COVID-19 / Office Protocol


Pre-Appointment Recommendations:

  1. Download the forms required for your appointment (if you have not updated your health history this year, please update your health history, fill out the COVID-19 supplemental questionnaire, complete the COVID-19 consent and teledentistry consent if applicable)
  2. Send us your forms electronically or plan to bring them with you to your scheduled appointment
  3. Brush your teeth
  4. Rinse with dilute hydrogen peroxide before you come (this applies to any person who will enter the clinical area including caregivers) - concentration of hydrogen peroxide rinse should be 1.5%
  5. Self-check for symptoms and fever

At the time of your scheduled appointment:

  1. Text us when you arrive to the parking lot - please text (206) 225-7709
  2. We will text you when we are ready for you to enter the office
  3. We recommend that you wear a mask or face covering; if you are not wearing one, we will provide one for you
  4. We will ask you to wash your hands or hand sanitize upon entry
  5. We will take your temperature. If you have a fever above 99.6 degrees, you will be sent back to the car and re-appointed when you are symptom free
  6. We ask that if a care-giver is required for your child's appointment that only one person accompany your child (similar steps will be followed for caregivers)
  7. If you have not sent us your forms electronically, please bring them with you when you enter the office

At the end of your scheduled appointment:

  1. We will call or Facetime you from your child's cell phone, or our office land line to give you a verbal update about progress and the appointment
  2. We will schedule a follow up appointment
  3. We will send your child out to the car with a mask

As a team, we will be wearing more personal protective equipment than you might be used to seeing. If you think this will be concerning to your child, please talk to them and prepare them in advance. We are the same caring people as before, but our appearance will be different. If you have questions, kindly call us. We are happy to provide additional information and details so that you may adequately prepare for your visit.

We are looking forward to seeing you. As always, we appreciate you sharing your positive feedback with friends or on social media.

Warmly, Dr. Kara McCulloch and the OAMI Team

Posted: May 19, 2020    You're Next Visit to Our Office

Please stay in your car and call our office when you arrive. If you have a fever please reschedule your appointment. Wear a mask to your appointment. Brush your teeth before appointment. Please practice social distancing. Your safety is important to us, please stay safe.

Posted: May 11, 2020


As you know, Governor Jay Inslee has extended the "stay at home, stay healthy" order until May 31. We have now entered a "Phased approach" to the opening of businesses in the state of Washington. While dental offices are considered "essential", we are also considered as part of the second phase of opening. New patients will be welcome after June 4 2020. As I have already mentioned, we will not be operating in the same way we did before. We have new guidelines for your safety and security.

Since most orthodontic procedures are ongoing and are active, you are meant to be monitored for activation or deactivation of your orthodontic appliances. When it comes to fixed orthodontic appliances (wires and braces), lack of monitoring can lead to extension of treatment time and unnecessary harm. Improper hygiene may lead to gum disease, white spot lesions and decay. Lack of monitoring can lead to untoward tooth movement. It will be up to my professional judgement to decide who is at most risk and to prioritize appointments for those patients at risk for harm. Any patient with pain, breakage, poor oral hygiene, ectopic teeth and active appliances such as springs or MARA appliances can be seen for monitoring. Any patient that can safely wait without "harm" for 3 months is in a non-urgent category and will not be prioritized at this time.

To keep you safe, our policies have changed. We require pre-appointment screening and a new informed consent. All required forms are available to download on our website. Please visit the resources page. You may take a picture of your completed forms and send your pictures to info@mercerislandsmiles.com. You may also scan and send your forms via email in advance of your appointment. Otherwise, we respectfully ask that you bring your forms with you at the time of your scheduled appointment. If you have NOT filled out your forms, they will need to be filled out in advance of your scheduled appointment time. Please come at least 15 minutes early to your scheduled appointment time if you have not completed your forms prior to your appointment.

We are eager to see you all again and wish to try to keep you on target for your proposed treatment times. We are doing our best to appoint people for in office procedures and to provide a safe environment for our patients and team. We are offering virtual appointments for those who wish to have one and can best evaluate the necessity for in-office appointments through a virtual visit. Currently, virtual appointments are being scheduled Tuesday-Thursday afternoons via FaceTime and Zoom. If you would like to schedule a virtual appointment, kindly reach out to the office and download the "Teledentistry consent" - Download pdf (PDF 476KB, new window). We are happy to schedule you.

