An Update For Our Patients

Author: Dr. David Dickerhoff, DDS, MAGD, FOCOI

Governor Cooper has eased restrictions in North Carolina and folks are starting to feel as if this pandemic is behind us. Walmart has announced that mask wear is not required IF you have been fully vaccinated. I watch what is happening in the public arena and I wonder how I should be treating my patients at Spring Lake Dental Group.  Some of my patients have expressed frustration in our screening process at the front door and the social distancing in our reception area. I am writing this blog at a time where I understand that we are in a period of transition concerning battling this viral disease. We anxiously await new guidance, but as of 10 June 2021, I am still on the side of aggressive precautions and following the recommendations of the CDC. Our practice no longer charges for an additional PPE fee, but our policies and procedures have not wavered concerning universal precautions in dealing with this pandemic. It does mean that we are seeing less patients and having to jump through many additional hoops in managing our daily schedule. But we are swayed in following current scientific guidance and evidence that sometimes comes to us at a maddening slow pace. In June, North Carolina still reported 3,515 new cases and our general population’s vaccination rate is only at 43.8%.  The national rate is 51.5%. In North Carolina, 73 people were reported dead of COVID-19 in the week of June 10th. In the week before that, 120 people were reported dead. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, but we are not there yet, in my opinion. Please have patience with staff and protocols that we have instituted that are there for your protection. Hopefully, the CDC will be providing new guidance in the near future.

On a better note, I am very proud to announce that Dr. Alison Vitelli was recognized at the annual convocation as a Fellow within the profession. She earned this honor by accumulating 500 hours of continuing education, being in the academy for at least three years and passing a rigorous examination of 292 questions challenging her knowledge of twelve disciplines of dentistry. We are extremely proud of Dr. Vitelli as only 6% of general dentists have earned this honor. Congratulations, Alison!

We are also proud to announce in my upcoming blog an addition to our staff. She is a residency trained dentist that has a special interest in treating pediatric patients. She will be joining us in August as she travels here to join her husband who is an emergency room physician at Womack Army Hospital. More to follow, but we are very happy to have her join our staff.