Following the sudden announcement from our professional bodies recently we are incredibly pleased to announce that we will be opening our dental practice officially on Monday 8th June!
We have thoroughly missed you all, Covid certainly made time for life reflection and appreciation of the smallest things, like simple daily interaction and chats with others, which we took so much for granted. Your messages of support have been of immense comfort to us. I cannot begin to tell you how much it has meant to each and every member of our team.
Like the rest of the world we will be moving forward and operating in our “new normal” capacity to ensure the safety of all our patients and staff alike. We will be shortly sending out emails to those who were midway through procedures and prioritising appointments for those who have had dental emergencies or appointments cancelled, in order of urgency.
We understand that the current situation has been a testing time for everyone, but also that we need to ensure we are still able to care for you and your dental needs. That is why we have been working relentlessly to completely redesign the way we operate so that we can begin to welcome you back safely and as quickly as possible.
Every single decision we have made and the steps we have taken has been with a focus on the safety of you, our team and clinicians. We understand that things may feel different to your usual experience of a dental visit, and that you may be concerned, so here is some information on how your new visit will look and feel. Please do note that our protocols and guidance will be regularly changing to continue to comply with new legislations and guidance as and when we receive them. We will also be creating clinics for those who are most vulnerable, to help minimize contact with others for this group whilst they are at the practice.
Firstly it’s vital, you have any of the symptoms of Covid-19/Coronavirus, please let us know as soon as you can; DO NOT attend your appointment and follow the government guidance around self isolation.
Before your appointment
To ensure that you have all the information easily to hand, we will send you all the key information before your appointment – including who you will be seeing, what treatment you will be having, the cost of your treatment and, what to do when you arrive. It is possible that we may ask you to complete and return a medical history form that will be sent and completed digitally, so please do not print this out and bring with you. We hope to have this new patient portal in place by mid June latest.
On the day of your appointment
Before you depart for the practice, we ask that where possible, you have already visited the lavatory, have ensured that you are hydrated and already brushed your teeth. It is important that you do not bring a large number of things into the practice with you, so please ensure you only bring necessary items with you.
When you arrive, the doors will be locked, so please call to let our team know you have arrived and either stay in your car or outside the practice in a safe place (whilst maintaining good social distancing protocol) if you have arrived on foot. We will notify you via your phone when you should enter the practice. To minimise risk, please ensure you attend your appointment alone unless you require assistance or are supporting a child or someone vulnerable. We are encouraging online payments, card payments preferably contactless like Apply pay or Zip Pay (please download the apps in advance of your appointments to minimise time) where possible. This crucial step greatly reduces touch points at the practice.
Entering the practice
When it is time for your appointment, one of our team will call you to notify you to approach the practice. Please let us know if you do not have a mobile phone beforehand and we will make alternative arrangements. Before entering the practice, one of our trained team will take your temperature to ensure you do not have a fever and invite you in if your temperature is safely below 37.5 degrees centigrade. Unfortunately, if you are above 37.5 degrees, we will have to rearrange your appointment for the safety of all those in practice.
Once you have been invited into the practice, you will be asked to sanitise your hands and correctly place a facemask on, which you will be shown how to do. We will require payment before your appointment (if appropriate), ideally by card, using our freshly disinfected card machines to ensure you can have a swift departure once your treatment has finished. Our reception team may be behind protective plastic screens, but this is for the safety of everyone. No other patients will be waiting in the reception area and you will be guided straight to the appropriate treatment room.
Please try to attend your dental appointment with as few personal belongings as possible. Avoid bringing large bags, shopping, and overalls.
Upon entering the treatment room, our team will be wearing extra Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in order to provide you with the right care and service, as they cannot adhere to social distancing recommendations. This may mean that it is more difficult to see our colleagues and clinicians’ faces, but please be reassured that they will be the usual friendly team. Naturally we are also ensuring that each treatment room is carefully cleaned and disinfected after each patient. You will be asked to wash your hands or use hand sanitizer and to place your mask into a plastic bag.
If you are attending for a treatment that requires an Aerosol Generating Procedure (AGP) – any procedure that has the potential to cause spray – you will be asked to carefully rinse your mouth with a hydrogen peroxide solution for 1 minute. We will talk you through this on the day.
After the appointment
When your treatment is complete, you will replace your face mask. Before you leave the practice, you will dispose of your mask at the door and leave after using hand sanitizer one last time, before we say goodbye. If you have any questions after the appointment, we will be able to call you to discuss this further as our aim is to minimise your time in the practice, for your own safety.
We hope that the above ensures that you can rest assured when visiting that every step has been taken to ensure the safety of you, our colleagues and clinicians. This is our top priority as we begin reopening our doors and return to providing you with the same standard of excellent dental care that you deserve. If you have any questions at all regarding our new practice experience, please do not hesitate to contact us.
May I also take this opportunity to thank you all individually for your continued loyalty and constant referrals over the past 20 years (cannot believe the time!) I am so grateful and humbled to all who continue to support us.
I look forward to entering this new era together. I personally feel like I have grown up with many of you, shared in your life journeys and you in mine. So looking forward to our continued journey together.
Keep safe and see you all soon.