BALLANTYNE PEDIATRIC DENTISTRY COVID-19 OFFICE POLICY UPDATE
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Ballantyne Pediatric Dentistry has modified treatment plans, modalities, and administrative protocols to provide the best pediatric dental care to our patients and to engage in best practices to maximize the safety for our young patients, their families, and our staff. We want to make sure our parents understand what we are doing and why. Just as we have had to modify our behavior with stay-at-home, social distancing, waiting to open packages for a few days, etc., we are going to have to do pediatric dentistry differently at this time that everyone may not like or agree with, but we are doing these things to make our office run as smoothly and as safely as possible.
If your child or anyone in your household exhibits or has exhibited any of the following symptoms over the last 14 days, or has come into contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19, please call our office to reschedule your child’s appointment.
• Shortness of breath
• Loss of the senses of taste and/or smell
• Dry cough
• Runny nose
• Sore throat
• Repeated shaking with chills
• Non-trauma related muscle pain and/or fatigue
Additionally, if your child or anyone in your household has traveled to California, New York, Louisiana, or out of the country within the last 14 days, please call to reschedule.
Normally, we welcome parents and siblings to accompany children for hygiene visits and one parent in the room during operative appointments. However, during this time, it is considered a best practice to only have the actual patient receiving dental treatment in the office. You will find that this will be the norm in most healthcare offices right now. We realize that this is not always possible with younger or special needs patients, but we request that you allow our staff to escort your child to their appointment by themselves if they are over the age of 4. Please speak positively to your child about this prior to their scheduled visit and be a team player during this COVID policy modification. Certainly you have heard about the shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) and that shortage is affecting dental offices as well. It has become very difficult to acquire this equipment for our staff and unfortunately, we do not have extra PPE to provide for those who wish to be present to observe operative procedures. Additionally, having less people in and out of our office is preferred to maximize social distancing.
For cleanings, if you choose to come to the back, please maintain social distancing as much as possible from other families and staff. However, for operative procedures, the PPE shortage is an issue and for the same reasons we don’t use the same instruments on siblings, only those in proper PPE can be present in the rooms. Additionally, the size/layout of these rooms makes social distancing unfeasible. Essentially this means we will not be able to have parents in the treatment room for traditional operative dental appointments at this time. We know this is a hot button for many parents but this is how Dr. Scott used to practice previously and many pediatric dentists did not have parents in the back for operative procedures before the whole COVD-19 crisis started.
Additionally, if you wish to enter the office, you will need to supply your own well-fitting mask that must be worn at all times. We will have to take your temperature and only one parent/guardian will be permitted to accompany your child within the office. No siblings can be brought into the clinical section of the office until we are ready to see them for their appointment. We do not have the staff available to supervise other children while they are not being treated so it would be preferable if you left children without appointments at home for your child’s procedure. Please understand that this policy is in place to follow best practices during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As mentioned earlier, it has been difficult to acquire PPE and therefore companies have increased pricing that is coupled with our office having to purchase supplies that were not necessary previously. The ADA® has added a new procedure code that you will see on all treatment plans. At this time, insurance companies have not raised their reimbursements for other procedures to account for these additional costs and this is the code we have been instructed to use. As always, we will submit it to your insurance carrier to attempt to obtain reimbursement as a courtesy to our families. Should they reimburse for the fee, we can either leave the amount as a credit on your account or simply refund you the amount (just as we always do when filing insurance on your behalf). We will not be able to waive upfront payment for this fee.
We will also be temporarily modifying our check-in/check-out procedures due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Here is how we will be doing things to maximize social distancing via our Curbside Concierge Waiting Room:
- When you arrive at the office, please park as close as you can to our office signage at the front, and call or text us at 704-752-1900. This is so we can use our iPads to remotely update your information via a secured wi-fi network. One of our staff will come to your vehicle and greet you to verify any changes in your contact and insurance information. However, it would be best if you contact our office via phone or email at firstname.lastname@example.org to update all of the information prior to your child’s appointment. While we realize some people are uncomfortable with providing an email address or cell phone number, we ask that for now you provide it because that will help for not only convenience but for safety as well.
- Our staff will check your child’s temperature (please check your child’s temperature prior to bringing them to their appointment as well), go over the treatment plan and bring your child into of our office. Please provide a face covering for your child. If your child has a temperature over 100.4, we will not be able to see them. Prior to the procedure, if your child is over the age of 2, we will ask them to swish with Peroxyl for 1-minute.
- We will be utilizing a text-to-pay feature so you will not have to go inside to check-out. This will minimize the handling of cash, checks, and credit cards. At that time, the staff member will set up future appointments with you or you may call our office to do so. You may be instructed to call the office phone number so Dr. Scott can discuss your child’s visit and treatment plan with you. Dr. Scott has to remain inside the office while patients are being seen so he will not be able to come outside.
- To minimize the amount of people inside the office, we ask that you make sure your child and any other family members use the bathroom beforehand because our bathroom and waiting room will not be available.
If you feel like you want to delay your appointment during this period, please be considerate and do not wait until the last minute. We have been closed for 2 months at this point so there are many children whose appointments have already been delayed. If you opt to delay your child’s appointment because of COVID-19 concerns, we will not be able to schedule their appointment until September or later (as COVID-19 is expected to be an issue through summer).
Ballantyne Pediatric Dentistry puts the safety of your children, your family and our staff as a top priority and we hope that everyone understands the necessity of these measures. We look forward to the days of going back to how things were once we are through these unprecedented times.
Scott L Weinstein DDS
Ballantyne Pediatric Dentistry
I have read and understand the Ballantyne Pediatric Dentistry COVID-19 policy. I confirm that neither my child/children receiving treatment nor anyone else in my household is exhibiting any of the above-mentioned COVID-19 symptoms. By signing below, I agree that I will comply fully with the COVID-19 updated office policy.