June 10th

Our top priority is our patients’ and staffs’ health and safety! We are in uncharted waters during this pandemic and taking every precaution to protect all who walk into our office. We have been humbled by the feedback of our patients recognizing our efforts. Please enjoy some of our patient’s thoughts below:

Dr Alger and Entire Team, Thank you for helping me feel safe. I was nervous about coming to my appointment last week as fear from COVID. It was my first trip out other than grocery. I appreciate the time taken to explain safety precautions. Just like over past 20 years plus the care received was excellent and personal. Thanks again!
Rick 

Always glad to see Dr. Alger and his staff. They are friendly, considerate, and professional. They handled the virus in the safest and healthy way possible. I felt safe and comfortable in their office.
Jeanne

I was nervous. This was my first venture out since the coronavirus stay at home order.. The entire practice staff took such good care of me. from scheduling to the actual treatment. Mary, the dental hygienist is worth her weight in gold. Such a good experience! Thanks, Dr. Alger and Company.
Rosie 

Dr Alger and his assistants are always upbeat, laid back and professional. My comfort and well being is his first concern. As with everyone, a dentist appt is my least favorite thing to do but overall it was better than expected. Thank you.
Greg


TO THE PATIENTS of DR. FRED ALGER
LETTER ANNOUNCING OUR REOPENING – MAY 1, 2020

To all of our wonderful patients, I am pleased to announce that as of May 1st, our practice has reopened. I know that many of you had appointments with us that we had to postpone, due to the COVID-19 (Corona Virus) pandemic. Following directions from Governor DeWine and the Ohio State Dental Board, our office has been closed, except for emergencies from March 16 until May 1. I am so grateful for the patience and understanding that you have demonstrated to me and my staff during this time. Now we are committed to responsibly rescheduling your appointment and caring for your oral health needs.

Are we prepared to see you?

You bet we are. During the passed 6 weeks we have not seen patients, but we have still been working to safely prepare our reopening when the time came. Today, May 1st, we saw our first patients since the shutdown occurred. We are pleased to say that things could not have gone better. With that being said, the COVID-19 virus has humbled us all. This is not a time for overconfidence or arrogance. But it is a time for prayerful reflection, careful and cautious preparation and a plan.

What is our plan?

Every dental practice is different and what is right for our practice may not be right for the dentist down the street. But the very first decision that I made was not to lay off any employees during the shutdown. They needed me and I needed them to get through this trial and to prepare our next step. As a result, my staff and I have been in constant communication during the 6 weeks of social distancing, while the office was closed. We first met regularly with online conferencing, via Zoom. Then Monday April 27 through Thursday April 30, we met at our dental office daily to prepare our reopening. We have spent extensive time together making preparations to keep us all safe. I am so grateful to my wonderful staff for their creative ideas, hard work and dedication to caring for our patients. We truly are a team, and I could not have planned this reopening without them.

What does our plan look like?

Although the incidence of new COVID-19 infections is declining, the virus has not gone away. On top of the universal precautions that we have always used to keep you safe, we are implementing some additional precautions to reduce the likelihood of transmitting or contracting the virus. The very first thing that we are doing is to implement protocols that adhere to the guidelines proposed by the Ohio State Dental Board.

What are the Ohio State Dental Board Guidelines?

Many people do not realize that the primary goal of the Ohio State Dental Board (OSDB) is to keep you and the general public safe and protected during visits to the dentist. The OSDB is the governing board for dentists in Ohio. I am pleased to say that our dental board has been working diligently with the governor’s office and the Ohio Dental Association to develop important and practical guidelines for dentists as we reopen our dental practices. The board presented us with 17 guidelines that we will be following as we see you and our other patients during the next several weeks and months. We have incorporated many of our own guidelines that we think will supplement and enhance your safe visit to our dental office. Here are some changes that you will notice:

