Office Updates Relating to COVID-19

Dear Embrace Orthodontics Patients,

We are open for business and excited to see our amazing patients!  If you are new to our office, we look forward to meeting you and giving you something to smile about. We want to update you on our office, its measured re-opening, and the steps we are taking to ensure we do everything possible to keep our patients and our team healthy.

While our office was closed, Dr. Kalakech and her Team were busy working with orthodontic leaders, to help craft rational, evidence-based guidelines for restarting orthodontic practices around the country. This wealth of information is continually changing, and Dr. Kalakech is as up-to-date as possible.

We are following the American Dental Association guidelines, rigorous scheduling protocols and other office measures to ensure the safety and well-being of both our patients and the team members at Embrace Orthodontics. We are going to be very firm in our processes and procedures. Our new systems and protocols have been well-thought-out and reviewed by Dr. Kalakech and her Team.

Our office procedures have changed, and will include the following:

New Office Protocols

  • Only the patient that is being treated will be allowed to enter the office. The only exception for this will be for very young patients, under the age of 10 and patients that require support. Of those, only one parent/caregiver may accompany the patient. Absolutely no other family members or friends will be allowed inside. If you have any questions or concerns please don’t hesitate to give us a call.
  • Please bring your own mask and wear it to your appointment.  All patients and caregivers that enter the office will be required to wear a mask. If you do not have a mask, we will provide one for you.
  • We are practicing social distancing at the office. Please stay at least 6 ft from other people.
  • The tooth-brushing station will be used for hand-washing/sanitizing. Each patient will be required to wash their hands with soap and water, and apply hand sanitizer prior to being seated. Please brush your teeth prior to your appointment.

  • We will ask you to use hand sanitizer when you enter the office. You will also find some in the reception area and other places in the office for you to use as needed.

What to Expect At Your Office Visit

  • Our office will communicate with you beforehand to ask some screening questions pertaining to COVID-19. You will be asked those same questions again when you are in the office.

  • Every person who enters the office will be required to fill out a brief patient screening form. This form will be e-mailed to you the morning of your appointment. If you have not set up your patient portal (Anywhere Dolphin) you may be prompted to create your account before completing your screening form.
  • When you arrive for your appointment, please stay in your car. A chalkboard will be located outside our office with a number for you to text upon your arrival.  You may also call our office. We will notify you when we are ready for you to come inside.
  • The patient restroom will be closed, so please prepare for that prior to your arrival.

  • Your temperature will be taken by one of our team members using a touchless thermometer. This will also include the patient’s guardian if they enter the office. If your temp is 100 degrees F or above, you will be kindly asked to reschedule your appointment. To avoid being turned away, please take your temperature prior to arriving to the office (especially if you are traveling a long distance). Also, try to avoid sitting in a hot car or drinking warm beverages prior to have your temperature taken.
  • A simple questionnaire assessing your contacts, travel, and well-being will be asked of all patients. This includes patient guardians (if they are accompanying a patient). Any question indicating recent exposure to someone with COVID-19 or having signs and symptoms of the same will be asked to reschedule.
  • Patients will be seated in every-other-chair in the office to maintain social distancing. Due to limited seating and new safety measures, we are reducing our daily schedule patient load. This means future appointment options will temporarily be limited. Unfortunately, we may not be as accommodating as we used to be.
  • We ask for understanding and patience while we will try to address all your treatment needs during your visit. Individuals with multiple broken brackets may not have everything completed during their visit due to strict scheduling times and will be rescheduled for a longer time slot.
  • Please do not hesitate to ask any questions, we are more than happy to come to your car or speak with you over the phone so we may update you as well.

Appointment Breakdown & Rescheduling

  • Retainer Check-ups: are paused until the fall. Please be patient and wait for one of our team members to call you and reschedule. Retainer appointments will be rescheduled once we are back in our regular routine. If you have lost, broken, or have an ill-fitting retainer, please call our office so we can schedule you accordingly.

  • Emergencies will continue only to be defined by pain or bleeding. For now, broken brackets do not constitute an emergency. Please remember to stay away from hard and sticky foods to prevent any damage to your braces.

Social

  • WE LOVE OUR PATIENTS! We also love to chat with you at your appointment. Please understand that conversations will be significantly reduced to allow for social distancing, running on time, disinfection of treatment chairs and instruments, etc.
  • We will not be providing our coffee/hot chocolate station or any snacks while in this re-entry to normalcy time.
  • You may see that our waiting room will no longer offer magazines, treasure chest, children’s toys and so forth, since those items are difficult to clean and disinfect.
  • For your safety and our team’s safety they will be wearing masks, gloves, and face shields. So, do not be alarmed if you can’t see us smiling, we will be under our masks.

Team

  • We are taking the temperatures of every team member, including Dr. Kalakech, immediately upon arrival at work and after lunch. Any team member with a temperature of 100 F or above will be asked to go home.
  • Every team member will answer the health questionnaire that our patients are required to answer daily. If any questions disqualify the team member, they will be sent home following the same procedures we are asking our patients to follow.

General

  • You will find upon arrival that our furniture has been rearranged. Our game area and photo booth will be unavailable for the foreseeable future. You will also notice other changes made to ensure the health and well-being of our patients and our team.
  • If you have any questions or concerns about our safety measures, do not hesitate to ask.
  • We have installed sneeze guards at our front desk and consult room, and we will continue to keep a high standard of disinfection of our equipment, surfaces, and high traffic areas.
  • We have installed two UV Light-Carbon Filter-Air Treatment devices in our heating and cooling system. This air filtration system destroys biological contaminants such as mold, bacteria, and viruses. This system works continuously to keep our indoor air clean.

And A Special Note From Dr. K

We are so grateful for every one of our patients, and this time away has only served to make us even more thankful for each of you. You are the life-force of our practice, and this is why we are taking your safety VERY seriously.

 While many things have changed, one thing has remained the same: our commitment to your safety.  Infection control has always been a top priority for our practice and you may have seen this during your visits to our office. Our infection control processes are made so that when you receive care, it’s both safe and comfortable.

We ask for your patience and understanding during this unprecedented time. If you were rescheduled do to a mandated closure issued by Governor Abbott, please expect that your treatment progress my be delayed, as has your estimated completion time. We wish that were not the case, but it is.

Please forgive us as we are focusing on getting each of you back on track while not exposing our team members or patients to unnecessary risk. If you have any questions, please feel free to call our office. Thank you for being our patient. My team and I value your trust and loyalty and look forward to welcoming back our patients, neighbors and friends.

 We love all of you, here’s to your health and smile!

Warmly,

Dr. Dima Kalakech and Team Embrace