Our Office’s Safety Precautions
To help prevent the transmission of all respiratory infections, including COVID-19, we adhere to standardized infection control measures, such as performing hand hygiene, providing tissues and no-touch receptacles to throw away used tissues, and offering facemasks to patients who are coughing. We follow routine cleaning and disinfection strategies, using cleaners and water to pre-clean surfaces prior to applying an EPA-registered, hospital-grade disinfectant, as well as appropriate sterilization of all tools and equipment. We also use new facemasks and gloves for each patient per guidelines set by the FDA and CDC.
While our office already adheres to these standard precautions, there are several common sense recommendations we are implementing to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
- Screening patients for signs or symptoms of infection when we update their medical histories.
- Making sure our masks, gloves, and eye protection are appropriate for the procedures performed.
- Cleaning and disinfecting public areas frequently, including door handles, chairs, and bathrooms.
If you have an appointment scheduled within the next few weeks, please contact our office if you experience any of the following:
- Shortness of breath
- Travel within the past 14 days to affected geographical regions
We will discuss your health status, the dental treatment you require, and whether or not visiting our office will be safe for you, our other patients, and our staff.
When you visit our office, we ask that you arrive on time for your appointment, rather than too early. This will minimize the amount of time you spend in our waiting room or reception area. If you have respiratory symptoms, we will ask that you wear a facemask.
How can you prevent contracting or spreading COVID-19?
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for 20 seconds. If you don’t have access to soap and water, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Maintain at least six feet of distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze. Do not use your hands.
- Stay home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance. Calling in advance will allow your healthcare provider to quickly direct you to the right health facility.
If you would like more information about our office’s dedication to your health and safety, please give us a call. For more information about what you can do to prevent the spread of COVID-19, please visit the World Health Organization website.
Frequently Asked Questions Regarding COVID-19
What is the novel coronavirus?
See :CDC Information on the novel coronavirus
What is our office doing to prevent the spread of COVID-19?
Our office is following all recommended procedures and protocols from the CDC, Departments of Health, and OSHA for dental offices.
What should I do if I have pain, swelling, infection or dental trauma?
Please call or email the office first and be sure to leave a message. Messages will be checked daily. If someone does not get back to you in a reasonable amount of time, you may call Dr. Martone and be sure to leave a message (724-774-8589).
How will this affect me as a patient when I have an appointment in your office?
You will be screened for symptoms of the coronavirus, asked about recent travel and/or exposure to anyone with the coronavirus and have your temperature taken before being led back into the clinic. Starting immediately, we need to have a very low threshold for asking patients who show some symptoms of upper respiratory infections to stay away from the office. We will not attempt to differentiate between coronavirus, influenza or other respiratory infections ourselves.
What extra protections will be taken while I am in the office?
We will be limiting the number of patients seen in the clinic to maintain social distancing (6 feet apart). Currently, best practices are to continue our standard procedures of infection control, which have been developed over years of use for other bacterial and viral contagions, which are collectively known as Universal Precautions by OSHA. General cleaning in the office will be performed more often. Read more here
What can I expect in the waiting room?
You will be asked to wait in your car until your appointment time instead of the waiting room to prevent inadvertent spread of the virus. Access to the waiting room will be limited to patients only. Accompanying individuals should wait in their respective transportation. Staff will call to relay information to parents/guardians regarding the completed appointment.
How can I get in contact with the staff member or doctor regarding my child’s appointment?
You may call or email (firstname.lastname@example.org) the office with questions. The staff may be able to communicate with you using their personal cell phones.
What do I do if I need more elastics?
Please call or email the office and we will mail them to you.
What do I do if I have a long wire that is making me very uncomfortable?
Try using wax first. If you have tried this and are still having a problem, call or email the office.
What do I do if I have a broken bracket?
If it is not bothering you, leave it alone and call or email the office.
Should I expect treatment to progress at a slower rate with appointments due to the pandemic?
Treatment will most likely take longer due to scheduling, supply limitations and what we may do at each appointment. We know that this will be discouraging but these are not normal times and eventually things will get back to normal.
Why do I have to wait to get an appointment?
Orthodontic and dental offices need to follow CDC, OSHA, state and federal mandates which may limit what procedures we may do and when we can see patients. To maintain safety for all, we will be seeing fewer patients each day to decrease the inadvertent spread of the coronavirus by social distancing. This will mean that there will be longer intervals between your appointments. We know that this will be disappointing to patients and hope that things will get back to normal as soon as possible.
When will you start scheduling patients again?
We plan to resume patients March 30th, but this could change at any time.
What if I am on my last aligner?
Keep wearing your last aligner. We may ask you take photos with your cell phone and then decide upon the next course of action.
What if I am making turns on my expander?
As usual, please only make the number of turns that you were instructed to make and then stop.