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What we are doing to keep everyone safe during the COVID-19 pandemic

May 7th, 2020

Social Distancing

Due to the coronavirus, we are required to modify how we treat our patients.  

Before a patient can be seen in the clinic, the patient or a parent of a patient under 18 years old will need to have reviewed the questions below.  Due to the mandate of the State of Utah, we will be unable to see patients without this information being reviewed.

With community transmission of communicable diseases, you could be exposed anywhere to infectious diseases including, but not limited to Covid-19 (also called Coronavirus). Our orthodontic office is following the State and Federal regulations and recommended universal personal protection and disinfection protocols to limit transmission of communicable diseases. However, it is possible that these precautions will not always be successful in blocking the transmission of these diseases. Social distancing nationwide has reduced the transmission of Covid-19, however it is not possible to provide orthodontic treatment with social distancing between the patient, orthodontist, orthodontic staff and sometimes, other patients. 

By presenting yourself or your child for orthodontic treatment, you assume and accept the risk that you or your child may inadvertently be exposed to a communicable disease. 

If you have been exposed to a communicable disease prior to your orthodontic appointment, you may spread the disease to the orthodontist, orthodontic staff and to other patients/parents in the practice. Therefore, prior to each appointment, we require you to answer the following questions: 

 

  • Has the patient or others that will accompany the patient to the appointment been tested positive for or been diagnosed as having COVID-19?  
  • Does the patient, or anyone accompanying the patient have currently or have had within the last 14 days: A Fever? A Cough? Shortness of Breath and/or Trouble Breathing? Persistent pain, pressure or tightness in the chest?  Recent loss of smell or taste?  Chills, muscle pain, sore throat?

 

Thank you for your continued trust in our practice. As with the transmission of any communicable disease like a cold or the flu, you may be exposed to COVID-19, also known as “Coronavirus,” at any time or in any place. Be assured that we have always and will continue to follow state and federal regulations and recommended universal personal protection and disinfection protocols to limit transmission of all diseases in our office. 

Despite our careful attention to sterilization, disinfection, and use of personal barriers, there is still a chance that you could be exposed to an illness in our office, just as you might be at your gym, grocery store, or favorite restaurant. “Social Distancing” nationwide has reduced the transmission of the Coronavirus. Although we have taken measures to provide social distancing in our practice, due to the nature of the procedures we provide, it is not possible to maintain social distancing between the patient, orthodontist, orthodontic staff and sometimes other patients at all times. 

In order to be seen in the clinic, please copy the following and paste it into a text to 844-428-5344 with the patient's name. 

I and/or my child do not (at this time nor in the last 14 days) have COVID-19 symptoms; we have not been out of the county. We have been practicing social distancing. Although exposure is unlikely, I accept the risk and consent to treatment for myself or my minor child. 

 

What to expect at your appointment:

 

  • Please brush your teeth prior to coming to your appointment, since the brushing station will be closed.

 

  • The waiting room will be closed. Please check-in virtually by texting 844-428-5344 when you arrive in the parking lot with the patient’s name.  We will communicate with you via text when we are ready for you to come upstairs to the clinic for your appointment.  
  • If the patient is currently in treatment, please check closely for any loose or broken appliances, and call and let us know the day before your appointment so that we can schedule appropriately.  Due to our social distancing requirements, we will be unable to fix anything that has not been communicated with us prior to the appointment.
  • Due to the state’s mandate, unless parents deem it necessary, parents are encouraged to either wait in a vehicle, or come back to pick up a patient when we are finished.   We do want to communicate with parents about their child’s treatment.   Please communicate with our office via text (844-428-5344) when you check in if you would like to video call or simply have a phone call with Dr. Erickson during your child’s appointment.  We will be using Google Duo to video call.  Please download it from the App Store or Play Store.  
  • If parents choose to join a patient in the clinic, they will need to bring a mask with them.  Per the state’s mandate, non-patients will not be permitted in the clinic without a mask, and we need to conserve masks for our team.
  • We will be taking a temperature on each person that comes to our clinic.
  • Each person will be asked to disinfect their hands with hand sanitizer.
  • Due to the additional protective gear we will be wearing, the clinic may be colder than usual.  Please dress accordingly.  
  • We will be scheduling the next appointment while the patient is at the chair.

