June 9, 2020
We hope everyone is continuing to stay safe as New York State reopens slowly after many months of “pausing”. We encourage all of you to continue following the recommendations our Governor has provided; his science-based guidance has gotten us through a tough time without overwhelming our hospitals We were, however, a little surprised by the word to the dental community that we could reopen the day following his announcement 9 days ago. We had planned to know our starting date with about a 2 week notice as we did with the start of Phase 2 today. Since we had a full schedule of emergency patients last week and the important need to train our staff, we have slowly opened this week with “Normal Operations” beginning next week.
That “New Normal” will include the need for all of our patients to engage with our web site-based Questionnaires where you will find a COVID-19 Pre-Appointment Patient Disclosures document that will need to be completed prior to your coming to the office. It is imperative that we screen all patients since we believe the best way to keep COVID19 from our office is to not let it in. Some of you are proficient with this portal already but many will need our help which we will provide. We are working on this system currently to make it easier for all to navigate. While you are completing this form, we will ask that you update your Patient Update Form, as well as complete the Consent for Internet Communications, HIPAA and Materials Letter if not done so already.
We are excited to re-announce the addition of Dr. Laura Torrado, DDS and Dr. Dianna Cortese, DDS to our team! They will be providing general dental restorative care including exams and cleanings since our long-term hygiene staff are home with young children. As we mentioned in an earlier patient letter, both doctors have training in airway dentistry, something we have wanted to provide to our patients but have not found the time to do so. In light of our current viral outbreak which attacks our respiratory system, it seems very timely to offer help with airway challenges that you may be experiencing. Dr. Laura and Dr. Dianna actually approach this therapy from different parts of our life timeline.
We will also have our part-time hygiene staff ready to take care of your continuing care needs; thank you Debbie Grant, RDH, Julie Stockhofer, RDH and Mary Ellen McManus, RDH.
When you arrive to our office, after completing your online questionnaires, you may wait in your cars and call to let us know that you are here. We will be asking that you enter through our front door, the one closest to Lucas Avenue, and use the hand sanitizer provided or use our bathroom to wash your hands. We will ask you about your COVID19 questionnaire and take your temperature. Unfortunately, we will reschedule anyone who has an elevated reading or has exhibited any symptoms recently. Additionally, you will see that we have made many changes to the office physically for everyone’s protection.
Now that we are back, we will be calling to reconfigure our schedule to give us the time needed to assure that the treatment areas are disinfected. This means that some patients may need to be moved. We hope you will understand! We also may make extended hours available, possibly opening up Saturday and Monday until we can catch up on the 3 months of appointments.
Thank you again for your patience and for being a patient of ours and trusting us to care for you and your family…in the past and into our new future!
Drs. Jeffrey, Maureen, Fred, Laura and Dianna and our great team!!
We hope everyone is staying safe and healthy during this global crisis and pause in our business. We have stayed well and happy; keeping busy with continuing education, home projects and some changes at the office.
We wanted you to know that we will continue to abide by Governor Cuomo’s mandate to treat only urgent and emergency patients through at least Friday, May 29th and hopefully opening on Tuesday, June 2nd . Phase 2, the reopening of certain low risk businesses is to happen this Friday, May 15th in the North Country and another couple of regions since they have met the metrics set forth. If all goes well, 2 weeks later professional offices, including us, will also be allowed to reopen (to the best of our current knowledge).
In preparation of this we have developed a new questionnaire to screen patients before coming to our office. Since we are fully computer integrated, we will be placing that questionnaire on our website in the coming days and ask that you log on and check out the Patient Portal where your Health History Update is located. We are going to ask that you complete these forms prior to your appointment so we may review them and only have you sign them when you arrive. This may be new for some so we are prepared to help you through the process.
We obtained iHealth PT3 Infrared Forehead No-Touch thermometers which we will use to test our staff and patients upon arrival at our office. If one’s temperature reading is above 100.4F, that person will be asked to return another day. Also, our Personal Protective Equipment will be changing slightly to reflect the recommendations made by the CDC. Dr. Jeffrey has been working hard on building an appropriate, yet attractive, separation wall at our front desk which will allow our patients and staff to conduct business while maintaining social distancing. We couldn’t just hang a shower curtain!
