4/30/20

 

Valued patient,

 

It has been an interesting couple of months! I apologize about the lengthy letter, but would encourage you to read it in its entirety. I want to make you aware of the extra measures we are taking, and also how you can help us navigate this unique time.

 

Pope Family Dentistry will be reopening beginning Monday, May 4th in phases. The first 2 weeks we are open, we will be seeing treatment patients only (i.e. no routine cleanings). This will reduce the number of patients and employees in the office, allow us to get used to some new policies, catch up on treatment that has been delayed over the last month and a half, and hopefully acquire, conserve, and replenish any needed PPE. Of course, at Pope Family Dentistry we have always followed strict CDC and OSHA protocols. BUT, per CDC and ADA guidelines, we will be “ramping up” our safety measures.

 

TREATMENT

As stated before, we will be focusing on treatment only when we reopen on May 4th. Types of procedures we would like to primarily focus on during this time are things like:

  1. Patients who currently have temporary crowns or fillings

  2. Broken teeth

  3. Larger cavities

  4. And in general anything causing you pain or discomfort 

 

Basically, we are progressing from only dealing with emergencies, to handling both emergencies and urgent needs. Please feel free to call and schedule an appointment if you feel like any of these apply to you.

 

New Protocol for Check-in

  1. All patients will need an appointment, as our waiting area will be closed.

  2. Any new patient forms MUST be completed online before your appointment time.

  3. Patients should remain in their cars upon arrival and call to alert us you are there.

  4. Someone from our office staff will come to your car when we are ready for you to be seated. They will take your temperature and do a quick questionnaire screening.

  5. Patients MUST wear their own masks or facial coverings. We WILL NOT supply masks to patients, as we have a limited supply. Masks should be worn at all times in our office, except when we are actually performing dental treatment.

  6. ONLY the patient will be let in the office, with the exceptions of a parent of a small child, a translator, a service animal, or a caregiver to an elderly person who requires help.

  7. When brought into the office, we will have a hand sanitizing center for you to use, then you will be walked straight back to your treatment room. We ask that NO CELL PHONES be used in the office. They may be brought in, but should stay in pocket, purse, holster, etc… until the end of your appointment. You may use your phone to help schedule your next appointment or make a payment, but please try not to touch anything in the office following its use.


 

New Protocol for Check-Out

  1. Our goal is to take as little time with our check-out procedures as possible, thus hopefully never having more than one person at the check-out counter at a time. 

  2. If another patient is at the check-out counter when you are finished, and you need to stop there as well, we ask that you wait in the hallway between your treatment room and the check-out area until that patient is done.

  3. We want to encourage as much online pay as possible, which can be done through PayPal on our office website popefamilydentistry.com. We also offer “no touch” ApplePay in the office. Mailed checks are good as well. We would like to limit written checks at the check-out counter for time and contact reasons.

 

HYGIENE APPOINTMENTS

 

If you had a dental cleaning appointment scheduled between May 4th to 15th, that appointment will be cancelled and will be rescheduled in 6 months (as have been all our cleaning appointments throughout the COVID-19 pandemic).

 

If you have a dental cleaning appointment scheduled after May 15th and would like to cancel due to COVID-19 concerns, PLEASE CALL and let us know, as we will have many patients who would like these appointments.

 

There is a chance that we will have to cancel some cleaning appointments even after May 15th, due to the limited number of hygienists (because of childcare issues associated with the COVID-19 pandemic).

 

If you know you have “really clean teeth” and are willing to forgo your 6 month cleaning for someone who might have “not so clean teeth”, we welcome you to let us know to open up spots for those patients.

 

If you feel you have “not so clean teeth” and have been scheduled 6 months out and really feel you need a cleaning before that time, please call us and we will TRY to accomodate.

 

Please be patient with us. There is NO WAY to reschedule all appointments that have been missed (not even close), but we will try our best to get patients in as we can.

 

Thank you all for your trust and patience during these uncharted and uncertain times. We are looking forward to seeing you all again,

 

The Pope Family Dentistry Team

posted on Wednesday, April 22, 2020 at 3:00pm

Valued patient,

Some of you may have seen dental offices on the list put out by the Governor and Lt. Governor as businesses that are to reopen on May 1. Currently this is still not a certainty. The dentists of this state are waiting for confirmation from the CDC, the Alabama Department of Public Health, and our state dental board as to their recommendations for when it is safe for our patients as well as our staff in starting our practices back up. We will try to get the word out of when we plan to reopen, which will likely be via email, or by checking this area of our website. If you did not get our email/newsletter about our closing at the beginning of all this and would like to get notifications, such as our reopening, please email us at popefamilydentistry@gmail.com and we will enter your email address into your account so you do not miss that notification. Please type "ADD MY EMAIL" into the subject line to help us out.

