Covid-19 Update

COVID-19 Update from Ellicott Mills Dental

Update: 6/9/2020

Hello Dental Family,

We hope that you and your families are all staying safe and healthy. The safety of our patients, staff, dentists, and community is always first and foremost at Ellicott Mills Dental. During your visit, you may notice many new upgrades, equipment, and safety measures in place as a result of the recent COVID-19 pandemic.

While we, alongside the American Dental Association, are urging third-party payers, and insurance companies to cover the costs of additional personal protective equipment, PPE, this is an uphill battle that may take months, or longer, to resolve.

Ellicott Mills Dental was opened by Dr. Kim Ford at the beginning of 2019 after working alongside Dr. Steven Becker at Smiles by Becker for 14 years. There have been our fair share of growing pains, and teachable moments that we have come across over the past 18 months – not least of which is navigating the COVID-19 pandemic. As a medical facility, there is no shortage of directives, requirements, and guidelines to follow from a variety of regulating bodies.

In January, our office was able to purchase a full set of PPE to use for each patient’s appointment for $3. With the increased regulations, additional PPE, and its skyrocketing costs, it is now $25 per appointment. A cost that cannot be passed through insurance.

Many behind the scenes upgrades, sterilization steps, and new procedures were put in place to simply open our doors for the first time in 11 weeks.

As a small business that is part of the Ellicott City community, we understand the hardships that we are all facing. We are doing everything that we can to not permanently raise our rates and fees. We want to keep your mouth smiling, at an affordable price.

You may notice an $18 COVID-19 surcharge on your bill at your next appointment visit. This charge is to help defray the costs of additional equipment, training, and procedures that we put in place over the last three months. We have done everything we can to absorb as much of this cost as possible, but we are humbly asking our patients to help contribute.

If you have any questions about this fee, or are experiencing extra hardships and don’t feel as  though you can contribute, please let us know.

Sincerely,

Dr. Kimberly M. Ford, Dr. Steven H. Becker, & Staff

Dr. Kimberly Ford | Ellicott Mills Dental

Update: 5/29/2020

Hello Dental Family, 

We hope that this finds everyone well and healthy. After months of confusion, uncertainty and troubling times, we are pleased to announce that we are beginning the process of reopening to ALL dental procedures. 

We greatly appreciate everyone’s patience during these times and ask for a little bit more as we navigate through our new “normal” way of life and dental practice. Dr. Kimberly Ford and staff have been working tirelessly to implement the new, and upgraded, safety procedures into the practice in order to reopen our doors with the utmost confidence that our patients AND staff will be safe. 

Previously we had informed you all that new precautions are being made to accommodate our patients. Some of these include but are not limited to: 

  • Our office will communicate with you beforehand to ask some screening questions. You’ll be asked those same questions again when you arrive at the office. 
  • Our office has implemented new digital features that will allow a no- contact option for new patient paperwork, consent forms, etc. If you have not already done so, please provide the office with your most reliable form of digital contact (i.e. email or text). 
  • You will be required to sign, either in-person or electronically, an Informed Consent Form pertaining to COVID-19 and valid for any, and all, appointments moving forward. 
  • Check-in will take place in your vehicle upon arrival. Therefore, we require all patients to have access to a cell phone to call or text the office upon arrival. You will remain in your vehicle until a staff member completes additional screening questions and escorts you into the office. 
  • You will be required to wear a facemask upon arrival, within and up to, departure from our office. If you do not have one you will be provided one. 
  • If you wear nail polish and/or acrylic nails you will be asked to remove at least one PRIOR to your appointment. If unable to do so, you will be asked to reschedule to a day when you know you can accommodate. 
  • We have hand sanitizer that we will ask you to use when you enter the office. You will also find some in the reception area and other places in the office for you to use as needed. 
  • You may see that our waiting room will no longer offer magazines and our beloved children’s playroom has been permanently shut down, since those items are difficult to clean and disinfect. 
  • We are no longer able to accommodate children in our office that do not have an appointment themselves. Please make other arrangements for childcare. If you are bringing your child/children for an appointment you will be asked to remain in your vehicle during the appointment if the child/children are of an adequate age. 
  • Appointments will be managed to allow for social distancing between patients. That might mean that you’re offered fewer options for scheduling your appointment. 

Unfortunately, due to the severity of the COVID-19 virus, there are no exceptions to the above mentioned or any other office policies we implement. If you are unable to comply, you will automatically forfeit your appointment. 

This was not an easy decision to make, as we and our staff are eager to help and treat you again. We cannot do so in good conscience unless we are absolutely certain that a visit to our office will not compromise the health and safety of any of our patients or staff. 

Beginning 6/1/2020 our staff will be contacting patients to schedule appointments. We ask again for your patience during this time as we navigate through several months’ worth of canceled appointments. Our staff will contact you directly to reschedule these appointments. We ask that you not call to request any non-emergency appointments which will allow us time to accommodate all patients in a timely manner. 

During confirmation calls/texts/emails, additional information will be given to you in regards to your upcoming appointment. It is necessary for you to respond to any communications from our office in order to confirm your appointment as well as the arrival procedures. 

Thank you all for your continued support and patience. We look forward to seeing all of your smiling faces VERY soon! 

