Office Updates Relating To COVID-19

 Greetings to all our North Berkeley and South Berkeley Orthodontics Patients and Families!

We miss all your smiles and are we excited to be able to see you again soon! We are preparing to resume office hours the week of June 1st (presuming the City of Berkeley Public Health Department does not extend the shelter in place order).

Due to the new guidelines from our professional associations and the various governmental public health agencies we will be taking extra steps to ensure the health and safety of our patients and our team.

To keep everyone healthy and minimize the risk of virus transmission we would like to review some of the new protocols we will be implementing when we resume patient care and we ask for everyone’s understanding and cooperation. We fully expect that some of the protocols may be adapted long term, others removed and still other changes added. For the present, these are our new protocols:

Before your appointment:

  • Consent Forms: We have a screening form and a consent to treatment that we will be emailing or texting adult patients and parents of minor patients to sign electronically prior to your visit. Please complete these forms before you come to the office. We are unable to see any patient unless these forms are received.
  • Brushing and Flossing: Please brush and floss your teeth before arriving at the office. Due to aerosolization and droplet risk we will not be having patients brush or floss their teeth in the office.
  • Rinse and Wash Hands: We will have all patients wash their hands and rinse their mouths with a 1% hydrogen peroxide rinse before we begin treatment. Like any mouthwash, please do not swallow the rinse!
  • Restrooms: Please use the restroom at home before you come to the office. Our office restroom will be closed excepting emergencies.
  • Upon Arrival: Once you arrive at the office, please stay in your car and call or text us to let us know you have arrived. When a chair is available, we will call you or text you to have the patient to come into the office.
  • Visiting the office: We will only be allowing patients into the office. We ask all parents to remain in their cars. If you must accompany your children, please do so only as far as the office door. Please send your kids in with a contact telephone number so we can call you to let you know the patient is coming out, give you a report and schedule the next appointment.
  • Screening Symptoms: We will be checking all patient’s temperatures when they enter the office and if they have a fever or cough, we will send them back out and call to re-schedule the appointment.
  • Responsibility: Please do your part and if you or your child are showing any signs of being ill, please call us and re-schedule the appointment. Do not come into or send your child into the office.
  • Masks: A masks must be worn by all patients before they enter and while they are in the office.
  • Social Distance: All persons inside and outside the office, except for the staff, must stay at least six feet apart.
  • Hand Sanitizer: When patients enter the office, they must use the hand sanitizer dispenser by the door to clean their hands and do so again when they exit.
  • Appointment Scheduling: Scheduling as we return will be prioritized based immediate need and once we know for certain when we can resume patient care, we will be contacting you to schedule your next appointment and get you back on track. We will be booking the schedule with fewer patients in any given day to minimize the number of patients in the office at one time.
  • Seating Patients: We will be seating patients no closer than six feet apart.
  • Disinfecting: We will continue to disinfect all surfaces in the office (door knobs, counter tops, etc.) in addition to the recommended infection control measures that we always use.
  • Aerosolizing Procedures: Procedures that produce aerosols (braces repair and removal, Invisalign attachment placement and removal) will be done on only certain days of the week.
  • Electronic Communication: All communication, to the extent possible will be electronic. We will be emailing you whatever forms, referrals, etc. that are necessary. Please fill out any necessary forms at home, scan them and email them back to us or take a photo of the completed documents on your phone and email it to us.
  • Late Arrivals: Late arrivals may need to be reschedule in order to support safe social distancing. If you think you might be running behind please call us before your appointment is scheduled to begin to see if we are still able to see you. We will not be able to accommodate walk in appointments.
  • Virtual Appointments: If for any reason you cannot come into an appointment please request a virtual consultation through our website and follow the directions for submitting photos so we can continue to monitor your treatment as possible.
  • Cancel/Changing Appointments: If you need to cancel or change an appointment please let us know as soon as possible. With appointments taking longer there will be patients waiting to be seen and every open space in the schedule is an opportunity for another patient to receive care.

We anticipate a learning curve and some frustrations as we get back to seeing patients and put the new protocols into place but we ask that everyone adhere to these protocols as ultimately it is for both your health and safety and ours.

We expect these protocols to remain in place for the indefinite future as we expect the Covid-19 virus is still going to be a lingering concern for all of us for a number of months to come.

We are still available but for emergency care which given the current circumstance we are defining as being in pain and that cannot wait until we return. If you and/or your child are in pain and experiencing an orthodontic emergency you may receive 24-hour emergency care by contacting the Berkeley Dental Society at (510) 865-6334.  You can also reach us for emergency care through the virtual consultation photo submission page on our website.

We would also like to take a movement to thank all of our parents and patients who are essential workers for serving our community while the rest of us have been sheltering in place. High fives to the grocery market staff, delivery personnel, health care workers, service industry staff, and anyone else who has continued to serve during the shelter in place. You all rock!

Stay healthy and we look forward to seeing you all soon,

Dr. Iezman and Team