All posts by Dr. Albers

Possible April Appointment Cancellations

Email notifications have gone out to patients with appointments scheduled through the end of April.  This notification is for patients who received text messages about possible appointment cancellations.

Office Closed Through April 13, 2020

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, our office is closed until April 14 except for emergency dental care.  Recommendations, however, are changing day by day.   It is possible Governor Polis will order dental offices to stay closed past April 14.

We are monitoring the situation closely and if the current closure order is extended, we will contact you to postpone currently scheduled treatment.  If you are taken out of the schedule, please note that we are keeping a list and you and other bumped patients will receive priority once the office is allowed to reopen for routine dental care.

What You Need To Do

At the present time, there is nothing you need to do.  If we need to postpone treatment, Michele will reach out to you personally.  Although not in the office on a daily basis, she is monitoring messages several times a day.  And, if you have a dental emergency, please call our office number and press “1” when directed.  This will connect you directly to Dr. Albers.

Email Addresses

Information above was detailed in an email to patients who had email addresses on file.  If you received a text message about possible closures but would prefer emails in the future, please leave this information for Michele at 719-634-8458.  Because of text character limitations, we are limited in information we can provide via text.

Thank you for your continued patience as we work through these office closures together.  We appreciate our patients and hope to be able to see you soon.

 

Office Closure Update March 23, 2020

We hope everyone is staying safe and healthy as we all grapple with the novel COVID-19 outbreak.  And, we wanted to provide you with an update of our office closure.

Closed as of Last Week

As noted in our last blog post, we received a notice from the Colorado Dental Association (CDA) after close of business Monday, March 16.  The notice asked dentists to close their offices for three weeks due to coronavirus concerns.  Michele has been busy calling patients regarding our office closure.  The schedule has been cleared for the next several weeks.

At the present time, Michele is not rescheduling patients as it is very unclear when these office closure requirements will be lifted.  She is creating a priority list of patients bumped out of the schedule.  Once we get confirmation that we can reopen, these patients will be added back to the schedule first.

Still Treating Emergencies

Per request from the CDA, emergency dental care is still being offered.  Patients with dental emergencies are required to fill out a coronavirus questionnaire and temperatures are being taken.  If a patient is exhibiting signs consistent with coronavirus, it is possible they will be referred to an office with the specialized protective equipment needed to safely provide treatment.

In the Meantime

Since we are seeing very few patients, we decided it was a good time to spruce up the office.  It’s likely that the next time you visit the office, you will see (and smell) new paint and notice some new accessories.  In fact, that’s what the picture above shows.  We suspect many of you are doing similar things at home.

We want to again thank all of our wonderful patients for their patience as we work through this situation together.  Please don’t hesitate to call the office, 719-634-8458, if you have any questions about your dental health.  And remember, you can find updated information on the coronavirus in our community at the El Paso County Public Health site.  Stay safe!

Wuhan Virus/Covid-19/Coronavirus Update

Last Thursday, we wrote about what we are doing in the office to help stop the spread of the Coronavirus.  (Photo above courtesy of Fusion Medical Animation through Unsplash).  Monday evening, the Colorado Dental Association (CDA), in conjunction with the ADA, issued recommendations for patient treatment.  This comes after discussions with the governor’s office and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) about the Coronavirus spread.

Office Closed to Non-Emergency Care

Dentists have been asked to close their offices for three weeks (current recommendation) for routine or elective care.  This would cover regular cleanings and elective procedures that can be safely postponed.  Patients with dental emergencies will still be seen.  One reason for the requested closures is obviously to help prevent the spread of the Coronavirus.  A second reason, though, is to preserve the supply of protective gear for emergency dental care and also for front line health care and other workers.

Yesterday, an attorney friend of Carla’s wrote to ask for a favor.  She works with DHS (Department of Human Services).  She said they have caseworkers who sometimes have to enter homes on an emergency basis.  Gloves and masks are on order but they had none.  Did we have extras they could have?  There have been limits on what we can order but we just received a shipment.  DHS representatives came and picked up two boxes of gloves and some masks.  Bottom line, there are people who need supplies that are in short supply, hence the request to preserve supplies for those who need them.

Why Not Close Completely?

