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Dear Valued Patient,

Happy New Year from all of us at Green Leaf Dentistry! We hope that 2021 will bring all of you happiness, health, and peace. 2020 has been characterized by significant loss and anxiety for all and we sympathize with those who have lost jobs, loved ones, or who have potentially faced food and housing insecurity due to COVID-19. We want you to know that we remain at your service to support you in any way we can.

As I reflect upon the last year and its many challenges, I would be remiss to omit some of the valuable lessons learned because of this pandemic. I speak not only for myself but many others as well when I say that COVID-19 forced us all to slow down and reconnect with our families through game and movie nights or simply just being together to preparing and sharing home-cooked meals to enjoying the outdoors more. And while I found myself joking with others about an expanding waistline, I remain grateful for this invaluable time spent with my family. The simple act of sharing a meal became a lifeline as we tried to cope with our newfound ‘norm.’

As we shut the door to 2020 and step into 2021 I am filled with optimism. I recognize that we are not “out of the woods;” however, the release of a vaccine gives me hope. I am also so very fortunate to be surrounded by an incredible team of women who epitomize professionalism, kindness, compassion, and adaptability. They have been incredible adjusting to the new operating policies that I have implemented to ensure the safety of you, our patients, and our staff. Our office has gone above and beyond current CDC guidelines by limiting the number of persons in the office at all times, requiring all patients to wait in their vehicle until we are ready for them, having incoming patients submit to a temperature check and to complete a brief health survey and to complete as many administrative tasks as possible over the phone. Every staff member is required to submit to a temperature check and complete a brief health survey on a daily basis and we have outfitted every operatory with medical-grade HEPA filters to optimize air filtration. The use of an N95 respirator, surgical mask and face shield as well as treatment gowns are now the standard for all personnel providing patient care.

Thank you to those who have returned to the office for routine care and for having the trust in us to maintain your safety. For those of you who have not returned out of fear of exposure, we understand your concern but please know that we will work with you to make you feel comfortable and safe. Maintaining your dental and general health is critical and should not be avoided despite the pandemic. In August the American Dental Association (ADA) issued a strong rebuttal to the World Health Organization’s statement that elective dental treatment should be deferred. In the words of ADA President Chad P. Gehani: “Oral health is integral to overall health. Dentistry is essential health care because of its role in evaluating, diagnosing, preventing, or treating oral diseases, which can affect systemic health." Scientific studies have clearly demonstrated links between poor oral health and systemic conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, adverse pregnancy outcome, and more.

I will leave you now with a reminder of our commitment to you, our patient. Our goal has always been and will continue to be, under any circumstance, to provide you with exemplary care rooted in trust, compassion and excellence. Wishing you all again a happy, healthy and peaceful 2021!

Warm regards,
Dr. Howell

Dentist Proudly Serving
Denville

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