Re – opening Update!
We would like to thank all our patients for their understanding and patience during this very difficult time of extended practice closure. This policy has been created using the latest multiple update sources from both the Medical and Dental Professions. Below are some of the important and updated developments to help keep us all safe. As you know, all dental practices in the UK were instructed to close in late March by the Chief Dental Officer due to the potential risk of Coronavirus infecting the dental team as well as everyone associated with the practice. Our PM Boris Johnson announced that the rate of transmission of the virus has declined dramatically and there is thank goodness light at the end of the tunnel. The worldwide Covid-19 pandemic is still being evaluated and policies and recommendations are likely to change in line with new scientific evidence over time.
Our normal cross-infection control protocols against all previously known pathogens are already woven into all clinical activity carried out at the practice. It should be remembered that the dental practice is already a very clean environment compared to public areas and it is not possible for us to control sources of infection outside the dental practice.
“The NEW Norm” – What to expect
Before You Visit Us
We will give you a courtesy call or email to check for any issues surrounding your general health as well as asking about any signs and symptoms of coughs, colds and other signs of respiratory infections. We will also ask questions on the well-being of anyone in your close family circle as well as checking you have not recently travelled from any current high-risk areas in the World. Your appointments will be scheduled on the telephone, and a deposit which will cover the cost of all or some of your treatment will be taken in order to help maintain social distancing. There will still be contactless payments and bacs transfer can be done too. This will greatly help limit your waiting time at the practice. These measures are highly recommended and are based on the proven best practice safe steps taken in Denmark, Germany, Spain and many other countries.
We have also introduced FREE video consultations so you can speak to the dentist without having to leave your home! This way we can discuss issues or requirements and then only if you are suitable will we then book you in for a face to dace appointment.
We are Zoning our diaries so that exams and other non Aerosol Generating Procedures (non-AGPs) can be carried out at a separate time to Aerosol Generating Procedures (AGPs) in order to minimise risk of transmission.
We would recommend that patients in the high-risk category delay non-essential dental treatment for as long as possible until the downward trend of pandemic becomes clear. The following link will give you further information:
We will notify you if we feel that your treatment should be delayed.
What we expect of you when you come to the practice:
- Please come wearing a mask
- Please do not bring anyone else with you (unless necessary)
- Please come on time – not late or too early as we may not be able to see you.
- Try not to bring bulky items – suitcases, heavy coats , large bags etc.
Currently in line with guidelines we are asking patients to kindly use the bathroom before coming to the clinic to brush their teeth or use the toilet as they will not be able to use it at the practice unless an emergency. If you need to go please tell a member of staff so we can arrange it to be properly disinfected after.
If you are experiencing any Covid symptoms please call and cancel your appointment – DO NOT come!
When You Arrive
We ask that you arrive on time at your appointment time and ring the doorbell to notify us of your arrival. The door will be locked at all times.
A member of staff will greet you at the door and check that your temperature is normal. If your temperature is above the normal limit of 37.8C, you will be advised to rebook your treatment and follow the government guidelines for self-isolation. We will try to strictly limit the number of patients waiting and you may notice our appointment times are a little different; this is so we can stagger the arrival of our patients to help maintain social distancing as far as we reasonably can.
We will need you to use our special disinfectant hand sanitiser for 20 seconds and potentially use a special anti-viral mouthwash to cleanse your mouth and throat.
We will then again go over Covid specific related questions which you can read here.
Once this has all been cleared we will escort you directly to the surgery.
- On arrival at the practice our team will get changed into our work clothes and change again before we leave the premises.
- All surfaces in including door handles, flushes in our washrooms, etc will be disinfected and wiped down minimum three times in the day – before work, at lunchtime and after work. We will use a special product that is proven to be 80 times more effective than bleach, and yet is not toxic to people although highly effective against Coronavirus. This product has been used in the food industry for over 50 years and is not harmful to the environment. We will also use be using clinell wipes which are used in hospitals.
- We will be using lots of extra layers of protection for you and our team. This includes expensive respirator masks, special gowns, hats, eye protection and visors – we are sorry, but we will sometimes look like we are in a hospital! Suppliers in the UK are overwhelmed with orders; however, we will ensure we surpass the guidelines the NHS set in due course and add additional key protection (see below!).
- New air purification and disinfection units – as you know, Covid-19 is an airborne virus and even when simply breathing and speaking infected people can accidentally expose others to risk. To protect you and the team we will be investing in very high specification air purification units of the type commonly used in hospitals in many parts of the world. However we will be buying UK made products so that any spares and parts are easily available. These scrub the air of germs as well as noxious chemicals and keep the air clean and healthy for you and the team whilst you are in here. We are making this high investment currently despite having no income at all for several months, However, you and our team are our primary concern as there is no price to be put on health!
- Patients at high risk – we are aware that some of you are deemed higher risk patients, e.g. the elderly and people with certain health problems. We will discuss this with you when we book your appointments any special requirements you may have, and I emphasise your well-being is our number one priority. If needed, we will spend more time to ensure that those most in need are not put at added risk and we will try and accommodate you.
- Dental dam and other devices: We may use a sheet of material to isolate a tooth or teeth before we commence some treatments. We will keep you safe and comfortable as required whilst we do the work.
- Covering the dental chair and draping you –to add further layers of protection for you and the team.
- Extra time – We have increased normal appointment times providing an additional buffer between patients to allow additional time for decontamination procedures, allow for any treatment overruns and allow preparation time for next patient so that they do not need to wait in the reception area.
- Extra staff training –by the time we are back, ALL our staff will be expert in the latest methods of caring for our patients. We will make sure that all the work surfaces are cleaned thoroughly between patients and allow adequate time for the air purification and disinfection system to clean the air. This takes a little more time and you may notice many changes when you next visit!
All dental staff will be upgrading their personal protective equipment in line with current recommendations and evidence including Type 2R and FFP3 masks, ,full face visors and protective clothing as appropriate. We apologise in advance for the necessary reduction in social interaction that this will necessitate. Whilst our attire may make us appear impersonal and distant, please be assured we are still the same friendly team underneath it all!
- Reception waiting area will be arranged with fewer chairs and no magazines or beverages.
- Perspex barriers are now at the reception desk as an extra layer of protection.
Thank you so much for your patience and understanding during these times.
Please continue to stay safe and alert.
The NW1 Dental Care Team