  • COVID-19 Questionnaire. We will request that you complete an initial questionnaire over the phone when we schedule your appointment. The goal of this questionnaire is to make sure that patients who visit our office are not sick or showing signs of infection. If someone is sick or at risk of having COVID-19, we will postpone their treatment until we know that they are well. This will keep us all safer. The brief questionnaire will be repeated when you arrive at the office for your appointment.
  • We are admitting one patient at a time to the office. To avoid contact with others in a busy waiting room, we are asking that you call our office from the parking lot when you arrive. If we are ready to see you, we will ask you to come in. If we are still treating another patient, we will call you back when it is time to be seen.
  • Thorough Disinfection of the Office: When you open the door to our office, you should know that the handle to that door has been disinfected already before you arrived and will be disinfected again later. We will not only be extensively disinfecting our treatment rooms, but we will be disinfecting other rooms and areas of the office where patients might be found.
  • Hand Disinfectants: When you arrive at our office, we will provide you with a disinfectant for your hands. Our clinical staff will usually open the door from the reception room for you. But if you do open the door yourself, you can rest assured that the person that opened the door before you had disinfected hands. We will also have you disinfect your hands again as you leave. Surgical patients may be walked to the rear entrance by one of our surgical assistants, instead of walking through the waiting room and front door.
  • Temperature.One of the signs that appears with COVID-19 infections is an elevated temperature. All of our patients will have their temperature taken with a touchless thermometer upon arrival to our office. If your temperature is below 99.5 degrees Fahrenheit, we will see you for your appointment. If your temperature is 99.5 degrees or higher, we would like to take your temperature with a sterile intraoral thermometer placed below your tongue. If your oral thermometer reading is 100.0 degrees or higher at this second reading, we would then respectfully request that you reschedule your appointment for your well-being and for the benefit of our other patients.
  • Our staff: At the beginning of each day, every member of our staff including the doctor will have their temperature taken. Anyone with an elevated temperature as described above, or any one of our staff that is not feeling well will return home until healthy.
  • PPE (Personal Protective Equipment). If you feel more comfortable wearing a mask as you enter our office, please feel free to do so. You may notice our front desk personal wearing masks or our clinical staff wearing extra PPE such as face shields, gowns, etc. These extra protective measures do not indicate that anyone in our office is sick or that the environment is unsafe. Our goal is to minimize staff contraction of a virus, not only for our own well-being, but so that we don’t transmit an infection to our patients.
  • Oral Pre-rinse: We will have our patients rinse with a 1% solution of hydrogen peroxide prior to any examination or treatment. This rinse is intended to kill viruses that may be present in their oral tissues or saliva.
  • Extraoral High Speed Suction: Certain procedures and instruments that we use in the office introduce water into your mouth. For your comfort, we try to control the water in your mouth with suction straws of various types. You may notice us using additional or new high-speed suctions devices to reduce water mist (called water aerosol) that could enter the air. The goal is to prevent germs from travelling in the air. These new devices will not be uncomfortable but are intended to give you a better experience and to create a safer overall dental environment.
  • Fancy Contraptions: You may notice additional strange devices within the treatment rooms. Although these devices are not mandated by the dental board, we think that they offer additional safety to our patients and staff. One such device removes aerosol and germs from the air through a sophisticated filter and UV light sterilization process.

What else are you doing?

The above stated protocols are just some of the things that we have incorporated into our reopening plan. One of the biggest concerns that we have is that by delaying treatment, the dental condition of some of our patients has gotten worse. Some of our patients require treatment soon, to keep their condition from progressing to the point where management becomes more difficult or less predictable. This is especially true for those patients who had been scheduled for surgery, or who are in pain.

We studied your records. During the week of April 27 – April 30, Dr. Alger’s staff worked diligently for many hours to organize and triage hundreds of patient records. With their help, Dr. Alger looked at every single record of patients who have had an appointment postponed. Although every patient of ours is valued deeply, some patients require more urgent attention because of pain in their teeth or gums, severe decay, severe bone loss and other urgent conditions. Our first step has been to identify those needs.

We are adding hours: Until such time that we have been able to see all of those patients who have had their appointments postponed, we are adding hours to our work week. One example is that we will be seeing patients on Friday mornings for the foreseeable future.

Adding Staff: It is hard to get good help. But we are looking to add quality team members to our staff to help with our growing patient needs.

We are scheduling surgeries first: We are trying to see all of our new patients, non-surgical patients and hygiene appointments as soon as we can. We hope to do this in a timely basis. But for the next couple of weeks, surgical patients need to be our top priority. For some patients, surgical treatment needs to be done soon to get them out of pain, to reduce infection, to keep them from losing their teeth and to help them chew. If this describes you, please give us a call. We have not forgotten our nonsurgical patients and recall patients! Our hygienists know that you have worked hard to keep your teeth and that you need their help. I am confident that they will not let you down.

Are these changes permanent?

