Dentistry in the Time of COVID

 
(805) 682-5600

 

Dear friends and patients,

I hope you are all well and managing with this new phase of our "war" on Covid! For our part, we are implementing new policies in the midst of the resurgence of the DELTA variant of the novel coronavirus. Not only do we require all patients to observe the wearing of masks and social distancing while in our office, but also ask for patients to be vaccinated for all regular and non-emergency visits. In the absence of a vaccine, we require proof of Antigen/PCR testing within 3 days of your appointment. We would be more than happy to reschedule your appointment if you would like.

If you call the office you can have Evelyn answer your questions, get a recording or even get me (lucky you!).  Feel free to leave a message!
HOW WE WILL CONDUCT YOUR APPOINTMENT:

At Home/Online:

1. Please bring copy of vaccine card which can be emailed, faxed or brought in the day of your appointment.

2. If you have declined the vaccine, you can bring in an antigen/PCR test negative test result.

3. Take the COVID self assessment query: Click Here.

Please do not come in if you feel unwell! This includes signs of cold or flu, coughing, fever, recent loss of taste/smell, runny nose, sneezing, headache, diarrhea, muscle aches. We are happy to reschedule with 48 hrs notice.

At the Alamar Dental Center Parking Lot:

1. PLEASE ARRIVE 10 MINUTES EARLY. Call our office from your car, give us your car's description and we may come out to your car for a screening. Alternately you can come to the front door. At the front door you can use the hand sanitizer and a staff member will screen you. Please wear a facemask. We will take your temperature and review your paperwork.

2. We will escort you into our office directly to your treatment room and review your conditions before we start.

4. You will remove your mask and Dr. Mintzer or his hygienist will be wearing PPE before beginning.

INTERESTING FEATURES OF COVID-19

  1. Masks! Masks! Masks! Facial coverings are crucial and are much more important than hand washing.
  2. Mutants & Variants: The coronavirus is large for it's class and contains some "proofreading" instructions to maintain the fidelity of its copies. This makes it generally more stable over time and easier to target a vaccine against. Variant virus's have been detected that affect transmission/symptoms, but should not greatly effect the targeting by vaccines. These "variants of concern" include "escape mutants" that may adapt to vaccinated human hosts. In either case, vaccination has been repeatedly demonstrated over millions of people to reduce the severity of disease, as well as its transmissability. No one likes to get the vaccine, but it's still highly effective and many require minor boosting over time, unlike the poliovirus vaccine, to cite one example, which has been with us for over 70 years and the decades old vaccine targeted against it is still effective.
  3. Many researchers assume that, given enough time, we will all get either the virus itself or the vaccination, until some point herd immunity is established, at whatever percentage of the population that stabilizes at.
  4. The Silver Lining:
    1. The virus doesn't live long without a host, so contaminated surfaces not likely responsible for spread, and soap and water kill it effectively.
    2. The vaccines work beyond all initial hopes, esp if following original protocols. You can expect a 10% decrease in effectiveness after 6 months.
    3. The vaccines display limited, or transcient, side effects for the vast majority of individuals. Younger people with a stronger innate immune system have more side effects.

Roy Mintzer, DDS

HELPFUL COVID-19 LINKS (DATED & ONGOING):

Santa Barbara Public Health Department Summary

Santa Barbara COVID Dashboard

International, National & State-Wide Comparisons

US - Overall Mortality Rates & COVID Animation through the Pandemic

Map - Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center

  


 

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