- Continuing Education
COVID-19: Status of Clinical Operations
Your health and the health of your family members have been on our minds, especially as we all take on these challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. This is why we have been taking a slow and cautious approach to re-opening our clinics, all while adhering to the phases and guidelines outlined by the Governor’s office. Good news -- We are now ready to resume modified clinical operations and we will begin seeing patients on June 22.
Over the past few months, we have continued to see some patients, but only those who required emergency or urgent care. For information about emergency dental care, please visit the Emergency Clinic page of our website. We will need to continue to prioritize cases as we adjust to various guidelines and recommendations outlined by the CDC and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. First priority – treating emergency and urgent care cases; Second priority – treating cases where disease might progress and cause risk if left untreated; Third priority – elective treatments. We ask for your patience and understanding as we move through these different phases of reopening. [Our phasing may not align exactly with the Commonwealth’s because we may need to move more slowly due to the size of our operation.]
In an effort to remove barriers to care for our patients, Tufts University School of Dental Medicine is now offering limited telehealth services. During the COVID-19 pandemic, this allows patients with access to a smartphone, tablet, or computer to communicate directly with our dentists for oral health advice while reducing their risk of infection from coronavirus. Telehealth services are available when appropriate both to new patients and to patients of record. To schedule a telehealth appointment with one of our providers, patients can contact the specific department with which they wish to book a telehealth appointment.
Here’s what you need to know as we reopen for business:
- Our postgraduate and undergraduate providers will be alternating work schedules to provide access to care while allowing for social distancing. There is a possibility you may not have the same provider upon your return; some of our providers have since graduated.
- Patients and staff will be required to wear masks (cloth or surgical) while in the office unless asked to take them off by your provider during appointment.
- We have rearranged our waiting room and workspaces to help with social distancing.
- So, if you need assistance getting to and from your visit, we will ask that person to wait in his/her car until your appointment is over. This will help us limit the number of people in the clinic at any one time.
- If you have a caregiver who needs to attend the visit with you, he or she will also need to wear a mask. Please inform us in advance if you plan to be accompanied by a caregiver.
- Prior to your visit and upon arrival, each patient (and caregiver, if there is one) will have their temperature taken and may be asked specific COVID-19 screening questions. Please update us if you have had a change in your telephone number or would like to add your email.
- Patients should arrive for their appointment 15 minutes in advance of its scheduled time.
- We will gather information through as many contactless ways as possible and will establish handwashing protocols for everyone. There will be hand sanitizer available throughout the school.
- Our treatment of patients will be arranged according to procedures associated with each phase that we enter. Even though the state has moved to Phase 2, TUSDM is still in Phase 1. We will be sure to communicate that to you when we enter Phase 2.
We will communicate any additional changes as we move through this process.