Our last month has been challenging for everyone. Initially, we hoped that this was just a short term sacrifice we had to make, but it would soon be better. There was so much confusion with what had happened and how it happened so quickly. Our office was closed and my staff sent home. Our patients had no access to regular care. We were only able to talk to our patients on the phone and through emails, so we were frustrated with not being able to provide what we were trained to do. I’m sure you also felt somehow like us, and that caused you the same anxiety, wondering what happened to our regular lives? I read that this is normal to feel this way. The next step is to accept this as our reality of what is happening right now so that we can move forward.
Our wishes were given some hope recently when Dr Henry from Vancouver Coastal Health hinted at the potential for some services to reopen. We still do not have a solid opening date, but at least we are seeing it on the horizon. In the meantime, we’ve been trying to imagine what our new environment will look like. We will no longer have a room full of people waiting for their appointments. We will have to schedule in such a way so as to minimize the number of people at the front desk at any given time. We will not have magazines nor books to occupy your waiting time. We’ll likely have acrylic shields to block droplets, so your greeting will be done through a plastic wall. When you come into the treatment rooms, we’ll be fully gowned and covered in protective gear. I will miss having that social interaction that we’ve had in the past, as it was a very human thing to do. We’ve always been thorough in our prevention of cross contamination, but now we will take it up another notch, and that will require even more time between patients to achieve that.
Angelique and I have been looking into air filtration units. As dentists, we are most vulnerable to infection due to aerosol formation during many of our dental procedures. There are some existing systems available, but do not remove aerosols from the source. We would like to remove the cloud of aerosols immediately as they are formed. We have found some with great potential, so stay tuned for that in the future.
As a reminder, we are still not able to see patients at this time, but we are here for you. I know that there are many broken teeth out there right now, and it’s killing us to not be able to fix it, but hang in there, and we will get you in as soon as we are able to do so. I have found that a cell phone photo, even though blurry, can give us a lot of information and help in the diagnosis. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with the photos. If you have an emergency involving pain or swelling, you can contact us on our cell phones:
Dr Dylan Olver 604-417-9522
Dr Ray Fong 604-649-1015
Dr Angelique Leung 604-889-0333
In the meantime, I hope that you and your loved ones stay healthy and safe. Remember to be kind and supportive of one another. We will eventually get through this.