Dear Friends and Colleagues,
Another month has gone by since our last newsletter. The weather is getting warmer, and with it comes the prospect of tip-toeing into a more regular rhythm of daily life. Still, Governor Cuomo and his team are cautious, and this past Friday, the Governor extended NYS on PAUSE through May 28 for regions of the state that did not meet reopening guidelines. Meanwhile, I have picked up on a concerning trend among our patients — previously minor dental problems are continuing to deterioriate into more urgent situations. I hear you and want to give you an update on what you can expect from your dental team at Queensboro Plaza Dental Care.
1. New York Dentists’ Offices are essential and open for emergency and urgent care only. The NYS Dental Association has recommended postponing elective dental procedures until further notice. The rationale is two-fold: to conserve masks, gloves, and other increasingly scarce personal protective equipment, while helping to keep patients who need emergency treatment from going to busy emergency rooms. We do not yet have a hard date to reopen for elective procedures.
2. We plan to offer more “regular,” staffed office hours, one or two days a week, by the end of May — for emergencies only. I will send a separate announcement email once it’s official. We would ask that you call our office ahead of coming in to ensure adequate pre-screening.
3. You can now schedule online for your teledentistry consults with us. We continue to offer teledentistry for remote assessment, advice, and prescriptions. You can reach us by email, phone/text to (718) 451-8484, or through our website.
4. Our foremost challenge remains sourcing genuine N95 respirator masks. Dentists and their teams are at high risk for exposure to COVID-19, even from presumably “well” asymptomatic carriers, due to the intimate nature of our work near patients’ mouths and throats. The rate-limiting step for dentists everywhere to reopen is obtaining N95 masks for protection while performing invasive dental procedures. That supply chain may improve by July, but if any of you wonderful patients knows of even a handful of N95 masks to donate or purchase for emergency care, please let us know!
5. As with many aspects of life today, your visits to our dental office will look different when you return. We continue to share with you the changes we’ve made to ensure the safety of everyone involved. Read our blog post How Has COVID-19 Changed The Dental Office to learn more.
6. We invite you to join us in the #HowAreYouReallyChallenge. We can all help people feel OK to open up about their mental health — by asking someone to answer the question, “How are you really doing?” From the standpoint of our dental office, I would also pose the same question to you regarding your dental health. Don’t hesitate to drop us a line and voice your dental anxieties; I’m hear to listen and guide you.
Stay safe and stay strong, New Yorkers! We look forward to seeing you again, soon!
Michael Nguyen, DDSOwner, Queensboro Plaza Dental Care