This policy outlines the changes to our normal policies and procedures that we will be employing from8th June when our practice will open after the COVID-19 pandemic peak has subsided.
The worldwide COVID-19 pandemic is still being evaluated and policies are likely to change as new scientific evidence is forthcoming.
We would like to thank all of our patients for their patience and understanding during the past few months and for their co-operation whilst we implement new measures at the practice.
We will of course be providing dental care to all of our patients in the safest way possible. We greatly appreciate your co-operation with any new or modified procedures at the practice.
Our team will prepare the practice for re-opening and practising our updated procedures before patients return to the practice.
Initially we will be seeing:
Patients with emergency dental problems that require urgent assessment and treatment.
We will then be able to see:
Patients with treatment that was not completed prior to the lockdown
Patients who were due for routine examinations and hygienist visits during the period of closure
Patients who are due for orthodontic reviews
We will request that all patients who are attending MUST update their standard medical history form beforehand. These forms will be sent to you in a new secure patient portal via email, prior to your appointment.
These forms will include a new section which will allow us to assess your level of risk for coronavirus infection before you attend the surgery.
A dentist may also carry out a video consultation with you to assess your dental problem prior to your visit.
If you feel that you are at risk of possibly having been infected we respectfully request for you to delay booking any appointments with us for at least 8 weeks from the start of infection.
Patients in the high risk groups for developing complications from coronavirus will be asked to delay non essential dental treatment for as long as possible until the trend of the pandemic is clear. We will be unable to see patients in high risk groups until the National alert level drops to level 2 except for triaged emergencies.
We will be operating contactless payment systems going forwards and we will request that payment is made over the phone prior to your appointment wherever possible. This reduces the need for unnecessary contact or use of pin entries on card terminals at reception.
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 the building.
The front door will remain locked.
When you attend the practice, please bring as few personal belongings as possible as these will have to be kept in a secure box whilst you are having treatment.
If your temperature is above 37.8 degrees you will be unable to enter the practice and will be asked to return home and self-isolate as per current guidelines.
The waiting room will be out of use for patients.
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.
The restroom will be out of use to minimise the risk to our patients. Please ensure you have been to the toilet before you attend your appointment.
Please use the hand sanitiser when you enter the building.
Rubber dam or other barrier mechanisms will be used for lengthy procedures.
Our team has been looking at every aspect of our practice by removing all non-essential items that potentially can be a source of infection.
You will find that the practice may 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.
We will be allowing time between patients to allow additional decontamination procedures, allow for any treatment over-runs 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 this will cause.
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.
For all aerosol procedures we will be required to wear an enhanced level of PPE for your protection and the safety of our staff. We are still the same happy team underneath all the layers.
The vast majority of our patients are healthy and without coronavirus infection and we are confident that we are able to provide dental care for these patients in as normal a way as possible while bearing in mind our responsibilities to mitigate risks of spread of infection spread as far as is practically possible. This policy will be constantly reviewed and updated as necessary.
Finally we would like to remind you that we will take every step to reduce the risk of Covid-19 infection, however we cannot eliminate the risk 100%. Covid 19 can be contracted in any setting, in supermarkets, bus stops, cafes, restaurants. Please remain alert to minimise the spread of Covid 19. At present we are advising ALL vulnerable/ shielded patients and those above the age of 70 to contact us ONLY in case of an emergency or severe dental pain. This is for your safety and well-being.
If you have any questions regarding this policy or about your dental care at So Dental please do not hesitate to contact us on 01354 692742 or [email protected].
We look forward to seeing you soon,
With all our best wishes,
and So Dental Team.