Dear PHC Dental Patients,

We hope this letter finds you and your family in good health. Our community has been through a lot over the last few months, and all of us are looking forward to resuming our normal habits and routines. While many things at PHC have changed, our commitment to your safety remains a top priority.
We actively follow infection control recommendations and updates made by the American Dental Association (ADA), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), and the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA). As a result, you may notice some changes when it is time for your next dental appointment:

  • We have wait lists for appointments. We are re-opening services slowly and based on most urgent needs.
  • Appointments will be managed to allow for physical distancing. This might mean that you are offered fewer options when we call to schedule your appointment.
  • If you call us for an urgent visit, you may be offered a tele-dental appointment. This way a dentist can triage your issue before deciding if you should come to the clinic in person. See the back of this letter for more detail.
  • Once you are scheduled, we will call you before your appointment to ask some screening questions. You will be asked these same questions when you arrive, and again a few days after you are seen.
  • We will ask you to clean your hands with sanitizer when you enter the building. Hand sanitizer will be available to you in many areas throughout your visit.
  • We are requiring all of our patients and visitors to wear face coverings upon entering the building.
  • We are asking you not to bring anyone with you to your appointment unless it’s absolutely necessary.
  • Our waiting rooms no longer offer magazines and children’s toys.
  • If you have email, we will offer to email you your intake forms and paperwork rather than having you fill them out on paper. We’re using software called IntakeQ that is secure and HIPAA compliant.

Feel free to call us to learn more about our wait lists, tele-dental & urgent dental options, or to discuss the safety measures we have in place. We appreciate your patience and look forward to seeing you again soon!

Frequently Asked Questions
How does PHC define a dental urgency?
To be seen in-person at our clinic, you must have one or more of these conditions:

  • Severe toothache or pain (not just a twinge)
  • Swelling of your gums, face or neck
  • Bleeding in your mouth that does not stop
  • Infection or a substantial risk of infection
  • Trauma (such as a broken tooth)

If I have an emergency should I still just walk in in the morning?
No, we’re asking you to call before you come in so that we can screen you and offer a tele-dental visit first.
Missoula: (406) 258-4185 | Seeley Lake: (406) 677-2277 | Superior: (406) 822-4278
What is “tele-dental”?
Tele-dental is a term we use to define dental care that is delivered in a virtual setting. Patients can stay at home and meet with their provider over the phone or by video without needing to come in to the clinic. Telecommunications + Dental = Tele-Dental
What if I miss the call from my provider for my tele-dental appointment?
Your provider will try to reach you more than once. Please do not call back if you see that you missed their call. If you miss their first call, they will try you again. If you miss all of their calls, you will need to call us to re-schedule your appointment.
What if I need to cancel my tele-dental appointment?
Tele-dental visits, particularly video visits, require a lot of coordination to set up. We ask that you try to keep your appointment whenever possible. If you decide that you need to cancel or re-schedule, please let us know immediately. Re-scheduling a tele-dental visit is more time consuming and complex than re-scheduling an in-person appointment.
How should I prepare for my tele-dental appointment?
You can get the most out of your appointment by following these simple steps:

  • At least 10 minutes before your appointment, make sure you have a quiet & private space to take the call
  • Have a list of your current medications along with dosages and strengths
  • Write down any questions or concerns that you want to discuss with your provider
  • Test the audio & video functions on your device to make sure they are switched on and turned up
  • During the phone or video call, be sure to speak loudly and clearly and look into the camera

What if I need to be examined?
If your provider decides that there is a reason to conduct a physical examination, an in-person visit can be scheduled. This does not mean that you can’t continue with your tele-dental visit as planned.
Will my tele-dental visit be recorded?
No. We do not record these visits, nor do we give patients permission to make their own recordings of tele-dental appointments. If your provider feels it would be helpful to take photos of certain conditions during your video appointment, they will ask for your permission.
How much will a tele-dental appointment cost?
Your insurance will be billed just as though you were seeing your provider in person. Our normal billing process and sliding fee scale discounts will apply. We encourage you to contact your insurance company to ask about your plan and coverage for telehealth. If you want to check on your sliding fee scale, or update your income information, call us and we’d be happy to help.

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