6-24-2020 – Willow Glen Dentistry – COVID Newsletter
Hello Friends and Neighbors!
We have completed our first month back here at the office, and it was great.
I was so happy to see many of you and visit. It is great to be able to do dentistry again, something I love and missed doing.
It is great spending time with my staff again. I love these women. They are always supportive and they help me take care of all of you and achieve our practice goals.
First I would like to give you four big hints to an enjoyable and successful visit in our new age of COVID-19 precautions:
1. Come Early – we have more to do in every visit, so we won’t be able to accomodate patients who are late. Plan to arrive in the parking lot between 5 and 10 minutes before your scheduled visit.
2. Dress Warmly – because of all the additional layers of barrier clothing required to protect the staff, we are keeping the office very cold (Shante is wearing a winter coat at the desk!). Dress warmly and feel comfortable during your visit.
3. Please fill out your Health History Update before you come in – Shante will tell you if you need to fill this out, and the form is on the website. Best is if you fill it out and scan it and email it back, because then there is no contact and no potential transmission of COVID.
4. Let us know if you Need To Reschedule – we had to cancel between 400 and 500 appointments during the shut down. We have hundreds of patients who want to get in now. If something comes up and you can’t make your appointment, please call us and Shante can fill your spot every time. We’ll appreciate it greatly and get you scheduled at a time that works for you.
You will see many changes at the office, and I discussed some of them in previous emails.
You will be safe when you come see us. We have spared no effort or expense to make the office safe for your visit. We are installing a UV disinfection system in the HVAC, we have 6 HEPA air filtration units around the office, and we fog the rooms with a disinfection mist between patients, all to protect you from COVID. We also are building in more time between patients so that all these disinfection procedures can be performed without being rushed.
I have spent more than $15,000 to modify the office and get the necessary pieces of protective equipment. Prices have soared as demand for these items skyrocketed. For example, disposable gowns that cost $1 in January are now selling for $15. Many critical pieces of gear are very scarce and so will continue to be expensive for months. Our office will be seeing fewer patients than before.
I didn’t budget for these new and considerable costs when setting fees this year. Some dentists simply raised all their fees to cover these costs. I have decided to add a $20 per visit surcharge beginning July 1st and ending early in 2021. This will allow me to provide you with the great care you expect in the safe environment you deserve. If this feel creates a hardship for any of you, please bring it to Shante’s attention and she will make any necessary adjustments.
I really am glad that we are back and can take care of your oral and general health.
We all look forward to seeing you soon!
5-28-2020 – Willow Glen Dentistry – COVID Newsletter
I am so relieved to announce that we will be open for business on Monday June 1st. Everyone here at the office is so ready to go back to work, especially me.
Due to the continued risk of COVID-19 infection, things will not be just like they were in January. We have made many changes to our physical environment and our office procedures, and we also have upgraded our personal protective equipment (PPE).
I am planning on sending several emails over the next 7 days to let you know what to expect when you come in and allay any fears you might have had about returning.
I am confident that the environmental controls and procedural changes we have added will protect my patients, my staff, and me from any significant risk.
We so look forward to seeing you all, and please read all the emails I’ll be sending this week because each will have important information for you.
John M Pisacane, DMD
5-9-2020 – Willow Glen Dentistry – COVID Newsletter
Hello to all of you.
I hope this message finds you safe, healthy and moderately sane.
It’s been nearly eight weeks since we had regularly scheduled patients. I have seen several emergencies, but most of you have faithfully observed the shelter in place rules. I have talked to many of you about more minor issues and the staff has stayed in touch with many others.
This has been my longest break from from school or work since my 1982 post-college backpacking trip through Europe (my Bohemian period). You might ask if I have I enjoyed this long involuntary vacation.
That would be a big N – O!
I have felt disjointed and out of sorts. I really like my job, and like many of us, a lot of my self image is attached to what I do. I am John the Dentist!
Several staff members were laid off and I’ve had Shante and Fatima come in a few hours every day to field your calls and answer any questions you had.
There is a light at the end of this tunnel. I expect that our office will reopen on June 1st and begin seeing patients again. However, there are some qualifications you all need to know about.
To protect you from any chance of contacting the coronavirus during your visits to our office, we have made many changes to our office environmental purification equipment, our infection control procedures, and our patient scheduling and capacity.
I will detail many of these in my next newsletter, but I want you to know that I have taken enormous steps to ensure that my staff and my patients can feel comfortable coming back to Willow Glen Dentistry.
Please understand that it will take some time to reschedule all the appointments that were cancelled over the past two months. Please give the staff time to call you and get you booked. Leah and Kathy have promised to work hard to get all those teeth cleaned, and we will all work hard to take care of your needs. If you have an urgent dental issue or are in pain please call us and we will take care of you.
Again, stay healthy, stay sane, and I look forward to seeing you all soon!
John M Pisacane, DMD
4-8-2020 – Willow Glen Dentistry – COVID Newsletter
Hello to all my wonderful patients and friends,
I hope this email finds you all safe and healthy during this unprecedented national crisis.