The guidelines established by the Ohio State Dental Board are meant to be utilized as we reopen our dental offices during and following the COVID-19 pandemic. At this time, we are uncertain how long these guidelines will be in place. It is anticipated that some or most of these protocols are to be utilized on an interim basis and that they may be lifted as the risk to the virus lessens. We will continue to follow the recommendations of the governor’s office and the Ohio State Dental Board, as they evolve over time. But it is also true that we have learned new and better ways to keep our patients and staff safe. We plan to continue utilizing better technology and improved procedures in a practical way in the future, to keep you safe.

Dr. Alger, are you writing a book?

I have much to say and I know that this letter has gotten long. I have a second letter to those patients who want the abbreviated version. To the rest of you, thank you for reading this letter and thank you for your confidence in me and my staff. Amongst ourselves, my staff and I refer to each other as members of our dental family. We embrace you with that same level of concern and affection.

In conclusion, times have been difficult for all of you and for the whole world within recent weeks. None of us knows what the future holds. But I know that my staff and are committed to doing our best to keep you safe and to deliver to you the most compassionate and highest quality care that we are capable of. As we reopen our practice – it is not being done passively, but passionately and with a plan. We can not wait to see you again soon.

With Warm Regards,
Dr. Fred Alger


TO THE PATIENTS of DR. FRED ALGER

AN ABBREVIATED LETTER ANNOUNCING OUR REOPENING – MAY 1, 2020

I am pleased to announce that as of May 1st, our practice is reopened, and we are back to seeing patients. We are accepting new patients, although we are giving special priority to rescheduling those patients who have had their treatment postponed or who are experiencing discomfort.

My staff and I are following all of the guidelines given to us from the Ohio State Dental Board, to keep you safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. We have added some additional protocols of our own to enhance your safe visit to our practice.

We are looking forward to seeing you all again soon. Please give us a call to reschedule your appointment.

Sincerely,
Dr. Fred Alger


4/29/2020

To Our Valued, Loyal Patients,

We are pleased to announce that we are reopening our practice on May 1 per the guidelines of our governing officials. Over the past 2 months, many patients have postponed treatment. During the shutdown, these patients’ conditions have worsened. As we reopen, we will be giving priority to those patients who have immediate needs. We will need the services of all our staff members, including our hygienists, to meet the urgent needs of those patients. Unfortunately, we will need to postpone your upcoming hygiene (cleaning) appointment. We will be in touch with you soon to reschedule. We apologize for any inconvenience. We are doing everything we can to keep you safe. Thank you for your patience.

Warmest Regards,
Fred Alger, DDS, MS


3/31/2020

I would like to extend warm greetings to all of my wonderful patients and referring doctors. The people in our country and in the entire world are certainly living during unusual and trying times. The COVID-19 or Coronavirus has been responsible for the deaths of some 42,000 people in the world – 4,000 of whom are Americans. And these numbers are still rising.

Because of the risk of contraction and transmission of this contagious virus, all of us have changed the way that we work, play and interact with others. New terms have become common household words, such as flattening the curve and social distancing.

I would like to talk to you concerning how this virus has effected dental practices in Ohio and our dental specialty practice in particular. On Monday, March 16, dentists in Ohio received an E-mail from the Ohio State Dental Board, relaying a message from Governor Mike DeWine. This message which started as a request – soon became a mandate that all patients scheduled for dental treatment be canceled and postponed for a later date, with the exception of patients having a true dental emergency.

The details concerning this mandate changed daily, as new information became available concerning the COVID -19 Virus. The rationale for the postponement of dental procedures was for two primary reasons. Firstto preserve the short supply of PPE’s, that is personal protective equipment such as masks and gloves, for those healthcare providers treating Coronavirus infected patients in hospitals. If you have been watching the news, you are aware of the critical shortage of these PPE’s. As dentists use less of these PPE’s, more are available for doctors and nurses working with hospitals to treat those infected with the virus.

A second reason for the cancellation of dental appointments was for social distancing. This soon became the law of the land, as most people have been told to stay at home whenever possible. Initially, the slogan was 15 days to slow the spread. Our expectation was that we would be back in the office and treating patients by April 6th.But things have changed. Coronavirus Response Coordinator, Dr. Deborah Birx has projected today that if we do everything just right to treat and control the spread of this disease, 100,000 to 240,000 Americans may still die from COVID-19. With these current projections, Dr. Anthony Fauci, a leading expert in infectious diseases has recommended 30 more days of social distancing for Americans. The new slogan is 30 (more) Days to Slow the Spread. As of now, I have not yet heard from our governor or the Ohio State Dental Board as to when we will be able to return to business as usual. But my expectation is that it will not be until after April 30.

