fbpx

We wanted to take a moment to not only applaud our staff that continues to see emergency cases but also our staff who are unable to spend time with the patients they love to see and help. 

Many of our doctors and hygienists are either coming into our offices on a case-by-case basis or signing on for full days of urgent care patients. Unfortunately, others must stay home or reduce their hours due to exposure to themselves or family members & also at the orders of our government for elective dental procedures to cease. 

Here are three stories from our doctors and hygienists. We asked each how their life has changed during the COVID-19 Pandemic and these were their responses. 

Dr. Matt Miller, Sedation Dentist at Lane & Associates Family Dentistry

Dr. Matt Miller in PPE during COVID-19

“I graduated from the University of Iowa College of Dentistry in 2007, completed a General Practice Residency at Naval Medical Center Portsmouth in 2008, and three years of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at Naval Medical Center San Diego. I was the infectious disease control officer for three years at the Naval Branch Health Clinic Kings Bay, Kings Bay Georgia.  I have knowledge and training in the etiology and ramifications of infectious diseases, in addition to having first-hand knowledge and a greater understanding during my time in Haiti after the earthquake in 2010. 

I thought I had seen a lot in my career, but the COVID-19 Pandemic was not something I was prepared to fight.  As more and more reports came in on my fellow North Carolinians contracting the virus and the death toll rising, I knew I would soon have to prepare myself and my family for what was to come. I am on Humira which is an immunosuppressive drug, which puts me at increased risk. 

When the decision came from Dr. Lane and his wife that it was no longer safe to provide treatment other than emergent many thoughts came to mind; how are my patients going to get the care they need, if I volunteer to treat emergency patients knowing that I am at higher risk would I become infected or infect my family and how am I going to provide for my family. I knew from my training that this virus was not going to resolve quickly and knew that I needed to come up with a game plan to protect myself, my family and my surgical team while using my knowledge and training to help the Lane & Associate patients with their emergent needs.  

I spoke with Dr. Lane and my personal doctor and decided to forgo the Humira and treat patients. My team and I first made sure that we were all healthy and able to treat patients. Our practice developed protocols to screen patients to ensure they were healthy to treat and that their need was emergent and weighed the risk vs. benefit.  Staff was reduced and we practiced social distancing when possible as ordered by our Governor. From a personal standpoint other than forgoing the Humira, I increased my normal personal protective equipment by using an N95 mask.

I became a dentist to help others maintain and improve their oral health and improve their quality of life, and feel it is my obligation to treat emergent patients at this current time.” 

Learn more about Dr. Miller here | Find out ways we are helping during COVID-19

Dr. Huyen-Chau Dunn, Board Certified Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon in Raleigh and Durham

Dr. Dunn during COVID-19

“I am a board-certified Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon who attended dental school at New York University and then accomplished my oral surgery residency within the Air Force.  I have trained for protection against chemical warfare in protective (MOPP 4) gear for hours at end, I have flown in an F-16, I have accomplished long surgeries to debride and reconstruct soldiers wounded in war or patients with pathology, I have extracted more teeth than I can count and even replaced some of them with dental implants, but the challenge I face now is staying at home.  

Because of the ongoing pandemic, I have limited my practice to only treating emergent/urgent cases to help alleviate our already overtaxed emergency departments nationwide.  As such, I have been doing postoperative follow-ups and evaluations of potential emergency cases via video conferences with patients. Granted, teledentistry is limited in that I cannot touch the patient for a thorough examination, but it lets me determine if I need to bring the patient into the office for potential treatment versus conservative medical management.  

On a personal level, I have great respect for stay-at-home moms/dads, which is essentially what I have become.  The challenge is creating a routine for my 10-year-old daughter, Mai, and some form of normalcy while my husband, who is an emergency medicine physician working tirelessly on the “frontlines” of this pandemic to care for the sick and dying.  We do online schoolwork and music lessons with her piano teacher. Things that I normally did alone in the past for the sake of time efficiency, I now accomplish with her; we prepare meals and bake treats to distribute to neighbors, laundry, cleaning, gardening/mowing, but we also do fun things like art, board games, watch movies, take walks, and play with our dogs.  Whatever we do, we take time to enjoy each other’s company.” 

Find out more about Dr. Dunn here | Visit our COVID-19 Updates page

Crystal Jackson, Hygienist from Lane & Associates Fuquay-Varina

Hygienist with family during COVID-19

“To my wonderful patients,

I hope you all are staying safe, healthy, and finding lots to do at home. I miss you all so much. I was really looking forward to seeing some of you in March and April. This pandemic has changed so much for so many of us and I pray it is over sooner than expected. Until we can see each other again, remember to practice excellent home care as we often talk about. 

Some Tips during COVID-19:

  1. Brush 2x a day for 2 minutes.
  2. Floss daily and continue to use a fluoride mouth rinse daily! 
  3. Change your toothbrush every 3-4 months. If you get sick, change your toothbrush immediately! 
  4. Try to keep hydrated with only water throughout the day to keep your sugar intake down and your teeth happy.

