fbpx [sg_popup id=1200]

Covid-19 Update

This policy has been created based on multiple updated sources from within the dental and medical professions and the government.

It outlines modifications to our normal procedures that we intend to employ once the practice can be reopened after the COVID-19 pandemic peak has subsided.

It is not known at this time whether these procedures are temporary or whether they will become a permanent feature of the way dental practices must be run to ensure patient and staff safety in the future.

The worldwide COVID-19 pandemic is still being evaluated and studied and policies and recommendations are likely to change in line with new scientific evidence over time.

We would like to thank all of our patients for their patience and forbearance during the period of temporary practice closure and for their understanding and cooperation whilst we implement new measures at the practice.

We will of course be providing dental care to all of our patients in the safest possible environment. We greatly appreciate your assistance with any new or modified procedures at the practice.

Phase 1 Re-opening- Wednesday 10th June

 

We will initially be seeing:

 

The practice will re-open and as per current regulations we will only see face to face patients who require essential / emergency dental treatment that cannot be addressed over the telephone via our telephone triage service.

 

If you are an NHS Patient and do meet the NHS triaging criteria you will still be offered a telephone call back by one of our dentists to provide an assessment, advice and prescription of pain relief or antibiotics. If the dentist feels you may require treatment to be performed – then you will be offered either a face to face appointment with one of our dentists (if we can do the treatment in house) or a referral to a local urgent dental care hub for the treatment (if we are unable to perform that treatment in house at this moment in time).

 

This urgent dental care clinic will perform its own telephone assessment and will decide if you meet their criteria. We have no control over the time frame for this. We cannot guarantee if you will be given an appointment within a couple of days or whether it will be a week or so, or even if they will agree to see you. 

What treatments are we allowed to perform: 

Dentists will only be permitted to do treatments that do not create an aerosol. This is created from use of the dental drills inside and outside of the mouth and the air and water syringe jets.

Therefore emergency treatments that we are able to perform during this stage may be limited to:

Current appointments booked:

All appointments that are currently in the diary up until August 31st that were previously booked before the COVID 19 pandemic will automatically be cancelled as currently we are unable to see patients face to face for routine dentistry.

We are aware of all patients who were mid-treatment when the COVID 19 pandemic forced dental practices to be closed. You do not need to call us regarding this – our reception team will be in touch to arrange re-commencement of your treatment as soon as we are permitted to do so.

subject to clearance from Public Health England and NHS England We will be permitted to see: • Patients face to face for routine dental treatment that does not create an aerosol. • This phase is not restricted to just emergency appointment and will include routine dental examinations that are over due • We will also be calling patients back who were in open courses of treatment when the COVID 19 pandemic forced dental practices to be closed. We will only be performing treatments on these patients that do not generate an aerosol.
subject to clearance from Public Health England and NHS England We will be permitted to see: • Patients face to face for all routine and emergency dental care including aerosol generating procedures and fitting of dentures. • Dental hygienist treatments • Cosmetic dental treatments
From June 10th, if you need face to face urgent dental care there will be availability to all our private patients for these appointments. When we recommence booking of routine dental care – there will always be appointment slots for our Private patients so that there is no delay in you being seen.
• We will be contacting patients and confirming appointments ahead of their scheduled time. • We will request that all patients who are attending our practice to update their standard medical and dental history forms beforehand. These forms will now be in electronic format (patient portal) and we will no longer be using paper forms. • The assessment forms include a new section which will allow us to assess your level of risk for coronavirus infection before you attend the surgery. This is aimed at ensuring yours and our staff safety.

New measures to reduce the risk of COVID-19 

Our staff are working tirelessly to ensure visit to us is a safe and efficient as possible and we have introduced many new measures. Some of these are outlined below.

