We are very pleased to be open again.
The extra demands of re-arranging appointments will mean our phone lines have to remain closed to incoming calls initially, although we will do our best to respond to answerphone messages.
If you have a confirmed appointment coming up, then please click ‘New Normal’ for details on attending. You will be asked to confirm you have read this before being seen.
Unfortunately many appointments going forwards will still have to be rescheduled.
Our highest priority will remain the safety of our patients and staff.
Please note: people will only be allowed into the Practice when called in by a member of staff for an appointment – please do not ‘pop-in’ to book an appointment or to purchase ‘sundry’ toothbrushes etc. To help maintain social distancing no appointments will be booked at Reception for the time being, these will all be done over the phone. Clear screens have been installed in Reception and card payments can still be taken (no cash please), but we want to minimise the time patients spend in the building as much as possible. The waiting room is only in use for those with limited mobility and we would request that the toilets are only used in extremis. Patients are advised to only come to the front of the Practice a couple of minutes before their appointment time and to come alone if possible.
The dentists are having to work reduced hours. Any treatment involving the high-speed drill or ultrasonic scaler is known as an ‘Aerosol Generating Procedure’ (AGP). The surgery cannot be used for treating another patient for an hour after the aerosol has stopped. We are working in shifts so that a dentist and nurse can move to another room while the first surgery ‘rests’ before it can be thoroughly cleaned. We will have to carefully structure the day for ‘AGP’ and ‘nonAGP’ appointments. This will require thorough assessment and planning before booking appointments in. As we adjust to the new way of working and more evidence and guidance emerges, we may increase the practice opening hours to help accommodate more appointments.
We have supplies (although still limited) of the necessary Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). The equipment that you will see us wearing will consist of surgical gowns, disposable aprons, masks, visors and gloves. We are the same people underneath it all, but apologise if we are slightly less chatty as breathing is more difficult when wearing the new masks! Training on the many new protocols and policies, along with use of the new equipment has been carried out, we are confident we can provide a safe environment and we are very well practised at maintaining high levels of cross infection control already.
We have records of everyone who has had a problem during our closure, along with all those who have been cancelled. We are initially prioritising those who have had problems and had treatment that was incomplete when we closed, and then we will start to rebook the cancelled routine appointments.
If you have had a problem during the closure that we are unaware of, and would like to be seen relatively soon, then please email us some details rather than waiting to phone up on re-opening. This will relieve pressure on the phone lines at a potentially very busy time.
The financial burden of the extra time required for appointments, keeping surgeries empty and PPE will be significant. We shall try and keep the extent to which we pass this onto our fees to a minimum. There will be changes to the way we work and whether we continue with the same practice structure as before remains to be seen.
We have been overwhelmed by the concern and understanding received from so many of our loyal patients over this difficult time. Thank you so much for your patience and support.
If you have an urgent problem then please leave a message on the main Practice answerphone on 02380 267141 and we will get back to you. Outside of normal working hours there are details on the answerphone of how to contact our on-call dentist.
If you have a non-urgent problem then please email details to us at email@example.com.
Until we are back to our usual levels of service the following advice may be of help if we are unable to see you immediately: For problems such as broken teeth, lost fillings and lost crowns keep the area clean, sharp edges can be smoothed with a wooden emery board if accessible, but if not, temporary filling kits are usually available from large pharmacies or online, alternatively placing sugar-free chewing gum, orthodontic wax (or the wax from something like “Babybel” cheese) over the area can help reduce any sensitivity as well as smooth any roughness and stop food getting trapped.