My family and I are doing well, thankfully we are all healthy and trying to do our part by staying home. Except for visiting the grocery store, we have been home! Lots of cooking, cleaning, and playing outside has taken place. I really miss going out to eat, cookouts with friends, watching my boys play baseball, and their school! Today we started virtual school with my fourth and second grader and it went pretty well, so thankful for amazing teachers. Every afternoon I have a video chat with my 4 best friends and that has been so nice as we are helping each other get through this. I encourage you to have a video chat with a friend or two. 🙂

I cannot wait to see my patients again soon and find out how you all are doing during this challenging time. I think about you often! We will get through this. I am dreaming about the day I can go back to work to treat my patients and the boys’ school opens back up. Although, I am sure I miss their school more than they do. Haha

I love you all. Looking forward to seeing you soon. Stay safe!

Sending many prayers!

Your Dental Hygienist”

Learn more about Lane & Associates during COVID-19 | Contact our offices

What you can expect from Lane & Associates Family Dentistry during the Flu & COVID-19 Pandemic

Originally published: March 12, 2020 | Updated: May 14, 2020

At Lane & Associates, we strive to uphold the highest level of care for our patients at all times. During every office visit, your health and safety are our highest priorities. With the recent Flu and Coronavirus (COVID-19), this year’s season has been particularly difficult which reinforces the need for all of us to be vigilant in the prevention of the spread of these diseases. 

How to Sew Surgical Masks for Medical Professionals | More COVID-19 Updates from Dr. Lane

Our offices follow all of the current recommendations for infection control and disease prevention published by the CDC(Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health), OSHA, and other significant organizations. 

As always, the most important priority at Lane & Associates is the safety and wellbeing of our patients and team members. In addition to our already rigorous daily sanitizing procedures, we will continue to go above and beyond these guidelines. We are increasing the frequency of cleaning and disinfecting of the lobby, dental exam chairs, equipment, bathrooms, and all other areas of our offices. At each of our locations, you will also find hand sanitizer next to the front desk. All patients are encouraged to wash their hands frequently during their visits for at least 20 seconds, as the CDC recommends.

New Policies & Procedures (as of May 2020):

  • As we begin to reopen our offices, you may see some changes during your next appointment.
  • Our office will communicate with you before your appointment to ask screening questions.
  • Before entering the building, we are offering curbside check-in and temperature screenings for all patients. All staff are also screened before entering the building each day.
  • You may see that our waiting rooms are closed or adjusted for social distancing measures. Furniture is further apart and all magazines/children’s toys have been removed (since these items are difficult to clean).
  • Appointments will be managed to allow for social distancing between patients. You may also be escorted into and out of the building.
  • All consent forms, treatment plans, and payments may be presented to you in the treatment room.
  • Hand sanitizer or hand-washing stations will be available for patient use.
  • We may ask you to wait in your car to reduce the number of patients in the reception area at any one time.

Lane and Associates dental staff screening patients taking temperatures

7 Health recommendations during this Flu & Virus Season: 

  1. Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, avoid close contact with others to prevent them from getting sick as well.
  2. If you are sick, please postpone any non-emergency or elective dental procedures until you are feeling well. If you are unsure, please call your home office to discuss your treatment with your dental provider. 
  3. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you are coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick.
  4. Wash your hands as set by the guidelines from the CDC. **See the Handwashing Instructions infographic below**
  5. Do not hoard medical masks or gloves as these are needed by healthcare professionals. Due to the high demand, the CDC does not recommend the general public buying these items but instead practicing everyday preventive actions, such as washing hands, covering your cough, and staying home when you are sick. 
  6. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth.
  7. Practice other good health habits. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work or school, especially when someone is ill. Get plenty of sleep, take care of your oral health, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.

Washing Your Hands the Right Way

One of the most important steps in preventing the spread of infection is to consistently wash your hands as set by the guidelines from the CDC. See our infographic below with step by step instructions on how to properly wash your hands. The basics to remember are to rinse with water first THEN lather on the soap. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds and be sure to get underneath your fingernails and in between each finger. If you are wearing rings, either take these off before scrubbing or get underneath during your 20-second scrub. Rinse your hands with clean water once you’ve completed scrubbing. Remember, after rinsing – use the paper towel or one-use towel to turn off your sink.

How to Wash Your Hands:

Hand washing infographic

DOWNLOAD THIS INFOGRAPHIC

Watch this video from the CDC with FAQs about Handwashing:

Next Steps…

According to the American Dental Association, “Respiratory hygiene/cough etiquette infection control measures along with contact precautions are currently recommended for preventing transmission of COVID-19 and all flu-like illnesses in a dental healthcare setting.”If you currently have the flu or have had direct contact with anyone diagnosed with the Flu or the Coronavirus, or if you have recently traveled to an area where the Coronavirus is prevalent, please inform one of our team members.

All of our employees are well trained and given periodic updates on infection control policies and procedures to ensure that your visit and treatment at Lane & Associates is as safe and comfortable as possible. As always – we sincerely appreciate your trust in us to provide your dental care.

Have further questions? Contact our offices or email us at info@lanedds.com