We are open however, we are following the recommendation of the American Dental Association (and our state dental association) to limit care to emergency patients only. Patients with other appointments during this time will be individually contacted to reschedule their reserved time with our office. Our phones will be answered and all patients with a dental emergency will be treated.
I wanted to address the COVID-19 virus that is circulating our population and has been dominating our attention in the last few weeks.
This is not the first contagious illness that has circulated our country nor will it be the last. In my practice lifetime of over 25 years, I have dealt first hand with threats from HIV/AIDS, Swine flu, H1N1, MERS, SARS to name the most well known. In addition, every year in “flu season” we see patients who have had the flu or have recently recovered. Furthermore, hepatitis in its many forms, HPV, herpes, etc. etc. all are part of our everyday existence as your dentist and dental care team.
I have always followed every CDC guideline and continue those practices each and every day. I have never had one incident of a team member to patient transmission or a patient to team member transmission of any illness or condition in my practice. I ensure that all of us do everything daily to provide you with a safe environment in which to receive your dental care.
In saying that, we have not changed anything in regard to our sterilization practices or cleaning and disinfecting of our treatment rooms between patients due to the high level of diligence with which we already operate. We have specified time set aside at the end of each patient visit to clean and disinfect each treatment area. We have always made the health and safety of our patients the number one priority in my practice. I do not overbook my schedule as you have experienced. I do not have a cramped reception area overflowing with people. I have always thought that it is important to respect your time and provide comfort and space in that area. We clean the reception area multiple times a day.
I want you to know that you are safe here to receive your needed dental care. My team is safe working here for you. We are operating business as usual. We have an ample supply of gloves, masks and protective disinfectant material on hand.
While I am concerned about this virus, I am also concerned about delaying needed dental care including regular preventive visits. Maintaining the health of your teeth and gums serves to support your overall health and wellness. As well as I know about infectious diseases, I am certain that not getting the care you need and neglecting routine preventive cleanings always leads to more extensive and expensive dental treatments later that will have a direct impact on you long after we have solved this public health threat.
Feel free to call me directly at 973-287-3153 if you have any questions or send me an email with your thoughts. All of you have supported me and I am extremely thankful for each one of you. I am taking this seriously as I have in the past when the threats were the same or greater but the attention was much less. I am here for you anytime you need me.
Dr. Raj Upadya