Update as of Tuesday, May 19, 2020
We’re back (slowly!) We have returned to the office during our normal business hours, but we are still functioning on a limited basis at this time because of PPE shortages. We currently have what we need to practice safely- but that could change at any point if our suppliers begin to back up. For the remainder of May, we will mostly just be seeing patients with treatment needs and any problems that arise (with pain or painless).
What this means to you- you can now schedule your appointments like normal! We’re scheduling cleanings for June and July, and we’re expecting those to fill up fast. We’ve had to space out our appointments more than normal to allow for extra sterilization time between patients, so please bear with us if it takes a little longer to get in for an appointment.
When you come into the office, it’s going to look a little different as well. As of now, we’re asking that patients wait in their car until their treatment room is ready. We are bringing them right back to their room after they pass the COVID screening questions and their temperature is taken. We are limiting the number of patients in the building at one time. We are asking that, unless absolutely necessary (ie. parent of a minor, elderly who needs a caretaker, etc), patients come to the appointment alone to eliminate additional people in the office.
We appreciate your help in this immensely- this appears to be the “new normal” for healthcare offices now, and we’re trying to keep up with the ever-changing policies to protect us and you. We can’t wait to see you soon!
Update as of Friday, April 24, 2020
Governor Pritzker has now extended the Illinois Shelter in Place Executive Order through the end of May. Our office will continue to be closed to non-emergency patients through May 30th. We are closely monitoring recommendations from the Illinois State Dental Society as well as advice from the Illinois Department of Public Health on additional standards and requirements to ensure patient and staff safety is obtained, and if they decide it is safe for us to practice again, we will be back in the office right away.
Dentistry is in an extremely tough position during this time. Not only would re-opening our practice involve using gloves, masks, face shields, and disinfectant wipes that the hospitals truly need at this time, but our everyday practices involve the production of aerosols from our drills, saliva droplets during cleanings, and patients' faces in close proximity to dental staff members' faces. We are making sure that every potential vulnerability is addressed before deciding it is safe to return to practicing. We have reached out to our suppliers to obtain additional PPE, including isolation gowns, face shields, and KN95 masks. Most of these have been back-ordered so that the hospitals have them first, but we are hoping we can obtain them during the closure. Dr. Bob has been working hard to switch his records to electronic charting so that we can reduce the number of papers in the office. We are tightening our procedures so that we will be fully ready to return once we get the okay.
We appreciate you all being understanding during this time. Trust us- we cannot wait to be back in the office practicing and seeing your smiling faces again! Please don't hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns!
Following Governor Pritzker's extended shelter-in-place order, as well as the updated recommendations from the CDC and ADA, McNicholas Dental will continue operating on solely an emergency basis through the end of April. Although we are deeply saddened that we cannot see our patients during this time, we know that by following these recommendations, we are doing our part to prevent the spread of COVID19 to patients, help protect our staff members, and limiting the PPE that we are using so that our doctors and hospitals have access to as much as possible. We hope that you all understand this difficult decision as we have not come to it lightly.
Dr. Bob is available to perform telehealth calls with current patients-of-record who may be experiencing pain, swelling, or bleeding. He can be reached at 708-792-0086. Please do not hesitate to reach out if there is any question about something urgent in your mouth and gums.
If you are a patient who had an appointment scheduled during the month of April, we will be sending out text messages and/or phone calls to ensure that you've received our update. We will be holding off on rescheduling appointments until we know we will be back in the office. Once we are back and running, we will call all patients who were rescheduled for priority bookings.
Thank you again, please stay healthy, and remember to floss every 24-36 hours! :)
Per the Illinois State Dental Society's request, McNicholas Dental will be functioning on an emergency-only basis from Tuesday, March 17th until Wednesday, April 1st. Our staff will be answering phone calls and scheduling all regular appointments for April 1st or later. If you have an emergency during this time, please don't hesitate to call us at 773-779-1983. Thank you for your understanding!