Covid Update

1st December 2020

Our highest priority will remain the safety of our patients and staff.

Under the current restrictions we are still able to remain open. We will be more than happy to welcome you to any appointments during this time, but entirely understand if you prefer to cancel for the time being.

The situation is of course liable to change at very short notice and we may see the reintroduction of further restrictions upon the level of service we are permitted to offer, potentially providing only emergency care rather than ‘routine’ appointments.

We will keep our website updated regularly and if you have any queries on our current level of service please refer to this first.

We expect our phone lines to get extremely busy again, so non-urgent enquiries via email to admin@hursleydental.com are preferable at this time.

We apologise in advance if due to the ongoing pandemic we have to cancel appointments at short notice. With the likely increase in cases over the winter we anticipate occasional staff shortages due to families self-isolating or school closures making childcare difficult for our staff.

Anyone with an appointment should read our page ‘New Normal’ for details on attending. You will be asked to confirm you have read this before being seen.

The information below is an update on how we have been working since reopening in the summer, along with some explanation for why we are doing things the way we are.

We are currently requesting everyone waits outside until called in for their appointment. This is to limit the numbers of people in our Reception/Waiting Room to allow for social distancing. As a busy 7 surgery practice this area has the potential to get crowded. We therefore suggest that you wait in your car until a minute or two before your appointment time and only then come to the front of the building. We do have a few chairs in the waiting room with partitions between them but would request that these are left for those with limited mobility – please do feel free to use them if you are in this category. We do not need you to ‘check-in’ for your appointment, however if you have been waiting more than a few minutes then please check with our receptionists what the situation is.

We would request that people do not just ‘pop-in’ to make an appointment, please do this over the phone or via email. We are also trying to book appointments in the surgery rather than at Reception to reduce the amount of time patients spend in the Reception area. Payment can still be made here, although we are requesting card payments only at present.

We have been learning how to best manage treatments under the new guidelines and restrictions. We are able to carry out most procedures, but some non-urgent treatments may still have to be delayed. Any treatment involving the high-speed drill with water or ultrasonic scaler is known as an ‘Aerosol Generating Procedure’ (AGP). Guidance is that the surgery cannot be used for treating another patient for a period of time after the aerosol has stopped, so we will have to carefully structure the appointment book to accommodate ‘AGP’ appointments.

We have adequate supplies of the necessary Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). 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.

Since re-opening we have discovered that in many cases we require longer appointments – having been closed for 3 months we have more people attending ‘check-ups’ with problems requiring attention, extra measures are required for many treatments and booking future appointments in the surgery all take additional time. This reduces our capacity and therefore represents a significant increase in our overall costs. We are still operating our full opening hours with no reduction in staffing, so all our previous expenses have continued, and we have the additional expense of more PPE and the disposal of it in clinical waste. We have therefore been applying an additional £15 fee for each appointment to help cover these increases in costs. We intend this to be a temporary measure in the hope that things will be able to return to normal soon. This charge does not apply to our Dental Plan patients in acknowledgement that they had continued to make payments while our service was reduced.

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.

Emergency Care

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 admin@hursleydental.com.

Until we are back to normal 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.