Important News Regarding COVID-19

Dear Friends,

You’ve no doubt been watching the events regarding the COVID-19 virus these past weeks. As this coronavirus situation has unfolded, all of us – your dentist, the dental staff, and our patients – have been faced with questions about how to lead our daily lives while being told we must stay at home. And we’ve all felt how uncomfortable and frustrating the uncertainty and restrictions can be.

In an effort to help control the spread of the coronavirus and in obedience to the mandate from the Nebraska Department of Health & Human Services, our dental office must discontinue non-emergency appointments until April 30th (The date they currently have set, which is subject to change based on how events unfold).

Concentrating on emergency dental care will allow us to care for emergency patients and alleviate the burden that dental emergencies would place on hospital emergency departments.
If you have upcoming hygiene or non-emergency appointment: We will be in contact with you within the next few days regarding this to have your appointment re-scheduled when things return to normal, which the legal authorities have set as April 30th as of this notice.

All dental offices in our state (and the entire country) have been mandated to conform to this non-elective emergency only status. Be assured that Dr. Henley will be available for you during this time for any dental emergency that may arise during this time. If you have an emergency, you can call the office any time and the emergency number will be given to you if we are not actually here when you call.

Even if you have what might qualify as an emergency, the dentist will evaluate if a procedure can be delayed for 30 days. This judgment would be based on assuring that waiting won’t cause you undue harm or pain. An example is a lost or broken filling where a temporary filling can be easily placed, and you can return in the future for the final filling.

We have always followed standard universal precautions issued by the CDC and ADA to help protect every one of our patients and team members from the many infectious diseases that we are potentially exposed to on a daily basis. For your peace of mind, these are the precautions we take EVERY time you sit in one of our patient chairs:

  • We wear single-use gloves and masks while treating patients.

  • We place instruments after each use into an autoclave (a high-pressure steam oven) to kill every known infectious organism, including coronavirus. Our autoclave has been tested for effectiveness.

  • We wipe down each dental operatory after each patient visit with a medical-grade surface disinfectant that kills all known infectious diseases, including coronavirus.

  • We either wash our hands thoroughly or apply an alcohol-based compound between each patient.

In addition to the above standard measures, we will be exercising a higher standard of infection-control in our waiting areas, including removing all magazines, toys, and other items that are difficult to disinfect. And while we love and value each of our patients, handshakes and hugs may be replaced with an "elbow bump" for the time being.

Dentists or their staff will ask questions and for everyone’s safety you’ll want to answer honestly. These questions may include:

  • Have you had symptoms commonly associated with COVID-19? (common symptoms include fever, shortness of breath, dry cough, running nose or sore throat)

  • Within the past 14 days have you travelled by airplane?

  • Within the past 14 days have you had close contact with a person who has been confirmed positive or suspected to be positive for COVID-19?

While we are doing everything in our power to protect you, we also ask for your cooperation in making our office environment a safe one when you visit us. If you have a cough, fever, or chills, please call our office to discuss whether or not you should reschedule. We will be checking temperatures on all patients as they enter and anyone with a reading over 99.9 degrees may be asked to reschedule at least three weeks later as a precaution. Also, to practice social distancing and minimize the number of people in our waiting room, please show up no earlier than 10 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment and come alone if possible. We will also have you wash your hands upon entering.

We care about each of you and hope that you and your family will remain in good health during this difficult time.