This will be our last official "COVID UPDATE". As things have evolved we have all had no choice but to accept the existence of COVID as a fact of life. As your dental care providers we continue to take steps to minimize your risk of exposure to COVID here at Bloom & Bloom. In addition to the enhanced infection control measures we instituted as a result of the pandemic we continue to require our staff and patients to wear masks while in the office, except when being treated of course. With most of us moving about more freely, and with the increase in how contagious the most recent variants are, it is possible and more likely to come in contact with someone who is COVID-positive but has not yet developed symptoms or tested positive. In the event of a such an unintended exposure, masks are an effective way to keep all of us all safe and healthy. They also decrease the risk of spreading other respiratory infections.
Something else we would like to mention here is COVID-related. As you know there have been indirect effects of the pandemic, including staffing shortages. Dentistry is one of the industries that has been affected. We are currently looking to hire a part-time hygienist. If you know or hear of a hygienist looking to work Mondays, Tuesdays and one or two Saturdays a month--in a fabulous dental office ;)--please point them in our direction! In the meantime we sincerely apologize if you have called and we have been unable to schedule a continuing care ("recall") appointment for you as soon as you would have liked, or if we have had to reschedule your appointment. We are doing everything we can to solve this problem. Patti and Laura are working tirelessly to try to accommodate everyone's needs in an expedient and equitable manner.
As always please be in touch with any questions or concerns you may have. We are here to help!
All the best,
Gari and Charles Bloom, Patti, Laura, Dottie, Meridith, Nancy and Jamie
- July 2021
In keeping with the CDC's most recent recommendation regarding mask guidance for fully vaccinated individuals, the ADA is also recommending that,
"People who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can stop wearing masks in most places. However, people will still need a mask in the following places...Healthcare settings (like a dental or medical office, a hospital or a nursing home)."
This is the guidance we are following at Bloom & Bloom, continuing to put the health and safety of our patients and staff first.
Please the Safety and Cleanliness Steps we are continuing to take, below; they have become our "next normal."
With the increase in those vaccinated and the decrease in COVID numbers we are happily welcoming patients back to the office who we have not seen in a long time; we are also allowing more time for each patient appointment, to provide enough time for staff to properly and thoroughly disinfect and sterilize between patients. As a result, appointments for continuing care visits ("check-ups") may not be available for a month or more. Please look ahead, and call the office to schedule your appointment, so that we will be able to accommodate you in a timely manner.
There is a change to the Friday and Saturday hours listed below, in the February 24, 2021 update.
Friday: The office is now open from 7:30am-1:30pm.
Saturday: The office is open one Saturday in July and August. We return to two Saturdays a month in September.
Please contact us should you have any questions or concerns regarding our COVID-related policies, or about anything for that matter. As always we value and appreciate your thoughts and feedback.
We hope you have an enjoyable summer, with many reasons to smile!
Drs. Charles and Gari Bloom, Patti, Laura, Dottie, Nancy, Jamie and Meridith
- February 24, 2021
The emphasis at Bloom & Bloom continues to be on cleanliness and safety. The steps we are continuing to take and other helpful information are detailed in the July 2020 update below.
We have moved to a hybrid schedule of office hours, a blend of our pre-COVID and COVID schedules. This will be our schedule for the foreseeable future. It allows more time per procedure to allow for additional time necessary to carefully and properly disinfect our operatories after each patient and to allow for additional time to address any questions or concerns you may have. Our hybrid schedule:
Saturday: 8am-2pm (1-2 Saturdays per month)
A word about vaccines. Most of our office staff is fully vaccinated, including Drs Charles and Gari Bloom. Rest assured, though, that each and every one of us continues to be as COVID-careful as we were pre-vaccination, knowing that we are protected but there is still the possibility, however small, of our transmitting the virus to others if we were to have it. Our staff and patients are like family after all these years and nothing is more important to us than protecting you, and for you to feel that you are coming to a safe environment when coming to our office.
Many of our patients who are at higher risk have said that they are waiting to be fully vaccinated before returning to the office. Knowing that vaccines are becoming more and more available we look forward to being able to welcome each and every one of you back to the office very soon. That being said please schedule an appointment as soon as possible. Your dental health has an impact on your overall health and we want you to be healthy! One suggestion we have if you have not yet scheduled an appointment is to look ahead, call the office at 732.249.6386 and speak with Patti or Laura so they can reserve a time that's convenient for you at some point in the future. You can also leave a message through our website: bloomandbloomdmds.com or email us at [email protected], and either Patti or Laura will get back to you shortly.
