a face covering, we'll provide a mask if you don't have one. We have Point-of-care COVID-19 rapid screening tests for infection and antibodies (results in 15 min). We try to discuss the treatment and financials over the phone before the appointment as much as possible, to limit time in the office. We got hours of training with our staff before re-opening regarding infection control, with the toughest measures in place during the corona virus pandemic. We have our PPE gear ready and signs for Clean Areas and 6 medical grade HEPA filters and 3 enhanced suction vacuums around the office, this is part of the protocols to keep you and our staff safe. We are are ready to answer any questions and clarify any concerns the Patients might have.

Working in any health care facility, including a dental office, is harder, more stressful and costlier right now, so we kindly ask for everyone's understanding and patience when calling or during the appointments.

Saturday, May 30, 2020


We've been open for 2 weeks now, following California's Health Department's guidelines, and it's a little bit challenging, a little bit rewarding! It's good to see that Patients are eager to get their regular cleanings done and maintain a good oral health! It's also good to see that Patients are scheduling work that they put off for a while, even looking into some cosmetic treatments too. That is the rewarding part!😊
The challenging part was scheduling conflicts, longer appointments, extra safety measures and protocols in place and everything that came with it! We are trying a virtual waiting room now, meaning that we discuss financials and treatment over the phone as much as possible, to minimize the Patients' time in office as much as possible. We also have an extra form to fill in, and we do a COVID-19/antibodies rapid screening test before the appointments. We also do a  screening of all the Patients and take their temperature, and that takes time and it's a little challenging to have just 1 Patient at the time in our waiting room.
But for the most part everyone understands how this is necessary and we are all working hard to make it work as seamlessly as possible.
We also have to wear gowns and masks, and protective shields and extra head coverings and shoe covers and other safety equipment for all the procedures. We use a vacuum for enhanced suction, we also have medical grade HEPA filters. We have to change the gowns after Patients and certain procedures, we also use several N95 masks a day (each of us!) so that is a lot of extra cost for our office. That's why most dental offices today charge an extra fee for all the Personal Protection Equipment (PPE), and we have to also.
Right now we are backed up with all the dental cleanings that are overdue after the Shelter in Place period when we were closed for 2 months, and we are working on opening one more day a week of Hygiene to bring everyone up to date.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

How to support local businesses during Shelter In Place

Since the corona virus pandemic started, many local businesses, just like our office are modifying their hours and how they serve their communities. Some of us are even closing our doors altogether. Our office is open only for emergencies, and we do a thorough screening of our Patients. And we offer teledentistry - Virtual Consultations.  We use a HIPAA compliant video platform called doxi.me for a Facetime-like conversation in order to asses our Patients' oral health and to follow up on their treatment. Also, to make sure we prevent any potential emergencies. Most of the emergencies we had in the last 3 weeks, since Shelter In Place started, were from people who neglected their oral health for a long time. Almost every time I asked them "when was the last time you've seen a dentist?" the answer was "a few years ago".  So if there is any silver lining in this COVID-19 pandemic - we should learn that we need to take care of the regular cleanings, have regular exams and follow through with the dentist's recommendations so we don't end up with an abscess when all the dental offices are closed!
That's why we follow up with our Patients and do a virtual consultation to assess the state of their oral health, and remind them to take care of any issues before they become big problems.
Our office is set up for #SocialDistancing and we use a N95 mask and filters. We are working on getting point of care tests for COVID-19/proteins so we can test Patients before they enter the office. We also use a remote thermometer and we have shoes covers to help prevent spreading of any viruses or germs.
Local businesses like us need your support now more than ever. We appreciate your cooperation for virtual consultations, the pictures of your smile that you email to us, and also any feedback that we receive.
Small businesses like ours can help fuel local economies. But for a lot of us, times are tough right now. We have almost $0 income for the foreseeable future, that's why more and more insurance carriers are covering teledentistry since this is the only way we are able to see Patients right now and follow up on their oral health. We are putting together a few "come back to life" deals for the Patients who will need treatment in the following weeks after re-opening, so please keep in touch with us on Social Media!

We hope you'll join us in supporting local businesses like our office through this challenging time. Together, we can keep our communities vibrant. #StayHome #ShopSmall

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Corona Virus Outbreak

03/10/2020 Everyone is talking about the Corona virus outbreak right now, and rightfully so. We are all affected by it, even thought we are far from anyone infected, and chances are we'll never feel any symptoms, like most people in the US. A lot of people are afraid of actually getting infected by the COVID-19 virus and, again, rightfully so, there is a chance anyone could get infected. Although we hope our small community in Aliso Viejo will be spared of the big pandemic of the century (so far!).
In our office we take every precaution to keep our Patients safe and healthy, we use the particle vacuum for every Patient, and that filters flu (including) corona viruses, we disinfect all the surfaces properly (which is standard procedure in any medical unit). But now we wipe out all the counters in the reception area a few times a day, just as an extra precaution.
But the biggest fear is the mark that all this is going to leave on the economy in particular, and our lives in general. Everyone is seeing the shortages of products that are (supposed to be) manufactured in China and recently were falling behind. From the most obvious ones like TP and paper towels, to any orders on Amazon that are delayed for days and sometimes weeks.
But probably the most hurtful for us are the medical/dental supplies and equipment, starting with face masks and ending with disinfecting wipes and solutions. I don't think there is any medical facility that didn't feel the pinch, all the suppliers are out of stock and cancelling orders left and right. Or just limiting the quantities available and bundling them with other products or jacking up the prices.
We are getting limited quantities as we go, so we don't have any shortages and can conduct normal day-to-day business.
But there is an economy scare that is affecting all of us. The shortage of supplies will force a lot of businesses to slow down, with all that brings with it - cutting hours, and even layoffs. Also, a lot of conferences, fairs and festivals (like our local SOKA Festival) got cancelled. And that makes people worry and tend to put  purchases or travel on hold for a while. The silver lining in all of this, if there is one, is that our Patients feel more comfortable spending more on their oral health, since they spend less on travel or not-so-necessary purchases for a while.
We hope everyone stays safe during this period and take extra precautions, and wish we'll get back to business as usual as soon as possible!
UPDATE 04/07/2020 Our office started offering Teledentistry (Virtual Consultations)  and treating only life threatening emergencies since March 17th. We encourage everyone to #StayHome and #ShelterInPlace, stay safe!