Dental care during the Covid 19 pandemic
This page contains information about how we can provide your dental care as we progress through this stage of the Covid 19 pandemic.
Returning to routine care from 8th June and the “new normal”
The Prime Minister announced on 28th May that dental practices could open from 8th June.
We are very much looking forward to welcoming our patients back to the practice and providing the high level of dental care you are used to.
Gradual return to routine care – Covid-19 alert level 3
Dentists have been advised to adopt a gradual phased return to normal clinical practice, determined by the coronavirus alert level.
The covid-19 alert is currently at level 3, meaning that the virus is in general circulation.
We are now able to resume most routine dental care and are contacting patients who have been waiting for treatment. We anticipate therefore that it will take a few weeks before we return to business as usual. All our usual treatment options are available.
For patients at high risk of covid-19, vulnerable or shielding, it may be appropriate to postpone treatment or provide alternative dental care that minimises the need to attend the practice. An individual risk assessment will be carried out by the dentist in advance of any planned care.
If you have a dental emergency, we will make sure you are seen promptly. We are able to see patients with dental pain, trauma, lost fillings and crowns etc. We will be working extra hours to see those patients with problems who were unable to attend during the lockdown.
Our dental hygienists are now able to provide treatment and are available every day. For the time being, dental practices have been advised to reduce where possible procedures that generate an aerosol. This means that the hygienists are using hand, rather than ultrasonic instruments to clean teeth. The evidence is that hand instrumentation is very effective in the treatment and prevention of periodontal (gum) disease.
If you have been unable to attend for routine preventive care with the hygienist during the lockdown, additional or longer visits may be needed.
If you are a member of Denplan, these additional or longer visits will be automatically provided to make up the lost time.
Our regulators and professional bodies have provided regular updates regarding how we can return to providing dental care is a safe way.
Dentistry will look very different for some time, however we will still be able to provide preventive care and usual treatment options.
Infection control and patient safety has always been a top priority. The coronavirus has not gone away and so additional measures have been put into place for the protection of our patients and staff. This includes wearing additional personal protective equipment (PPE) for everyone’s safety. Please be reassured that we have adequate supplies of PPE to continue to provide the service.
Extra cleaning of the treatment rooms will be also carried out between patients. The social distancing that has become a routine part of our lives over the past few weeks will be necessary to reduce the risk of spreading the virus.
Increased opening hours and re-scheduling some routine appointments
We are increasing our opening hours by 50%, however implementing the extra safety measures will initially reduce the the number of patients we can see on a daily basis.
We are confident that we will be able to provide all the care needed to maintain your dental health. The additional time needed and changes in the way patients move through the building means that it has been necessary to re-schedule some combined routine check-up and hygienist appointments. Some patients with pre-existing health conditions are advised to delay attending the practice. We will be in touch with anyone unable to attend to discuss how we can help. This might involving provide care remotely.
Returning to normal
As the pandemic subsides and the covid alert level reduces, some of these measures (such as social distancing) will be relaxed and we will be able to see more patients. As our capacity to see patients increases, we should be in a position to bring any postponed appointments forwards. We appreciate your understanding during this period of phased return to normal. Please be reassured that we will provide all the dental care you need and may have missed out on during the lockdown.
Online consultations and teledentistry
Since the beginning of the pandemic we have been able to assist patients in need of urgent advice and treatment by using online digital consultations and communications such as videoconferencing.
We have found this to be a really useful way of helping patients with urgent problems, particularly those who have been advised to remain at home. Your dentist and hygienist will continue to be available to discuss any aspect of your dental health, including advice on preventive care remotely. If you have been unable to attend during the pandemic, we will be in touch to offer this service.
The following safety measures have been put in place:
- Our dentists will contact you by phone before your appointment to ask the usual questions about your dental and general health.
- We have provided hand sanitiser for you to use when you enter and leave the practice.
- We ask that patients attend alone (with the exception of parents and carers).
- Our waiting areas are restricted to maintain social distancing. If you are early, you may be asked to wait outside the practice until your appointment time. If you have a mask, please bring it. We will provide a disposable mask for you to wear if you do not have one.
- We will be extending our opening hours and managing appointments to reduce waiting times.
- Please do not arrive without an appointment. Contact us preferably by email.
- Where possible, we will make your next appointment by telephone or email. This is to reduce the time spent in the reception area and contact with other people.
- Payment should be made by card where possible.
- We will be wearing different personal protective equipment (PPE) including extra facemasks, eye protection and clinical clothing.
- We are keen to restore the high level of service you are used to as rapidly and safely as possible. Your patience is greatly appreciated.
- If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us by email to: email@example.com or by telephoning 01200 424641.