The New Normal
As you know, the Covid 19 pandemic has caused many changes in society and dental practices have been seriously affected. As we re-open you will notice a number of changes. Some of these are listed below:
- All appointments will need to be made in advance. We will not be able to offer any walk-in services for the foreseeable future. Please make your appointment by telephone on 01983 759567 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
- Before attending your appointment we will send you some documents to complete. Please make sure we have your current email address. To make sure, please send an email to us. If you require a check-up appointment please put the word ‘Exam’ in the subject line. For a hygiene appointment please put the word ‘Hygiene’ in the subject line and if you have a problem you’d like examined please put the word ‘Problem’ in the subject line. In all cases please put your full name in the body text as we can’t always work that out from your email address. Please send your email to email@example.com
- If you do not have an email address we will send the necessary documents by post for you to fill in and we will arrange a time to interview you by telephone prior to your appointment. Please make sure you have your completed documents ready when we telephone you so you can easily read out the answers
The documents you receive:
- A medical history update form
- A consent for treatment form
- A questionnaire about your current Covid status
- A questionnaire about the precise nature of your dental problem
At first, appointments will be limited to the treatment of emergencies. Later we will move on to the treatment of other urgent treatments before we can eventually start seeing patients for routine treatments again.
About Your Appointment
When you arrive for your appointment please telephone us on 01983 759567 so that someone can come to open the door for you. Please do not arrive late for your appointment as because of the stringent infection control measures we need to take between patients we may not be able to see late arrivals.
Please bring as little as possible with you when you arrive. We will have a box available for your coat, bag etc but please don’t bring items like shopping or reading matter.
On arrival you’ll be asked to sanitise your hands and be given some protective clothing to wear before you come into the treatment room. Please come unaccompanied whenever possible as we may have to ask escorts to stay outside the building. (Except essential carers or those accompanying small children).
When you come into the treatment room you’ll find the dentist and dental nurse wearing rather more protective equipment than you’re used to. Don’t be alarmed! We think it looks funny as well but it’s for everyone’s protection!
On completing your treatment we’ll make your experience at reception as efficient as possible, then when you leave the building we’ll start our deep-cleaning processes all over again to be able to offer as safe a service as possible to all our patients.
Products for Purchase at the Practice
Please let us know by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone if there are any products you’d like to buy at your appointment (Interdental brushes etc) so that we can have them ready for you.
The stringent infection control measures we now have to arrange as well as the reduced number of patients we will be able to serve each day over the coming months cause considerable costs to be incurred by the practice. Over the years we’ve absorbed most extra costs that we have had to face but this sadly is not possible this time. We have put a revised fee list on the website www.avenueroaddentalpractice.co.uk
The fee for patients requiring an appointment to address an urgent or emergency problem will now rise from its current level of £45.00 to £65.00 + treatment per visit to offset some of the additional costs
Because of the reduced number of appointments available we ask all patients to secure their appointment with a deposit of £50.00 at the time of booking. This deposit will be returned if the appointment is cancelled more than 1 working day in advance.
During the pandemic we can not accept payments by cheque or cash. Please arrange to make payments by credit or debit card or bank transfer.
Rubber Dam Isolation
As part of our protection for patients during the Covid pandemic and on advice from the regulatory bodies we will use rubber dam isolation whenever possible when providing fillings.
This is a standard of excellence that some of our new patients may not have experienced before; despite Rubber Dam having been in use for more than 100 years!
The reasons we use it are:
- The use of rubber dam greatly reduces the aerosol when using high-speed instruments like dental drills. The aerosol is the cloud of mist generated by the air and water spray. Without the use of rubber dam this mist would also potentially include micro-organisms from the saliva and mouth.
- It is the best protection against anything unwanted going down your throat! This includes old filling materials, fragments of teeth and small dental instruments.
- Rubber Dam stops your mouth filling up with water. All that can gather under the Dam is your own saliva which we either suck away or which you can swallow.
- Rubber dam stops chemicals we may use during your treatment entering your mouth.
- Scientists have shown that fillings placed under Rubber Dam Isolation can last much longer than if it is not used, reducing the need for regular replacements.
- Treatment is quicker, safer, more reliable and more comfortable.
A variety of reasons can make it impossible to place rubber dam. In these situations we may recommend the extraction of the tooth as an alternative to fillings. Along with the use of high-volume suction, air exchange and anti-microbial fogging, as well as our stringent cross-contamination procedures, we aim to make our environment as safe and secure as it can be to protect the well-being of both our patients and our dental team members.
Until Monday, 6th of July treatments we can provide will be limited to:
- Examination and assessment of your dental emergency
- Provision of antibiotics and painkillers where necessary
- Extraction of teeth subject to anticipated complexity
- Planning of further treatment
- Provision of temporary fillings
- Desensitising sensitive teeth (where possible)
- Checking the soft tissues of your mouth for early signs of mouth cancer or other diseases
During this initial period we will not be able to provide any treatments which entail the use of a dental drill. We will also not be providing dental hygienist treatments except advice on gum problems
After Monday, 6th July we will additionally provide:
- Urgent treatments that do require the use of the drill
- Repair of dentures
Further services will be introduced when possible.
Regular patients of this practice requiring urgent emergency treatment should still call 01983 759567 for further advice.
Please check the Government’s website for the latest information on COVID-19: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public
COVID-19 Avoidance Advice
There are some simple steps you can take to avoid catching and spreading the virus , such as:
- Wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
- Wash your hands before eating and preparing food
- Avoid all unnecessary travel
- Maintain social distancing and avoid contact with others as much as possible
- Follow government advice
- Always wash your hands when you get home or into work
- Use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
- Put used tissues in the bin straight away and wash your hands afterwards
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth
We hope the ‘new normal’ starts to look more like ‘normal’ very soon! In the meantime we thank you for your patience, send our best wishes to everyone and wish you all good health in the weeks and months ahead.