RANDOLPH, NJ- While the Covid-19 pandemic has reaped havoc on virtually every industry across the world, some businesses have been affected more than others. With the main transmission of the virus believed to be in saliva droplets, industries such as Orthodontics and Dentistry have had to adapt and change to help protect their employees and patients.
For Baumwoll Orthodontics in Randolph, the forced closures and stay at home executive order in Spring of 2020 was a drain on the staff-patient relationship just as much as it was on the business in general.
“It felt great to finally get back into the office again; being an orthodontist is one of the best parts of "being me",” said owner Heather Baumwoll, who is a 1999 graduate of Randolph High School. “I wasn’t home more than 3 weeks when I took maternity leave so being home for 10 weeks was a struggle. Going back to the office, it was so nice to see all the kids again. We are seeing fewer patients than normal due to social distancing, but that gives us an opportunity to spend more time with each of them - another silver lining of this uncertain and strange time.”
While schools and businesses were shuttered and most people hunkered down in their homes for most of March, April and May, that didn’t prevent kids with braces from having questions, issues, or supply needs. A process was put into place to make sure patients could get their regular supplies.
“While we were closed, we were in frequent contact with our patients via email and updates on social media,” said Alisha Sussino, longtime Dental Assistant at Baumwoll. “We also made sure that patients who needed to pick up items such as extra rubber bands, Invisalign trays, and wax, were taken care of. A staff member would go into the office weekly to tape whatever was needed to the office door.”
Baumwoll also used facetime to do video calls with patients when needed, to virtually diagnose simple issues and answer questions that came up during quarantine.
“My patients were all rock-stars and were able to navigate any orthodontic "emergency" on their own,” said Baumwoll. “As all the necessary PPE was routed to hospitals, we did not have access to the necessary protection to see patients while we were closed. The few times patients needed us, they would text me a photo and I would walk the family through the steps to ensure they were once again comfortable. A nail clipper seemed to do the trick on several occasions.”
Now that the office has re-opened full time, Baumwoll Orthodontics has taken every available precaution at their disposal to ensure a safe and healthy office for patients and employees.
“We are using very high tech extra oral suction machines that contain UV lights and HEPA filters to eliminate any viral particles,” said Baumwoll. “We had UV lights installed in our HVAC system, and our staff is wearing both a K95 mask and a level three surgical mask, in addition to scrubs, gowns, and face shields.”
Like many other businesses that accept appointments, Baumwoll is not currently using their waiting room, and have eliminated all magazines and toys to prevent any chance of spreading germs. Between every patient visit, a rigorous surface wiping and Lysol spray cleaning regimen takes place. On the day of their appointment, patients are screened, get a temperature check, fill out a Covid-19 waiver, and wait in their car until they are ready to be seen.
“We are taking this virus very seriously, and we continue to update our patients as the governor posts updates,” said Baumwoll. “We continue to operate below capacity in order to maintain social distancing, and everyone has been very understanding and appreciative. We are all in this together and one day we will look back and be proud for doing our part to continue providing top-notch orthodontics in the safest way possible.”
Baumwoll is located at 390 Rt. 10 West, at the corner of Millbrook Road and Rt. 10. They have served the Randolph and surrounding community since 2012, and have been big supporters of many youth and school organizations in town. For questions or appointments, they can be reached by phone at 973-989-5100.