Our staff has taken courses on the use of ozone beyond how we were using it in the past. We will be using ozonated water in all of our dental chairs in the treatment rooms. This means that it will be the coolant spray for the dental drills, ultrasonic scalers (when they are able to be used again), and as the water spray and rinse cup. We will also use it as a preprocedural rinse as we had previously done with Perioscript or Tooth and Gums Tonic. Ozone is getting more attention world-wide due to its excellent antiviral properties not just in disease prevention but in antimicrobial treatment modalities. Watch for more information on ozone treatment options in the near future.
We have also replaced the HEPA filters in our IQ Air equipment which we had been using for mercury removal. They will be employed during all operative procedures from now on to clean the air in the operative areas. As yet another added level of protection, all the treatment rooms will be utilizing the TactAir or Ionic Breeze ionizers to further decrease the airborne particulates which can carry the virus. Furthermore, we will use a steam cleaner to disinfect surfaces in the common areas since this virus is killed by heat rather easily. All of these measures will utilize healthier alternatives to the aromatic, caustic and allergenic solutions that you may be encountering in other settings in an attempt to disinfect environments.
We have learned that breathing steam from a bowl on your stove or in your shower for 2 sets of 5 minutes each can kill most potential pathogens which have already entered your nose. This is something that you may want to carefully do at home. Many of us have already. Eat well, get good sleep and get outdoors now that it is warming up.
As mentioned in our first office update, patients may wait in their cars until we are ready in the treatment rooms.
Unfortunately, our relaxing reception room will be less utilized in the coming months.
Moving into the summer, a few doctors will be joining our team. This will help address the backlog of patient appointments given the 2+ months that we have been off. In doing so, additional treatment options will be made available such as enhancing proper growth and development of the airway in the young or correcting airway limitations in adults which have always been an issue and now could be a natural concern for overall health.
Dr. Fred Milton, DMD will continue to provide periodontal treatments including the Choa Pinhole Technique to cover exposed root surfaces (to help reduce root sensitivity and root decay) as well as Laser Assisted Periodontal Surgery (LANAP) for those with periodontal disease.
Dr. Laura Torrado, DDS will be joining us a few days per week adding the HomeoBlock for regaining airway space which will help health challenges such as snoring, obstructive sleep apnea and daytime exhaustion. Check out some info on her work:
Dr. Dianna Cortese, DMD will be joining our practice this June. She has completed her NYS residency requirements and has been trained in the Healthy Starts System for young children, which helps improve airway growth and development as well as decreasing the need for later orthodontics. She has extensive experience working with children and is looking forward to helping our younger patients as well as all of our patients. Additionally, Dr. Dianna also has experience providing dental treatment for cancer patients.
Again, watch for any future announcements. Hopefully our area has reached its peak and we can resume a somewhat normal business schedule in early June. We will be placing more info on our website as we get closer to returning. www.drvigs.com Tanya has been contacting all of our patients in the immediate schedule as well as handling the patients in more immediate need to schedule with Drs. Maureen and Jeffrey.
Thank you again for being a patient of ours and trusting us to care for you and your family…in the past and into our new future.
Drs. Jeffrey, Maureen, Fred, Laura and Dianna and our great team!!
To Our Dear Patients,
We hope that you are feeling well and managing through this time of physical distancing in an effort to reduce the rate of occurrence of the coronavirus, COVID-19. Governor Cuomo’s executive order on March 20, 2020 allows dentists in New York State to see emergency dental patients. We are available to do that for those who need it.
Governor Cuomo’s executive order currently runs through Wednesday, April 29, 2020, so we are planning to be back in the dental office seeing patients regularly beginning Tuesday, May 5, 2020. Of course, we will be listening to our Governor for further advice and will communicate with you should that effect our decision to reopen.
We will be continuing to use comprehensive sanitizing measures when we return to work. We have always followed the Universal Precautions as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (DCD) to ensure the health and safety of our patients and our employees; and we will continue to do so. We have also been using the continuing education opportunities provided us by experts in our field to enhance these measures. Because we use ozone and secondary filtration in the operatories in regards to containing mercury, we are well prepared to greatly lessen the likelihood of transmission of this virus. As you may know, we are one of only a few offices in New York State who do so. You will see measures we have taken for all of our safety and there will be some that we will be employing behind the scenes.
We look forward to returning to our profession full-time and helping you with your dental health. One’s oral health directly impacts one’s immune system and whole body health, so we know helping to improve your oral health can help your whole body be healthier: something we are all striving for right now especially.