People break teeth and develop tooth aches, abscesses, and other problems that need to be addressed immediately.  Because we don’t want those with emergency dental needs to overwhelm hospital emergency rooms, it is important to treat those patients in a dental office setting.

Back to Normal

Currently, the CDA and ADA are recommending dental office closures for three weeks.  As we’ve seen, however, this situation is very fluid and unpredictable.  The CDA is maintaining an open line of communication with dentists, and we will be monitoring things closely.  Our plan is to provide periodic updates  here and on our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/AlbersDental) as to when the office will reopen to regular business hours.

This is a trying and disruptive time for those in the service industry and others.  We appreciate your understanding as we work through these restrictions.  We will be available for phone calls and questions, so do not hesitate to call.  In the meantime, local updates can be found at the El Paso County Public Health website.

 

 

Coronavirus Health Update

Coronavirus

The news in Colorado has been full of stories about the new coronavirus (commonly referred to as the COVID-19 or Wuhan virus). Confirmed Colorado cases as of today’s evening news stand at 49. According to the Cleveland Clinic, “[i]n 80% of patients, COVID-19 causes only mild cold symptoms.” Unfortunately, the virus has the potential to be more dangerous for the elderly, especially those with underlying medical conditions.  With this in mind, we want to let you know the steps we are taking in our office to protect patients.

Health Safety Procedures

One of our primary areas of focus is and always has been the health and well-being of our staff and patients. We follow universal precautions with all patients, including the use of gloves and masks. Instrument sterilization happens in between patients. Chairs and counter tops also receive disinfection between patients. In addition to these standard procedures, we are disinfecting door handles, light switches and other surfaces that might be touched by visitors to our office more often than normal. We even disinfect pens after use by patients. Tissues are available in the waiting room and operatories while hand sanitizer is on our front desk counter. We encourage patients to use both!

If Sick, Reschedule!

Because we have a fair number of elderly patients who visit our office, we need your help. If you are not feeling well, please stay home. While we enjoy seeing and visiting with you, we encourage you to be more cautious than usual. As always, we will work with you to reschedule your appointment.

Additional information about the virus can be found at the El Paso County Public Health website.

We value and appreciate you, our patients. Thank you for trusting us with your dental care.

New VOIP Phone System

VOIP

In our last post, we wrote about our experience at the Rocky Mountain Dental Convention. We always learn new and interesting things. Michele attended a session and saw a demonstration of a VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) phone system.  These systems can integrate with our practice management software (schedule, notes, x-rays, etc.).  After researching various VOIP systems, we settled on one that integrates with another software program we use to, for instance, send you text reminders of your upcoming appointments. The transfer of our phone number occurred last Friday.

What You Can Expect

Under this new system, when a patient calls, a popup appears with a patient’s name, last and upcoming appointments, etc. This happens before we even answer the phone. With this information, we will no longer have to go into our system to do a search under your name. This will be a time saver for all involved.

The new system also allows for a lot of automation of phone messages that Michele used to have to record fairly frequently. If, for instance, you experience a dental emergency during hours we are closed, you will no longer be given a number you need to call to talk to a doctor. Instead, patients will merely need to press 1 (as instructed in the message) to be transferred to the on-call doctor.

Because calls will come in over our internet instead of a phone line, there is always a possibility that we could have an interruption in our  internet service.  This would result in our inability to receive calls.   We’ve only had internet access issues a handful of times in the 15 yrs we’ve been at this location.  We do have cell phone apps that are supposed to allow us to receive calls on a temporary basis if need be.

Feedback Appreciated

As with any new system and new phones, we have a few wrinkles to iron out as we experiment with the best way to use them. If you have any feedback that might be helpful, we would appreciate hearing from you. Our office number is 719-634-8458. Thank you!

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Mark T. Albers, D.D.S.
2155 Hollowbrook Drive
Suite 20
Colorado Springs, CO
80918

(719) 634-8458

Contact Us

To schedule an appointment, call:
(719) 634-8458

General Hours: Labor Day through Memorial Day

Monday – Thursday:
8:00a.m. – 1:00p.m., 2:00p.m. – 5:00p.m.

Summer Hours: Memorial Day through Labor Day

Monday – Wednesday
7:30a.m. – 12:30p.m., 1:30p.m. – 4:30p.m.

Thursday
7:00a.m. – 2:00p.m.