Thank you for your patience as we navigate the coming weeks. We will do our best to see you as soon as possible! In the meantime, please visit the resources page to download the forms which will be required for appointments in this COVID-19 era. Our social media will also have important information and updates. As always, we welcome your positive feedback on Google, Facebook and Nexdoor.

Warmly, Dr. Kara McCulloch and the OAMI Team

Posted: May 1, 2020


The entire team at Orthodontic Associates of Mercer Island wishes you and your family safety and good health at this time. We recognize that there is a "new normal" and that this reality of life is dynamic and changes from day to day. At this time, we still anticipate the ability to open our doors for patient care on Monday May 18 2020. However, it will not be "business as usual". We will still be on high alert to keep you and your family safe and healthy. To that end, we are implementing some changes to protocol. Please make note of the following changes:

  1. Social distancing will remain in effect. To the extent possible, we will all remain 6 feet apart.
  2. If you have a cold, fever or feel unwell, please re-schedule your appointment. We will be screening our team members as well. Any team member who has a fever or who is unwell will be sent home from work for your safety. Please complete the "Supplemental Health Questionnaire" found on the resources page of our website www.mercerislandsmiles.com.
  3. To the extent possible, we will not be utilizing our reception room. We ask that "patients only" enter the clinic at the time of your appointment. Appointments will be scheduled over the phone and confirmed. At the time of your scheduled appointment, please enter the clinic. You will be greeted by your assistant and ushered to a clinic chair. We ask that you wear a mask when you enter and that you do not have a fever. We will be screening temperature for every patient. Any patient with a fever about 99.6 degrees Fahrenheit will be turned away.
  4. We require a new informed consent for COVID-19 and for Teledentistry appointments. These forms are available on our Resources page. We require one consent per patient (even if you have multiple family members who are patients). We will also be pre-screening all patients. The screening questionnaire may also be found on the Resources page. We would really appreciate it if you could download the forms and fill them out PRIOR to your appointment. Please bring them with you to the appointment. We will scan them to the chart when received. It is also standard practice to update health history annually. Now would be a good time to update information. Please visit our Resources page.
  5. We will have hand sanitizer available for all patients to use upon entry and prior to exit of the building.
  6. The communal brushing station is closed. Please brush your teeth prior to your scheduled appointment.
  7. We would like to advise patients to "pre-rinse" with diluted hydrogen peroxide (3% hydrogen peroxide, diluted 1:1, to make 1.5% solution) or Listerine prior to their appointment. This should be done AFTER brushing in preparation for the appointment.
  8. At the end of scheduled appointments for children, we will call a parent to give a verbal update for the appointment. Your child will be escorted to within 6 feet of your car. Please let us know make and color of your car for ease of transfer. Patients without masks will be provided with a mask upon exit of the appointment.
  9. We will be limiting procedures which cause "aerosols". This will require us to alter the way that we remove adhesive from teeth and bond attachments. We are working on new protocols that will keep you and your family safer.
  10. We will have sneeze guards at the front desk and in our consultation area.
  11. We request that you become familiar with "cough etiquette" and practice proper hand washing hygiene and proper cough etiquette while in the office environment.
  12. We have removed magazines and toys from the office to limit exposure.
  13. We have reviewed ALL current recommendations from the CDC, American Dental Association and American Association of Orthodontists. We are strictly adhering to "best practices" and have implemented any changes currently advised by governing authorities.

Should you have any questions or concerns about COVID-19 or the safety of you or your family member, we are happy to field your questions. Providing exceptional care and customer service is of paramount importance to me and my entire team. We are here to provide you with safety, security and excellence.

Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your trust and confidence. I realize you have many choices and it is my privilege to be your orthodontist and to work with you in creating beautiful smiles. I would personally appreciate you sharing positive feedback on Google, Facebook or Nextdoor. I look forward to seeing you very soon.

Warmly, Dr. Kara McCulloch and the OAMI Team

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