I hope you and yours are healthy and well. I'm reaching out to update you with regard to dentistry in a COVID-19 pre vaccine environment. While I haven't been able to treat and see you since St. Patrick's Day, I've been busy trying to figure out how to get back to work, doing what I love.
As a board member and former president of the Academy of Stomatology, our country's oldest dental study group started at the University of Pennsylvania, I led a Covid-19 discussion with area dentists last week. I've also reached out to our senators, congress people, the Chester County Health Department, and FEMA. I attended a four hour conference with the president of the American Dental Association and Dean of Penn Dental yesterday. As I write this, I'm in the midst of building a negative pressure suite in my office which will encompass all four operatories.
My colleagues and I have collectively defined three critical components that must be attained in order to maintain the health and safety of our patients and ourselves before we open.
1. Rapid testing within a few hours of the appointment
3. Negative pressure suites
There will be a number of offices that don't install negative pressure suites due to HVAC issues in buildings where air exchange is shared, landlords, and physical limitations. I don't have these issues. The negative pressure suite moves and changes air in the room twenty times per hour. This protects the patient, myself and those outside of the operatory. This is not 100% but close to it. It will protect a healthy patient from getting sick in the operatory. You will now see me masked and gloved with a head cover, paper gown, and face shield.
When will we see each other again?
1. PPE is still not readily available. I'm searching in and out of the country for KN95/N95 masks and have identified a few sources but verifying authenticity is not easy. Some which were originally on the FDA list of approved have now been removed.
2. Rapid testing is not yet readily available to doctors outside of hospital settings but we are working on that and pushing our government officials to help make it happen.
3. In order to re-open safely the guidelines specified in 2005 by the Minnesota Dept of health must be met https://www.health.state.mn.us/communities/ep/surge/infectious/airbornenegative.pdf
It's not been easy for me to hear that you have health concerns that I can't address and I know it's not easy for you. This is why I continue to press ahead to obtain the above asap with the hope that I'll be back in the office as soon as possible. I'll have updated statements posted on my website. Please feel free to reach out and call the office at 610-687-6950 or you may text at 610-546-7183 at any time. I am able to schedule virtual appointments. Gina is taking phone calls remotely.
Wishing you and yours abundant health!
Warmly, Rich Berman