It has been about 18 months since this pandemic began in the United States and while we still don’t have definitive answers to many questions about the novel virus known as COVID-19 the philosophy driving our policies at Arvada Family and Cosmetic Dentistry has remained unchanged. As a doctor, father and the leader of a team of people tasked with providing healthcare for others I am continuing to take measures to aid in the protection of those we care for including our patients, our team members, our families and our community.
For the last few weeks I have been reviewing all the verified data I could find regarding the Delta variant, vaccines, booster vaccines and the effects of mask wearing. I have had conversations with other doctors and seen many presentations from various scientists (including the true experts, i.e. virologists and immunologists who truly do know as much as can be known about the nature of the current pandemic and are not just spewing alarmist headlines to promote a political agenda but are only relaying data about how the virus is actually acting through our population). I have also had many conversations with my team members, my patients, colleagues and friends and seen many different vantage points on the issues of masking and vaccination and there are a few things that I believe everyone can agree on and they are as follows:
- We as a nation are made up of many unique individuals and there is no one perfect way for everyone to protect themselves and their loved ones in this pandemic. Just as I believe I am here to serve my patients’ dental needs by providing care uniquely tailored to their individual needs I believe we should all be free to choose how we wish to protect ourselves and our loved ones throughout the course of this pandemic.
- There is no one perfect way to prevent the spread of this virus, and that every protective measure comes with its fair share of benefits and drawbacks, and that these benefits and drawbacks impact each individual differently. Again, supporting the need for freedom for each individual to choose how to best protect themselves.
- There are certain standards in the healthcare setting that, as a doctor I am obligated to meet in order to ensure the safety and well-being of my patients. Standards which have always required the use of measures which I have taken and, in many cases, made a point of exceeding the bare requirements of the state and federal guidelines for health and safety of my patients and my team.
- As a whole society we should be able to accept that each individual can have a different way that is best for them to get through this pandemic and even when looking at the same data it is possible for different human beings to come to different conclusions and take different actions. And more importantly, that even though different people may take different actions, they are all worthy of mutual respect and none deserve to be called out as wrong for doing what, to the best of their knowledge and through their own individual perspective is what is best for them and those they care for. As long as they are not willfully doing something they believe will harm others.
I truly ask everyone to keep an open mind to the idea that as we learn more about this virus the advice from experts will and should change to reflect whatever is discovered to be the best options for preventing unwanted illness and death. I will continue to monitor the literature and research and do everything in my power to ensure that my patients, my team and I are coming into an environment that is as safe as possible. To achieve this, I am not requiring any team member or patient to get vaccinated.
I am asking everyone to take a few simple precautions before they come into my practice facility to help protect those who may be vulnerable:
- Answer some basic screening questions and check your temperature before coming in
- Wash/disinfect hands frequently
- When not actually in the dental chair wear a face mask in my facility
- If you have been sick or around someone who is sick please let us know so that we can delay your visit until it is safe for you to come in.
By doing these things we have avoided a single case of covid-19 transmission in my practice over the last 18 months and I will work on behalf of everyone I care about to continue that zero level of transmission.
My goal has always been to promote the health and well-being of my community by providing the most excellent dental care possible and help others achieve their dental goals so that they can enjoy life to the fullest. The pandemic has presented some new challenges for me and my team in pursuing these goals. We have faced, and are still facing staffing issues related to many parts of our lives the pandemic has affected. We are helping our patients manage very real concerns regarding changes in their lives due to the pandemic affecting their abilities to come in and receive dental care. And we are doing our best to help our patients while navigating a changing environment with regard to regulations on our operations and supply chains for items we need to carry out our duties. In the face of all this my team has prevailed in providing excellent care and on some occasions, we have had to reschedule patients so that we could maintain the highest levels of care and ensure excellent outcomes.
I am truly thankful to my team and my patients for their hard work and their understanding and flexibility through these difficult times. I wish that as a society we could all be more flexible, empathetic and understanding of each other as we work through this pandemic.
As always, I will continue to strive to provide the best dental care and work to improve our community one patient at a time. If you have any questions about how I maintain a safe environment or have any questions about dental concerns please call the team at AFC Dentistry at 303-422-0836.
Stay well and be safe everybody!
David A. Zeitlin, DDS