Sincerely, 

Dr. Kimberly M. Ford, Dr. Steven H. Becker and staff

Update: 5/22/2020

Dear Patients, 

We hope that you and your families are all staying safe and healthy. As the state of Maryland has lifted its stay at home order, we’d like to provide an update:

Ellicott Mills Dental will remain temporarily closed while we continue to secure the proper amount of PPE and other equipment necessary to be compliant with the CDC’s guidelines for re-opening. We are investing heavily in new equipment, safety measures, and training to make sure that our facility is safe for our patients, as well as our entire staff.

While other facilities around the county may have already started to open, your safety continues to remain our top priority. This is the reason why we have made the difficult decision to remain closed until we are confident that our office not only meets but exceeds the standards set forth by the CDC and the American Dental Association. 

This was not an easy decision to make, as we and our staff are eager to help and treat you all again. As much as we would like to accept in-person appointments, we cannot in good conscience do so until we are absolutely certain that a visit to our office will not compromise the health and safety of any of our patients or staff. 

We will continue to provide updates as often as we can. 

We look forward to seeing your smile again! Please call our office if you have any questions about the steps we’re taking to keep you and all of our other patients safe. Please call our office at 410-461-3311 or visit our website at www.ellicottmillsdental.com for more information.

Thank you for being our patient. We value your trust and loyalty, and we look forward to welcoming back our patients, neighbors, and friends. 

Sincerely, 

Dr. Kimberly M. Ford, Dr. Steven H. Becker, & Team

How to Use Hand Sanitizer | Ellicott Mills Dental
Update: 5/7/2020
Dear Patients,
 
We hope this letter finds you and your family in good health. Our community has been through a lot over the last few months, and all of us are looking forward to resuming our normal habits and routines. While many things have changed, one thing has remained the same: our commitment to your safety.

Infection control has always been a top priority for our practice and you may have seen this during your visits to our office. Our infection control processes are made so that when you receive care, it’s both safe and comfortable. We want to tell you about the infection control procedures we follow in our practice to keep patients and staff safe.

Our office follows infection control recommendations made by the American Dental Association (ADA), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). We follow the activities of these agencies so that we are up-to-date on any new rulings or guidance that may be issued. We do this to make sure that our infection control procedures are current and adhere to each agencies’ recommendations.

You may see some changes when it is time for your next appointment. We made these changes to help protect our patients and staff. For example:

  • Our office will communicate with you beforehand to ask some screening questions. You’ll be asked those same questions again when you are in the office.
  • We have hand sanitizer that we will ask you to use when you enter the office. You will also find some in the reception area and other places in the office for you to use as needed.
  • You may see that our waiting room will no longer offer magazines, children’s toys and so forth, since those items are difficult to clean and disinfect.
  • Appointments will be managed to allow for social distancing between patients. That might mean that you’re offered fewer options for scheduling your appointment.
  • We will do our best to allow greater time between patients to reduce waiting times for you, as well as to reduce the number of patients in the reception area at any one time.

We look forward to seeing you again and are happy to answer any questions you may have about the steps we take to keep you, and every patient, safe in our practice. To make an appointment, please call our office at 410-461-3311 or visit our website at www.ellicottmillsdental.com.  

Thank you for being our patient. We value your trust and loyalty and look forward to welcoming back our patients, neighbors and friends.

Sincerely,

Dr. Kimberly M. Ford, Dr. Steven H. Becker & Team

Update: 3/30/2020
Update: 3/17/2020
Dear Patients,
 
As of this morning, the Maryland State Dental Association has asked all dental offices to voluntarily limit patient contact to emergency treatment only for the next three weeks.  Although this is a recommendation and not a requirement, Ellicott Mills Dental will be extending our closure another week to comply with this request.  We will be working under the conditions explained in yesterday’s letter (below) and we will continue to update our policies as the situation warrants.  Thank you for your understanding.
 
Dr. Kimberly Ford
Update: 3/16/2020
Update: 3/13/2020
 
Dear Patients,
 
Ellicott Mills Dental is fully aware of the recent developments involving the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak.  We want to assure you that we are taking all necessary precautions to keep our patients and staff safe.  We always follow Universal Precautions.  This means that we treat each patient every day as if they have a contagious disease.  We follow strict sterilization and disinfection protocols.  All instruments are autoclaved, and rooms and equipment are cleaned with hospital grade disinfectants.  In addition to our standard cleaning procedures, we are continuously wiping down door knobs, railings, counter tops, etc., with medical grade disinfectant.  
 
As of today (3/13/2020), we plan to remain open during our normal business hours to serve our patients.  We will continue to monitor the situation and make adjustments to our schedule if necessary.  In the event we are prevented from maintaining our schedule, all patients will be notified promptly.  No news is good news!  We realize that there will be circumstances affecting our patients that are out of their control, such as school closures.  If you are unable to keep your appointment, please let us know as soon as possible.  Additionally, if any patient is not feeling well, we ask that you reschedule your appointment.  Any patient who comes to the office with a cough, fever, or visible sign of illness will be asked to reschedule.  During this time, we will waive our usual 48 hour cancellation policy.  
 
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us by phone or email.  And remember, DON’T PANIC AND KEEP FLOSSING!
 
Sincerely,
 
Dr. Kimberly Ford