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COVID-19 remodel at Riolo Orthodontics

Due to the recent COVID-19 pandemic we have eliminated the front desk at our downtown location in order to provide an expanded “Patient Lounge”.

We have reopened full operation for regular patient care.  We have made significant changes to our physical facilities and our office systems to minimize risk to both our patients and staff.

Orthodontic patient lounge for lingual braces
New Patient Lounge at Riolo Orthodontics

Our phone system has been changed; the fastest way to reach us is directly texting the office number.  We are accepting calls from dental offices and new patients but are encouraging all other people to text us for routine communication.  We recognize that some issues are best dealt with with direct voice communication and you can schedule “calls” or “net meetings” by contacting us through text or email. You can reach us by text at 206.467.4441 or my email at info@SeattleOrthodontist.com additionally we can be reached through our website.

Dr Riolo or an assigned team member are always available for emergency care; we are still monitoring the email 24/7 for urgent questions or issues.

patient loung for lingual orthodontic braces
Nearing completion of the new patient lounge

Your safety is our highest priority

For the safety of our patients we have made significant changes to both our physical facilities and our office systems at Riolo Orthodontics.

We have reopened full operation for regular patient care.  We have made significant changes to our physical facilities and our office systems to minimize risk to both our patients and staff.

If you are a “high risk” patient with respect to COVID-19, Dr Riolo will see you on a “One on One” basis. 

Who are higher risk patients?

Anyone 60 years and older as well as those individuals with an underlying health condition that increases the risk of death if they contract COVID-19.  You can find details regarding who is at increased risk from the COVID-19 virus here.

Those patients not at “higher risk” or living with higher risk individuals can if they choose keep their orthodontic appointment.  It is likely you will be contacted to move your appointment because we are modifying our schedule to minimize social contacts in our common  spaces.

What else are we doing in response to COVID-19?

Dr Riolo has a PhD in Epidemiology, specializing in infectious disease transmission.  We are monitoring the situation carefully and are continuously working to make your visit to our office among the safest destinations of your day.  We continue to follow all King county, State of Washington and CDC infection control procedures. In addition, due to COVID-19 we have made the following modifications to our office systems and our infection mitigation procedures:

  • We have remodeled our common area’s including elimination of our front desk and the establishing a “Patient Lounge” to maximize social distancing in our common areas.
  • We have modified our office systems to minimize patient to patient transmission of COVID-19: These changes include modified scheduling to ensure a minimum number of individuals are occupying the patient lounge at any time.
  • We are making extra sweeps through the office with medical grade surface disinfectant. 
  • We are monitoring all of our staff for any symptom of illness, including daily temperature monitoring.
  • We are screening all of our patients for any signs of illness with a brief questionnaire at each visit.
  • We are working to identify “high risk” individuals and those patients that are in close contact with high risk individuals in order to reschedule or see these patient “one on one” if necessary.   You can find information regard who is at “higher risk” at our recent blog post here
  • We are requesting that patient do not arrive early or late to their appointment to minimize crowding in the patient lounge. In addition we are requesting that patients come to their appointment unaccompanied when possible.

Please notify us if you have been sick in the last two weeks or have had contact with someone who has been sick in the last two weeks. You will not have to wait an extended period for a new appointment if you reschedule your appointment due to illness or suspected contact with someone exposed to COVID-19 . We will reschedule your appointment to reflect a  2 week waiting period

Both Drs. Riolo and Bayirli have PhD’s in Public Health Epidemiology; Dr Riolo’s doctoral work for his PhD specifically related to the identification of the factors important in infectious disease transmission.  Be assured we are monitoring the local situation carefully and are confident that a visit to our office is one of the safest of your daily activities.  We will continue to monitor the situation continuously and take additional steps as necessary to keep all of our patients and their family and friends safe.

Try a “Virtual” Orthodontic Consult

You can get answers to all of your orthodontic questions from your home or office with a virtual consult.

You can even submit photos showing your concerns.  These photos are encrypted and uploaded to a HIPAA complaint server, the doctor will access these photos before you virtual appointment using a secure web application to share a screen and video chat.

If you would like to schedule virtual appointment to discuss your treatment option, please follow this link.  One of our team members will contact you and set a time for the consult and we will email you a link for the meeting.

Notice to all patients, family and friends

To our patients, friends, and family: We realize that the school and work closures are stressful on our community.   We are working to minimize risk of COVID-19 exposure to our patients and their family and friends.

If you or anyone you live with or are in contact with on a regular basis have significant underlying health conditions, you or your loved ones are at higher risk from COVID-19 and you should reschedule your orthodontic appointment.

The Mortality rate versus age is shown the the graph below.  These mortality rate reflect the higher incidence of co-morbidity in older populations.  Please consider your own health status and the health status of your loved one before deciding to keep your orthodontic appointment with us.

 

This chart shows the Mortality rate for different countries by age group. Please note the consistent trend of increasing rate with age when interpreting these data.

High risk individuals include:

Individuals over 60 years old, especially with underlying health issues or anyone with respiratory conditions.

Other health issues that indicate high risk status include:

Blood disorders (e.g., sickle cell disease or on blood thinners)
• Chronic kidney disease as defined by your doctor. Patient has been told
to avoid or reduce the dose of medications because kidney disease, or is
under treatment for kidney disease, including receiving dialysis
• Chronic liver disease as defined by your doctor. (e.g., cirrhosis, chronic
hepatitis) Patient has been told to avoid or reduce the dose of
medications because liver disease or is under treatment for liver
disease.
• Compromised immune system (immunosuppression) (e.g., seeing a
doctor for cancer and treatment such as chemotherapy or radiation,
received an organ or bone marrow transplant, taking high doses of
corticosteroids or other immunosuppressant medications, HIV or AIDS)
• Current or recent pregnancy in the last two weeks
• Endocrine disorders (e.g., diabetes mellitus)
• Metabolic disorders (such as inherited metabolic disorders and
mitochondrial disorders)
• Heart disease (such as congenital heart disease, congestive heart failure
and coronary artery disease)
• Lung disease including asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary
disease (chronic bronchitis or emphysema) or other chronic conditions
associated with impaired lung function or that require home oxygen
• Neurological and neurologic and neurodevelopment
conditions [including disorders of the brain, spinal cord, peripheral
nerve, and muscle such as cerebral palsy, epilepsy (seizure disorders),
stroke, intellectual disability, moderate to severe developmental delay,
muscular dystrophy, or spinal cord injury].

If you are in a high risk or have high risk family members who are high risk and you have an orthodontic emergency, I will see you on a “one on one” basis to keep you comfortable and at the same time minimize risk of transmission.

It is likely that you will be contacted by our office to either move your appointment time or rescheduled to another day altogether.  We are doing this to minimize transmission risk for our patients.  We have opened additional days and times to see a smaller volume of patients and in some cases on a one to one basis.

Thanks in advance for your understanding and stay healthy….

 

 

Drs. Chris Riolo and Burcu Bayirli