Our best to you all and we look forward to seeing you soon! We hope that our beautiful spring flowers will still be in bloom for all of us to enjoy. We also wanted to pass along a great rainbow as seen from the lawn of the Woodstock Elementary School where Dr. Jeffrey got his start in the sciences and skiing across the way on the golf course. His 6th grade class may have gifted that spruce tree to the school. This was after the almost 3 inches of rain on Monday…there can be beauty after the storm. Keep thinking positively!!
Drs. Maureen and Jeffrey Viglielmo
We hope everyone is doing well and practicing many of the recommendations to stay healthy that we are hearing so much about right now.
Starting today, Monday, March 23, 2020, our office will be closed for what we hope is a short period of time. Most feel that in a couple of weeks we may be able to start resuming our normal routines. We are contacting each of you who have appointments during that time with the hopes that we may be able to reschedule you. For those who have, thank you for leaving us messages at the office, we will make every effort to get back with you shortly. We are attempting to do so remotely since capabilities such as listening to our answering machine and accessing our dental software are being worked out as you read this.
Dr. Maureen and I are available for any questions you may have by telephone as well as emergency treatment at the office if needed.
As we get new developments in this situation, we will pass them along in an email such as this. We may be able to post some links on our website to health issues that would be helpful to your well-being. For now:
Do your best to get outdoors (with social distancing), breath fresh air and remember how beautiful this area is that we live in. We wish everyone good health!
Office # 845 339 1619
Dr. Jeffrey’s cell 845 594 5541
Dr. Maureen’s cell 845 389 0568
Our home 845 679 9293
To our dear patients,
Thank you for choosing our practice to meet and hopefully exceed your expectations regarding your dental, as well as, whole body health. In light of the ongoing concern about the Coronavirus and its related COVID-19 infection, we wanted to inform our patients about how we are responding.
We have told our team to stay home if anyone feels like they may have any of the symptoms related to this illness. This goes for our patients, too. Those include fever, dry cough and other flu-like symptoms. Certainly, if you have been traveling to areas known to have had an outbreak, do stay away from others for their sake.
Over the years we have always allowed patients to keep their appointments when they are not feeling up to snuff because we employ universal precautions. During this outbreak, we will ask these folks to stay home too.
Universal precautions were initially developed to eliminate the transmission of germs between the patient and health care worker and vice versa. When these techniques are employed, they also inherently reduce the transmission between subsequent patients. These techniques include ultrasonic cleaning and heat sterilization of all non-disposable instruments being used during your treatment. They also include high level disinfection of the remaining surfaces that could be contaminated.
These techniques were taught to us in school and have been employed by our dental practice for the past 35 years. To increase our level of caution, we will be using these same high-level disinfectant wipes on other contacted surfaces in the non-clinical parts of the office.
And as you may already know, we use our reception area for greeting our patients and do not call it a waiting room. To minimize the likelihood of coming in contact with an infected individual, we are requesting that anyone not actively having treatment, wait in their car or outside at our picnic table. The weather is getting nicer.
Since many of our patients are sensitive whether it be to fragrance, light or sound, many will ask us to call them in from their car when we can see them immediately in the treatment rooms. We will provide this service if you wish, just give us that call when you arrive and make sure we have your cell phone number. A further help for these sensitive patients is that we will often open the windows. We will be employing this strategy during this period also.
What you can do at home to stay well and decrease your likelihood of becoming ill from this virus is to stay hydrated, get enough good sleep, eat well and supplement with Vitamins B, C and D. Get outdoors, reduce your stress and refrain from larger gatherings. What has been promoted publicly is increase your frequency of hand washing and avoiding touching your face where the virus can gain entry through the eyes, nose and mouth. Of course, good oral hygiene, including professional treatment, always has a positive effect on your immune system and overall health. Other supplements can bolster your immune system which many of us employ like garlic, turmeric, echinacea, magnesium, NAC, zinc and selenium. As a whole, these recommendations are actually universal for staying healthy all of the time.
We will be calling to remind you of your upcoming appointment so if you feel you would like to reschedule due your concerns, please do when we reach you or call our office at 845 339 1619. Drs. Jeffrey and Maureen and our team will be seeing as many of you who wish to be seen as regularly scheduled. We will be available for emergency service, as always, if the office is closed as it was this week for a planned week off. Any changes to our regular schedule will be communicated by emails such as this and messaging on our answering machine at the office.
We wish you all good health now, and in the future! Your health has always been our priority.
Drs. Jeff and Maureen Viglielmo