 

What are we doing to minimize risk to you and to our team?

  • We are adhering to the most recent CDC recommendations, including wearing masks, gloves, lab coats or jackets, and face shields.  
  • Our team will be changing into clean scrub coats before seeing each patient.
  • We are rigorously disinfecting surfaces between patients, and sterilizing equipment and instruments before they are used.
  • We are practicing social distancing-our chairs are set up differently than in the past so that we have significant spacing (well over 6 feet) between our patients.
  • We will be modifying how we perform procedures to minimize risk to our patients and our team
  • We are installing air purification devices in the clinic. 
  • We are taking temperatures regularly on everyone on our team, and on everyone that enters the clinic.
  • We will be screening each person that comes to the office to make sure they are healthy.
  • Please call us to reschedule your appointment if the patient or anyone the patient has been exposed to in the last 14 days has:
    • Experienced COVID-19 symptoms, including cough, fever, chest tightness, shortness of breath, or trouble breathing
    • Been outside of the county

We look forward to seeing you!  Please feel free to call with any questions or concerns.  We appreciate the trust you place in us, and look forward to continuing to help create your confident smile.  

Sincerely, 

Dr. Jeff Erickson and the Team at Orthodontic Specialists

Precautions and Temporary Office Closure

March 18th, 2020

Office Closure

Greetings, everyone!

In order to reduce the spread of the Coronavirus, the American Association of Orthodontists has recommended that we do everything possible not to see patients in the office from now until April 25th. This date may change as more information comes in. We will keep you informed as soon as we have any additional information. 

We want to comply with this recommendation, and still, make sure each of our patients are well taken care of. 

With this in mind, we will do the following:

  • Reschedule the majority of scheduled patients from March 23-March 31.  
  • Dr. Erickson will be reviewing each patient individually who is scheduled to see us during this time, and we will be scheduling phone or video calls with Dr. Erickson where he can review treatment progress, and make recommendations.  It will require some flexibility on everyone’s part, but we can make it work.   
  • Continue to have appointments available to make patients comfortable from poky wires, loose appliances, etc.  
  • Please call the office at 435-673-9661 to schedule these appointments.  Please reserve this for truly urgent needs. 

When visiting the office please do the following:

      • Come no more than 5 minutes early to your appointment.  The waiting area will be closed. 
      • Have just the patient come to the office.   
        • We will gladly call parents after the appointment so they can stay in their vehicles. Parents of young children are welcome to come to the office if necessary.  Please call the office as you send your child up if you have questions.  
      • Do not come to the office if you or someone you have been exposed to has experienced or is experiencing fever or even mild flu-like symptoms. Please call us before an appointment if this is the case and we can review how to best take care of your needs while reducing the risk to others. 

For visits to the office, we will do the following:

  • We will be taking forehead temperatures before patients come into the clinic
  • Patients will be asked to wash their hands and possibly voluntarily rinse with Hydrogen Peroxide prior to being seen in the clinic.
  • Patients will be spread out in the clinic to stay at least 6 feet from other patients.

We will have elastics, wax, and other supplies available for you to pick up from the office during non-patient hours.    

In order to make this process work smoothly, please do not come to the office if you are experiencing flu-like symptoms or have a fever, or have been exposed to anyone who has experienced these symptoms within the last two weeks.   

We appreciate your flexibility and understanding.  We are grateful for the chance to take care of your orthodontic needs and look forward to returning to a more “normal” state as soon as possible.  As we all follow recommendations from the CDC of social distancing and proper hygiene, we will get there sooner.  

Sincerely, 

 

Dr. Jeff Erickson

Coronavirus Precautions from Dr. E.

