This document has been created based on multiple updated sources from within the dental and medical professions and the government. It outlines some of the modifications to our normal procedures that we intend to employ at the practice after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Please read this information carefully before you attend the practice.
We would like to thank all of our patients for their support during the period of temporary practice closure and for their understanding and co-operation whilst we implement new measures at the practice.
The practice will re-open on Monday 22nd June 2020.
We will initially be seeing:
- Patients with emergency problems that require urgent assessment and treatment.
When the lockdown restrictions are further lifted and the COVID alert drops to a safer level, we will be able to see:
- Patients who are due Invisalign reviews
- Patients who were due for routine examinations and hygienist visits during the period of closure
- Patients with incomplete treatment prior to the lockdown
During the initial opening period, our telephone system will be on an answering machine service only. We are working with reduced staff and need to commit to the safety of the patients and team attending the practice.
If you have an emergency and require an appointment, please either leave a message on our answer machine (01772 561748) or email email@example.com with your name and contact telephone number. A member of our reception team will then call you back.
We will be in contact with any patient who had an emergency over the lockdown period.
BEFORE ATTENDING AT THE PRACTICE
On appointment booking, we will carry out a pre-attendance assessment via telephone to assess your coronavirus infection risk.
If we feel that you are at risk of having possibly been infected, we will respectfully request for you to delay booking any appointments with us for at least 14 days. 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 higher risk group and have an emergency, we will schedule your appointment at the beginning of the day or recommend you book a virtual online consultation with our dentists. To find out whether you are in a high or very high-risk group please see the link here.
We will request that payment is made over the phone for your appointment prior to you attending. This reduces the requirement for unnecessary contact or use of the card terminal at reception.
ARRIVING AT THE PRACTICE
When travelling to the practice, we would recommend that you limit close contact with other members of the public as far as possible. 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.
Please arrive to your appointment early/on time and wait in your car. Our reception team will call your mobile when our previous patient has left the premises and you can enter safely.
When you enter the practice, please hang your coat or jacket in the porch entrance. We cannot accept liability for personal items so please limit what you bring into the building, ideally leave your belongings at home or in your car.
You will be asked to sanitize your hands and 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.
You will be asked to report to reception, please stand behind the distancing line marked on the floor. Our receptionist will again run through an assessment to make sure you have had no symptoms since last speaking to us.
You will find that the practice may appear to be quite bare when you attend.
During this interim period, in the interests of reducing all opportunities for cross-infection to a minimum:
- our restroom facilities will be off-limits during this time, so please make sure you have used the toilet before attending
- our waiting room will be closed, you will be taken straight into the dental surgery by a member of our team
- we will not be providing drinking water
- 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 providing a ‘fallow’ period between patients to allow additional time for extra decontamination procedures and allow preparation time for the next patient
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 bring. 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 the 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.
Until the COVID alert drops to a safer level, we will not be performing any routine dental procedures and those that involve an AGP (this is in line with current guidance). We will monitor this regularly and update you once we are able to start providing such treatments.
Due to the financial impact of the coronavirus, a surcharge to cover the additional/inflated PPE costs and time taken to carry out extended treatment sessions will be applied. As always, we will inform you of the treatment cost before proceeding and your treatment plan will be emailed to you.
This document will be constantly reviewed and updated as necessitated by circumstances over time.
Whilst we are excited to open and see our patients again, we are aware it may be a daunting time for everyone. Please continue to be patient with us while we put these new measures in place and understand they have been put in place for the safety of you and our team.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our team by email firstname.lastname@example.org