For now we will continue as we have been since March 18th. If you have a dental emergency, please call or text (205)266-7673. We will try to assess via phone and direct you to the best available care.

Dr. Jonathan Pope

posted on Friday, March 27, 2020  at 4:25pm

A revised order from the Governor of Alabama and the Alabama Department of Public health have extended their previous order from April 10th to April 17th for all dental procedures shall be postponed with the exception of dental emergencies. Failure for dental offices to comply with this order can result in being charged with a misdemeanor.

If you have a dental emergency, please call or text (205)266-7673. We will try to assess via phone and direct you to the best available care.

posted on Monday, March 16, 2020  at 4:00pm

 

Valued patient,

 

Pope Family Dentistry is trying to do our part in helping prevent the spread of COVID-19. As of Wednesday, March 18th, we will be closing our doors and treating ONLY TRUE EMERGENCIES until it is determined that it is once again safe to return for more routine dental appointments.  Here are a few things this means for our patients:

 

CLEANING APPOINTMENTS:

  1. If you have a hygiene/cleaning appointment scheduled during this time, there is NO NEED TO CALL. We will be rescheduling all hygiene patients at a similar day and time 6 months from your current appointment. You should receive a text alerting you when this is done. I know this is not ideal, but obviously we will not be able to reschedule all appointments in a more timely manner.

  2. If you are a patient who is in our periodontal program (a “perio patient” who is seen every 3-4 months for cleanings)  and you get scheduled 6 months out, please call us when things return to “normal” and we will try to get you scheduled sooner.

  3. If you feel like you absolutely cannot wait another 6 months before you get your teeth cleaned, please call our office and we will try to find you a sooner appointment.

 

TREATMENT APPOINTMENTS:

  1. If you have a treatment appointment with us during this time, we will likely be waiting until the “ALL CLEAR” is given before we begin rescheduling treatment.

  2. Our plan when rescheduling is to try the best we can to prioritize treatment based on what we deem is most urgent. This will be challenging given the bulk of patients that will need to be rescheduled, but again, we will do our best.

 

EMERGENCIES:

  1. If you have a true dental emergency, please feel free to call our emergency number (205)266-7673. This is Dr. Pope’s personal cell phone. You will likely need to leave a voicemail, and you should receive a return call within 1 hour (at most). If you do not receive a return call, please call again.

  2. Our goal is to have someone available to come see you if need be, but ONLY if necessary. You may be asked to take pictures and send via text (if possible).

  3. Some things we consider TRUE dental emergencies:

    1. Throbbing/aching tooth PAIN that persists

    2. Any major swelling related to the oral cavity

    3. Broken teeth that INCLUDE PAIN

    4. Acute injury with loosened tooth

    5. Any persistent bleeding (not just when you floss)

 

  1. Some things that we generally DO NOT consider to be true emergencies:

    1. Crowns that come off- most can be put back into place using some Fixodent if the tooth is sensitive. Please don’t try to use “temp cement” from pharmacy.

    2. Chipped or broken front teeth- Yes this is an esthetic inconvenience, but not an actual emergency

    3. Broken tooth, crown, or filling without pain

    4. Mouth ulcers- these heal with time and we recommend using sore throat spray on them to help with discomfort


 

We hope to be back up and running at full speed as soon as possible, but take the health and well-being of our patients, staff, and families very seriously. Please check our website (popefamilydentistry.com) for updated news regarding this constantly changing situation.

 

Thanks everyone for all of your understanding,

 

Dr. Pope, Dr. Shadinger, and the entire PFD Team

posted on Monday, March 16, 2020  at 5:45pm

 

From the American Dental Association:

posted on Wednesday, March 18, 2020  at 6:00pm

From the Alabama Dental Association, Alabama Board of Dental Examiners, Oral Health Office, Alabama Public Health, and UAB School of Dentistry:

notification received Tuesday, March 17, 2020 at 6:00pm

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