Category Archives: Blog

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!

2020 Rocky Mountain Dental Convention

It’s January, which means it’s time for the 2020 Rocky Mountain Dental Convention (RMDC). This is an annual trip for the staff and me. Last year, I was a little jet-lagged as Carla and I had just returned from a dental mission trip in Fiji and Tarawa Atoll. This year, I was well rested until I caught that bad cold…. The good news is that everyone except Judy A (hygienist) was able to make the trip.

Why We Attend the RMDC

First and foremost, the conference allows us to attend lectures on issues relevant to how we practice dentistry. For example, I was able to attend a lecture on cracked teeth and another on composite fillings. The way we approach these classes is to know that while some information we already know, there’s almost always a nugget of information that makes it worth our time to attend. Staff members attended classes on dry mouth, nutrition, and other valuable topics. Michele spent time on classes that will help her more efficiently manage the front desk. All in all, another valuable conference.

The Dangers of Sugar

Several of us attended the class on nutrition. One key take-away is the growing body of evidence as to the negative health affects of sugar. As dental professionals, we have understood for a long time that sugar is not good for teeth. Our 2018 blog post Limit Sugar in your Diet highlights how sugar can impact dental health. What we are seeing more of, though, is research showing that sugar can have a negative affect on more than just dental health. Our lecturer suggested that the only sweetener he would recommend is Stevia, something Carla and I switched to last year.

New Equipment?

Another important aspect of the RMDC is the chance to see the latest in dental products and equipment. Vendors have information and products for us to see. It’s very possible that you will be seeing a new dental chair or two the next time you visit our office! And, over the next month, we will be switching to a VOIP phone system that integrates with our practice management software. We think this new system will allow us to be even more productive at the front desk.

Our Staff is the Best!

Carla and I have attended conferences in the past where we’ve seen and overheard employees “skipping” classes. I appreciate that our staff is genuinely interested in continuing dental education and they happily attend lectures, anxious to see what new information/technology/techniques can be brought back to the office. This dedication to excellence by everyone in our office directly impacts our ability to provide patients the best dental care possible.  The Rocky Mountain Dental Convention is an important event in our ability to continue to meet the needs of our patients.

Announcing Dr. Albers’ Dental Member Plan

We’re excited to announce the launch of our new in-house Dental Member Plan. After a number of patients expressed to us their dissatisfaction with their current dental insurance, we started researching how these plans can work. We think the end result is something both patients without insurance – and patients who are unhappy with their current insurance – can benefit from. Plan details are summarized on our website at our new Dental Member Plan page.

Not Dental Insurance

Our Dental Member Plan is not dental insurance. It is a member plan offered by Dr. Albers to his patients.  With insurance, you typically have deductibles, co-pays, and limits on the amount of benefits each year. Once you reach that limit, you pay full price for additional treatment. With our Dental Member Plan, you pay an annual fee and are entitled to our recommended annual preventative care (usually two visits per year) at no additional cost. Furthermore, our members receive discounts of between 10-15% on other dental treatment. There is no limit to the number of times patients can utilize these discounts on fees.

What are the benefits of our Dental Member Plan?

Patients who do not currently have dental insurance will benefit from reduced fees. And, it is our hope that this plan will further encourage dental wellness with patients motivated to schedule and use their preventative care benefits. (Unused preventative care benefits do not carry over from one enrollment period to the next.)  One reason we encourage regular visits is that early detection of dental issues can prevent more costly dental procedures down the road.

For patients who currently have dental insurance, we think the benefits will be even more noticeable. There will be no more waiting periods, pre-existing exclusions, or pre-authorization hassles. There will be no claims forms, no denials of coverage, no deductibles or co-pays, and no annual maximums. Dr. Albers will review recommended care with patients and patients will then be able to determine what is best for them. (No more third parties second guessing treatment!)  Unlike some dental insurance plans, we clearly identify benefits covered at 100%. Likewise, we explain discounts for other dental treatment in an easy to understand way.

Join Today

We appreciate our patients and hope this Dental Member Plan will encourage dental wellness and provide value for members.  Please feel free to review the details on our website, or, check out our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) page.  If you have any questions, you are always welcome to give us a call at 719-634-8458.

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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.