March 13th, 2020

Coronavirus

We wanted to keep you updated on our response to the coronavirus.   Here are a few brief takeaways

  • We will continue to see patients at our office for their regularly scheduled visits. 
  • We will continue to use appropriate precautions, including appropriate sterilization and sanitation procedures. That being said, there will be less handshaking and more fist-bumping.  
  • We will be following recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and recommendations from state and local government.  The CDC’s updated recommendations are available at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
  • We will continue to keep you updated with any changes to how we normally deliver orthodontic care.  

We would also ask that you please do the following:

  • Call and reschedule your orthodontic appointment if you have a fever and flu-like symptoms or you have been exposed to someone who is suffering from those symptoms.  
  • Call us if you have any questions
  • Practice great hygiene. 

Here is some information from the CDC:

Household members should follow normal preventive actions while at work and home including recommended hand hygiene and avoiding touching eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.

    • Additional key times to clean hands include:
      • After blowing one’s nose, coughing, or sneezing
      • After using the restroom
      • Before eating or preparing food
      • After contact with animals or pets
      • Before and after providing routine care for another person who needs assistance (e.g. a child)
  • Household members should clean hands often, including immediately after removing gloves and after contact with an ill person, by washing hands with soap and water for 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available and hands are not visibly dirty, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol may be used. However, if hands are visibly dirty, always wash hands with soap and water.
  •  You can find more information at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/index.html

We are also accepting new patients, and are happy to see your friends and family for an initial consultation.

Like you, we look forward to moving past this situation and are grateful for your patience as we work together to Create Confident Smiles.  

Have a great Spring Break!

Dr. Jeff Erickson and the Team and Orthodontic Specialists

Meet Our Staff: Darrien

November 28th, 2018

Here at Orthodontic Specialists, we understand that Orthodontics is about more than just teeth--it’s about relationships. We are very fortunate to have such an amazing staff in our St. George, Utah office.

Many of you have had the chance to get to know our staff members, like Darrien Maurer, one of our fabulous chairside assistants. We interviewed Darrien so she could share a bit more about herself.

Interview with Darrien Maurer

DARRIEN MAURER

Tell us about what you do for Orthodontic Specialists:

I have worked for Dr. Erickson for a little over three years. I am a chairside assistant and love every aspect of it. I enjoy getting to know each of our patients and helping them achieve a confident smile! Working for Dr. E has brought me out of my comfort zone and helped me be able to be more outgoing.

I am lucky enough to get the opportunity to work with my mom. She is a lab technician and a chairside assistant.  I am the oldest of four kids.

Darrien

I have lived in Saint George my whole life and would not have it any other way. I love the beautiful red mountains and the great weather.

Staff Interview - St. George Orthodontist

What is your favorite thing about the office culture?

My favorite part about our office is how much fun we have with our patients. Not a day goes by where I don't laugh and joke around with someone.

What is your proudest moment at Orthodontic Specialists?

I am proudest when I remove someone's braces and witness them smiling uncontrollably. There is not a greater feeling than knowing you helped someone become happier with the way they look and boost their confidence.

What do you like to do in your free time?

In my free time, I love to hike and camp with my two dogs and my boyfriend. I also enjoy hanging out at the lake in the summer and horseback riding!

DARRIEN MAURER

DARRIEN MAURER

What is something most people probably don't know about you?

Most people would probably never guess that I did pageants as a child and was Miss Hawaiian Tropic. I am also obsessed with roller coasters. Six Flags Magic Mountain is my favorite theme park!

Before working at Orthodontic Specialists, what was the most unusual or interesting job you've ever had?

Before I was hired at Orthodontic Specialists I worked as an office assistant for a Custom Home Builder. It was extremely interesting because I was able to see the home building process from start to finish. From the first blueprints to the finished product. It gave me a real understanding of how much hard work is put into a home.
St. George Orthodontist staff member
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How We Are Keeping Everyone Safe