Throughout history, pandemics have spurred opportunities for progress, innovation, and creative thinking. Such an opportunity occurred at Columbia Dental amid the Covid-19 pandemic. When Connecticut went under a shelter in place order, we realized that as health providers, we needed to help flatten the curve of Covid-19 cases. In this effort, we immediately closed 11 of our 15 locations. Nevertheless, tooth pain and odontogenic infections don’t wait to strike after a pandemic, they can strike at any time. This is why we continued accepting patients with urgent and emergent dental needs at four of our 15 locations. We acknowledged that dental offices are more equipped to serve dental emergencies than Emergency Rooms, which were overwhelmed with Covid-19-related issues. If we were to fully close, ERs would not only be overwhelmed with Covid-19 hospitalizations, but also with dental cases, which we can handle.
Of course, staying operational came with an immense responsibility – creating a Covid-19-protected environment. While mandating all patients to have a negative Covid-19 test would be impractical, we have encouraged social distancing, while separating all waiting chairs by 6ft. We have also made it compulsory for patients to wear a mask, which we provide at no additional cost. We have followed the CDC and State of Connecticut recommendations as well, by implementing physical barriers through all our practices. Of course, our employees also wear N-95 and K-N95 masks, when possible. And, for those who have fear of contracting Covid-19, Dr. Abbas Mohammadi – our owner and founder, offers teledentistry sessions via Zoom. With the decline of Covid-19 cases in Connecticut, we have now opened all our practices, taking these responsibilities into consideration.
Columbia Dental is a multi-specialty practice. We have oral surgeons, prosthodontists, periodontists, and endodontists all in one location, at our 483 Middle Turnpike West practice. Before the Covid-19 pandemic, we did not operate as such, with specialists distributed through our various locations. But how much better is it to have specialty doctors all under one roof, better assisting our patients? We are also proud to say that we have a digital lab on-site, allowing us to work on the prosthesis in a single day. Covid-19, despite its horrid aspects, has allowed us to broaden our spectrum, in creating Connecticut’s Dental Emergency Room.
Our Manchester office is open 7 days a week, including holidays, with late hours. We were open 24 hours a day during Connecticut’s shelter in place order. This concept worked very well for urgent and emergent cases; hence we’ve continued to use this 24-hour concept. Currently, our “one-day, same-day, seven-days” system, in which patients are quickly treated, is only available at our 483 Middle Turnpike West location. In this crisis, we have found it highly convenient for our patients to have their dental needs taken care of on the same day. This practice is what identifies Columbia Dental AS Connecticut’s Dental Emergency Room. Root canals, extractions, gum disease, implants, crowns, bridges, and dentures are just some of the dental procedures/issues we deal with. We want you to know that as essential workers, we are here for you – “one-day, same- day, seven-days.”
– The team at Columbia Dental