So now that I have cheered you up, let me express the commitment that me and my dental team have to you. The first thing that you should know is that we will be in the office for limited hours during the next month for administrative work. If you call our office, a member of our staff will answer your questions. If no one is there to answer your call, please leave a message and a member of our staff will get back to you. If you need to talk with our office immediately, dial zero and an operator will take your message and contact me, Dr. Alger.

We are still open for emergencies. If you are hurting and need care, we will help you. The state dental board considers adental emergency, as a condition causing moderate to severe pain, swelling, infection or pus. If this is your experience, give us a call and we will schedule an appointment to see and treat you. We will be delaying all other treatment until the governor and dental board gives us permission to resume treatment. Please check our website for updates concerning the impact of the coronavirus on our office hours.

Once we do resume treatment, we will continue utilizing the universal precautions that we always have to keep you safe and free from contracting an infection during dental treatment. But during these unprecedented times, we will also be introducing 10 additional precautions to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus in our dental office.

When the storm has calmed and when we are back to work, my entire team and I are committed to providing you with the best care possible as quickly as we can. We plan to add some additional hours to our work week to do so. In the meanwhile, we are here for you if you have an emergency. Keep safe and keep well. We miss you and look forward to seeing you again soon.

Sincerely,
Dr. Fred Alger


3/23/2020

To the patients of Dr. Fred Alger

On Monday, March 16, we received notice from the Ohio State Dental Board that Governor DeWine has requested that all non-emergency dental procedures be postponed indefinitely, due to the risk of contraction and spread of the COVID-19 virus.

To be in compliance with this request, we will be seeing emergency care patients only at our office until we receive further notice. We will be in contact with our patients to cancel scheduled appointments up to but not including Monday, April 6. We are not yet canceling patient appointments after April 6, but it may be necessary to do so in the future.

Once we start seeing patients again, we are committed to treating everyone in need of care as quickly as possible. We are preparing to work hard to do so.

We are very sorry for any inconvenience that these cancellations may cause you. We look forward to seeing all of our wonderful patients again soon after the virus threat has been reduced. Keep well.

Sincerely,
Dr. Fred Alger


3/16/2020

To the patients of Dr. Fred Alger,

On Monday, March 16, we received notice from the Ohio State Dental Board that Governor DeWine has requested that all non-emergency dental procedures be postponed indefinitely, due to the risk of contraction and spread of the COVID-19 virus.

To be in compliance with this request, we will be closing our office until we receive notice that we can once again see patients. We will be in contact with our patients by phone to cancel scheduled appointments for the next two weeks. We are not yet canceling patient appointments that are made for Monday March 30 and after, but it may be necessary to do so in the future.

We will still plan on seeing patients who are in need of suture removal. Someone will contact you to make these arrangements.

We are very sorry for any inconvenience that these cancellations may cause you. We look forward to seeing all of our wonderful patients again soon after the virus threat has been reduced. Keep well.

Sincerely,
Dr. Fred Alger


3/15/2020

With the heightened awareness of the COVID-19, I want to remind you that your health and safety are my #1 priority.

1) Unless we are mandated to do so, our office will be open on Monday with our regular hours this week. My staff and I feel and obligation to care for the dental and periodontal needs of our patients.

2) We have always used universal precautions in our office to keep our patients safe. This includes proper sterilization of all of our dental instruments after every use. Our clinical staff always wears gloves and masks and wash our hands in between each patient.

3) Our patients may not realize this, but we disinfect every treatment room every time it is used in between patients. This is done with a medical-grade disinfectant. We have done this for years.

4) The steps that we routinely take to keep our patients safe make a trip to our office, in my opinion, then a trip to the grocery store, restaurant or gas station.

5) We take this current Coronavirus threat seriously and we ask that if any of our patients have a fever, dry cough or flu-like symptoms that they call our office to postpone their treatment.

6) We have also been extra diligent to disinfect door handles in and out of the office and restrooms.

We will continue to do everything that we can to keep our patients safe. Please give our office a call if you have any questions. We are all looking forward to healthy days ahead.

Thanks.

Dr. Alger