The team at Grant Hinze DDS is excited to reopen the dental office for all procedures on Monday, May 11.

The office has been closed, except for emergency procedures, since late March as per local and state-directed health measures related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dental offices in Two Rivers Public Health Department area, which includes Phelps County, are allowed to resume all procedures on May 11.

However, a visit to the dental office will look different than before the pandemic as new policies and procedures will be implemented to continue to slow and prevent the spread of the virus.

“We’ve never seen anything like this,” Kay Hinze said. “We will be following the protocol on social distancing and will be performing extra cleaning in the office.”

One major change is that patients will be answering a survey and having their temperatures checked upon entering the office. Questions will include health-related inquiries as to whether patients have symptoms such as a dry cough, runny nose, muscle pains, headaches or have lost their sense of smell. Other questions will pertain to travel, including any travels outside the state or county to other areas with high cases of the virus.

Patients with fevers of 100.4 degrees or higher or any symptoms will be asked to reschedule appointments.

“We don’t want to compromise any immune systems for our patients or our staff or families,” Kay said.

Another change is the office will be that staff working directly with patients will be wearing face shields in addition to N95 masks and their normal lab coats, surgical hair wraps and scrubs. Staff will also have their temperature checked each day.

Kay said their “suppliers are taking good care of us,” as far as personal protective equipment (PPE). So, they are well equipped to take care of patients.

Patients will be allowed to wait in the social area for their appointments, but they may wait in their cars if they are not comfortable waiting inside. Extra time will be scheduled between patient visits so that social distancing shouldn’t be a problem in the waiting area.

Also, patients are asked to come alone to the dentist’s office if possible. Of course, young children and some elderly patients will need to be accompanied by an adult. Any adult companions will also be screened for COVID-19.

Kay said she doesn’t anticipate any backlogs or trouble getting appointments scheduled. If you have any questions about the new COVID-19 procedures or need to schedule an appointment, please contact Kay at (308) 995-5331.