The shelter-in-place rules are stressful on us all. Many of you can continue to work from home and are probably busier than ever. Many of us can’t work from home and are experiencing economic hardship and social isolation.
We never thought we would miss working so much!
Let’s not forget all the kids now stuck at home, missing their friends and driving their parents crazy.
All of us here at Willow Glen Dentistry are feeling those stresses too. We have been closed since March 16th by order of local and state officials and by the recommendations of the CDC, the American and California Dental Associations.
The order to remain closed currently extends through May 3rd, but from everything I have read I expect that closure to be extended to mid-May or even early June. Unfortunately, this meant that all staff members had to be furloughed.
The plan is for every staff member to return once we can reopen and begin seeing patients again.
Currently we have a limited office schedule, with Shante or Fatima answering the phones from 10am until 1pm Monday through Friday. Of course, if any of you have dental emergencies I am available to talk on the phone and, if necessary, meet you at the office, although health officials have advised us to minimize these interactions.
The staff is making enormous sacrifices to support the practice and be ready when this emergency is over. The team is unified and committed and plan to bear this burden so that, when this is over, we can resume our mission of taking care of your oral health.
Additional measures are being taken to protect the health of the team and our patients. Things like no-touch temperature readings in the lobby, viral filtration units in the treatment areas, and additional barrier garments will be added to our already top notch safety procedures.
I think that times like these help us realize what’s important in our lives. Our health, our families, and the loving relationships we form with everyone we interact with give our lives meaning and become more important when our routine is disrupted. I hope this national trial ends soon and leaves us all well and prepared to move forward.
Until then, God Bless all of you all and God Bless our nation.
3-23-2020 – Willow Glen Dentistry – COVID Newsletter
Good afternoon to all,
Well nine days ago I sent you a message saying that we were proceeding with business as usual in the face of the coronavirus outbreak.
Funny how much can change in a week!
Our practice has now been closed since March 17th. By government mandate we will be closed to all except the most severe emergencies until April 7th – but that may be extended.
We don’t know enough now. Information is changing every hour. I am glad the government agencies have used an abundance of caution to have us all “shelter-in-place” for a length of time to make sure this viral pandemic does not become a national tragedy.
That said, I feel hopeful that life will return to normal fairly soon. I am not an expert in virolgy, but I have read many reports that say this virus is not as severe or as contagious as once feared.
Of course if you or your relative gets sick statistics aren’t much comfort, so we are complying with the recommendations of ADA officials as well as the orders from the Santa Clara County Health Dept. and remain closed now.
Some dental offices are not, but we will not threaten our community or our patients needlessly. This shutdown is a severe burden on the entire staff, but we will persevere.
When we reopen we will may have additional protections in place for you and for the staff.
I am not personally fearful for my health as I have always felt that the steps we have always taken for cleanliness and asepsis (clinical safety) have been of the highest order.
I would be comfortable caring for you that way today.
We will also screen more carefully for patients who have risk factors (recent travel to hot spots of the virus, health complications that would make infection more severe, signs of current illness) and ask those patients to delay treatment until they can be tested and cleared.
I hope this email finds you all enjoying your forced “family time”! I am catching up on paperwork and reading bills from Congress that seem to change every minute.
Should you have a dental problem during this shutdown, you can call the office and speak with a staff member and get advice, or contact me (my mobile number is available on my voicemail message). In addition I am working with my web page people to activate a teledentistry function to have secure video chats with patients! We will do all we can to take care of you while complying with the legal order to minimize visists to the office.
I wish you all good health, and all of us at Willow Glen Dentistry look forward to caring for you soon.
John M Pisacane
3-12-2020 – Willow Glen Dentistry – COVID Newsletter
Good Morning to you all,
Well, 2020 started really well here at Willow Glen Dentistry. The office was busy, Fatima returned from her injury late last year, and Shannon had her baby March 1st. By the way, it’s a beautiful baby girl named Layla!
Now the world has been hit by a shock, a virus called COVID-19, or the coronavirus. This isn’t a completely new disease but a variation of the virus that causes the common cold. We are not 100% certain about all the aspects of this virus. It seems to be somewhat more severe than the seasonal flu, and yet almost half of those who are infected show no symptoms at all, and nearly 100% of those who show symptoms recover completely.
This is new, and it is a little scary. We accept risks from things we know (every year the flu causes between 15,000 and 60,000 deaths in the US), but the unknown does frighten us.
Here at Willow Glen Dentistry we are operating as usual. As always, we operate with the highest levels of infection controls, sterilization, and always with the goal of complete patient safety. We are all still working because we feel totally safe doing so and because we feel that our patients are 100% safe coming here for treatment.
That said, we are going to change a few things. I usually shake everyone’s hand here, and the staff even gives many patients hugs to show how much we care. We are going to curtail these niceties for a few months until any unusual risk is over. If you are sick, we are going to ask you to cancel. If one of us is sick, we will stay home and ask you to understand if we reschedule your appointment.
This public health situation is changing every day, and we will constantly monitor the most current recommendations of the CDC and other agencies and keep you informed. We wish you all good health and will see you soon.
John M Pisacane, DMD