Our normal cross-infection control protocols at the practices against all previously known pathogens are already woven into all clinical activity carried out at the practice. It should be remembered that a dental practice is already a very clean environment compared to public areas and there is no evidence of COVID-19 transmission occurring in increased rates in dentists or their staff. We have collectively evaluated all of the updated guidance and observed what measures have been put in place in other countries. We feel that the measures which are outlined in this policy will reduce risk to the minimum level at the practice. Please be assured that all of our clinical staff will also be complying with our updated procedures to reduce the risk of cross infection in both directions.
We will carry out a pre-attendance assessment via your completed Medical History/Assessment forms before your appointment and, if necessary, a follow-up telephone conversation to assess relative coronavirus infection risk. Our staff will contact you to remind you of this if we have not received your completed forms. If you have any difficulties with completing the forms, we can help you with this over the phone. If we feel that you are at risk of having possibly been infected, even if you are asymptomatic, we will respectfully request for you to delay booking any appointments with us for at least one month. If we do not receive the completed questionnaire in time and we are unable to contact you, we may need to cancel your appointment. You may be charged for the appointment if we are unable to fill it at short notice as per our normal terms and conditions. We recommend that patients in the high-risk groups for developing complications from coronavirus delay non-essential dental treatment for as long as possible until the trend of the pandemic becomes clear. If you are in a high-risk group and do require treatment, we are still able to see you and have put in measure to ensure the safety of all our patients. When travelling to the practice, we would recommend that you limit close contact with other members of the public as far as possible. We will meet all patients outside the building and bring them straight into the surgery. One adult is able to attend with a child; please do not bring additional family members with you unless they are happy to wait in the car or outside away from the building. Appointment times: Accordingly, appointments will be staggered so that patients do not arrive or leave at the same time as other patients as far as we are able to manage.
Our practice will be operating contactless payment systems going forward (wherever possible). we will request one of the following: • contactless payment at the time of your visit (This reduces the requirement for unnecessary contact or use of pin entries on card terminals at reception) • payment over the phone (this maybe prior to your appointment– in certain circumstances) • We would rather not take payments via cash due to the safety and well-being of all staff – however if the other methods of payment mentioned above are not possible – cash will still be accepted.
BY CAR - If you are arriving by car and the practice has a car park – please park safely, leave your belongings in the cars (except for payment method and any medications you require for your duration at the practice, face covering whilst you are waiting in the queue). Please then join the queue at the front of the practice where a team member will greet you and give you further instructions. Please ensure you are keeping 2m away from people from another household at all times. ON FOOT - If you are arriving by foot, please then join the queue at the front of the practice where a team member will greet you and give you further instructions. Please ensure you are keeping 2m away from people from another household at all times and wear a face covering whilst you are waiting in the queue. The front door will remain locked; however, we cannot accept liability for personal items so please limit what you bring into the building. We kindly ask that you wear a protective face covering whilst waiting outside the practice, upon entering the practice and until you take a seat into the dental chair. We will take your temperature with a no-touch thermometer. If your temperature is above 37.8°C, you will be unable to enter the practice and will be asked to return home and self-isolate as per current government guidelines. We intend to eliminate waiting inside the practice and at reception. If you are well, we will allow you to enter the practice, place your personal items into the sealed box and ask you to disinfect your hands with an alcohol based gel. A member of the team will then direct you straight to the surgery and request that you do not touch any walls or door handles on your route to the surgery.
You may then be asked to: 1. Thoroughly wash your hands for 30 seconds with the antiseptic handwash provided in the surgery. 2. Your dentist and dental nurse will already be dressed in the appropriate level of PPE for the procedure you are having. 3. Rubber dam or other barrier mechanisms will be used for more procedures than previously.
The restrooms will be locked and you will need to ask a member of staff to open these for you should you need to use them. When using the restrooms, please do your best to ensure that you leave the facilities as you would expect to find them and wash your hand thoroughly for at least 20 seconds. The restrooms will be regularly disinfected between patients.
The practice team have spent time critically looking at every aspect of the practice with a view to removing all non-essential items that can potentially be the cause of infection. You will find that the practice may appear to be quite bare when you attend. All clinical and common areas including door handles and surfaces will be regularly disinfected in addition to our normal surface cleaning protocols between patients. The dental team will be providing a buffer period between patients to allow additional time for additional decontamination procedures, allow for any treatment overruns and allow preparation time for the next patient so that they do not need to wait in the reception area.
All dental staff will be using personal protective equipment in line with current recommendations and evidence. We apologise in advance for the necessary reduction in social interaction that this will necessitate. Whilst our masks may make us appear impersonal and distant, please be assured we are still the same friendly team underneath it all! We are especially mindful that many dental treatments are aerosol-generating procedures (AGP’s). It is difficult for us to carry out some dental procedures without generation of some level of aerosol. Aerosol suspended in the air is a theoretical source of infection which we obviously wish to keep to a minimum. We are taking extra precautions for these procedures and are allowing enough time for the room to be disinfected in between each patient. Currently the dental literature suggests: Our use of our normal high-volume suction reduces aerosol production by over 90%. The use of dental rubber dam where possible reduces bioaerosols by a further 30 to 90%. Our regular surgical facemasks filter approximately 60% of remaining airborne particles. FFP2 and FFP3 masks filter 94% and 99% respectively of airborne particles in both directions (patient to clinician and clinician to the patient). We, therefore, feel that our normal dental procedures can be carried out with minimal risk by the use of high-volume suction, rubber dam, surgical and FFP2 masks and, in aerosol-generating procedures FFP3 masks as appropriate.
Despite the financial impact of the coronavirus, our practice will not be increasing its normal fees unless absolutely necessary. However, the time taken to carry out treatment sessions may need to be extended which will be included into the fees for your procedure. This will not apply to NHS treatment. NHS will be subject to availability, what we are permitted to do on the NHS and there may be delays in being seen. All dental staff will be using personal protective equipment in line with current recommendations and evidence.

Summary:

The vast majority of our patients are otherwise healthy without coronavirus infection and we are confident that we are able to provide dental care for these patients in as normal an environment as possible while bearing in mind our responsibilities to mitigate risks of infection spread as far as is practically possible.

This policy will be constantly reviewed and updated as necessitated by circumstances over time.

If you have any questions regarding this policy or about your dental care, please do not hesitate to contact us at the practice, by phone or by email.

With Kind Regards,

The Oradent Dental Care team.

Select Practice