We look forward to seeing you again! Stay safe and well, hang in there and let's hope we can all move around more freely again soon!
And thank you, as always, for trusting us during these unprecedented times. What is in your best interest is our highest priority.
Drs Charles and Gari Bloom, Patti, Laura, Dottie, Nancy, Jamie and Meridith
- July 2020
The emphasis at Bloom & Bloom continues to be on safety. The steps we are continuing to take are detailed below.
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 findings or guidance that may be issued. We do this to make sure that our infection control procedures are current and adhere to the agencies’ recommendations.
We understand if you are hesitant to return to a dental office because of COVID concerns. In the words of one of our patients: "I am concerned that I may get COVID-19 if I go to the dentist (it is a high risk environment)." In addition to the procedures detailed below, when you are here at Bloom & Bloom everyone is protected by the air filtration we put in place for our office air conditioning system, by the individual air purifying units in every operatory and in the reception room, by the disinfectant mister we use to address aerosols throughout the office, and by requiring everyone to where a face covering except a patient when he or she is being treated. Patients are always protected because the staff wears masks at all times; if anything it is the drs and staff who are at higher risk when treating patients. Rest assured that we have taken multi-layer precautions to protect ourselves ...so that we will be able to continue to welcome you back to Bloom & Bloom!
Another important point of information: to date there is not a single report of transmission of COVID-19 in a dental office.
We look forward to seeing you again and are happy to answer any questions you may have about the steps we take to keep every patient safe at Bloom & Bloom. To contact us and to schedule an appointment call our office at 732.249.6386, email us at [email protected] or send a message through our website: bloomandbloomdmds.com. We have also recently added a chat feature to our website to make it easier for you to be able to contact us.
Thank you for being our patient. We value your trust and loyalty.
Safety and Cleanliness steps we are taking:
- Our office staff will ask you screening questions prior to your next appointment. We have special forms we will ask you to fill out and sign--a screening form and a 'consent to treatment' form. These forms are available on our website: bloomandbloomdmds. We encourage you to print out these forms, fill them out the day of your appointment, and bring them to your appointment with you. If you do not have access to the internet or to a printer we would be happy to send these forms to you by "snail mail" if time permits. If you bring your completed forms with you we will be able to bring you right in to the operatory and minimize your waiting time in the office. If you are not able to bring the screening and consent forms with you we will have these forms available in our office, for you to fill out when you come for your appointment.
- We will ask that you limit the number of people you bring to your appointment. This could mean leaving your children at home if you are coming for an appointment for yourself or allowing older children to go in to the office alone while their parent waits outside during their appointment.
- We ask that you call us from your car before you come in to the office, unless you are being dropped off by a car service or an individual who is not able to wait for you.
- Be sure to wear a mask to your appointment. As you may have read, PPE (personal protective equipment), including masks, are in short supply so please bring a mask with you if you have one. If you do not have one we will provide one for you. We will ask you to wear your mask at all times, except of course when you are in the operatory (treatment room) being treated.
- You are welcome to wear gloves but this is not necessary. We will be thoroughly disinfecting all surfaces that patients may come in to contact with at the beginning of the day and after every patient, using disinfectants that are effective against the virus that causes COVID-19. This helps reduce the risk of illness being passed from one person to another.
- Inside the office, you may notice things people often touch in the waiting room--like magazines and our much loved blocks--have been removed. We wipe down items you touch, such as clipboards or furniture. There are only two chairs, socially distanced, in our reception room now.
- We have hand sanitizer that we will ask you to use when you enter the office and leave the operatory. We will take your temperature with a forehead thermometer and will ask you to rinse with an antibacterial mouth rinse before treating you. We have goggles available for you to wear while you are being treated.
- When you are in the dental chair you may notice some things look different than before. We will have the computer's keyboard covered with a disposable cover so it can be easily cleaned between patients, for example. We may also be using different protective equipment than we used at previous appointments. This may include different masks, face shields, gowns and eyewear. These additional precautions help protect both you and the dentists and staff.
- Appointments will be managed to allow for social distancing between patients. That might mean that you are for the time being offered fewer options for scheduling your appointment.
- We are allowing more time between patients to reduce waiting times for you, to minimize the number of patients in the reception area at any one time and to allow our staff enough time to thoroughly disinfect the operatory after every patient.
- We ask that you inform us if you experience any signs or symptoms of COVID-19 within 14 days after your office visit.