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Coronavirus Update.

To our Patients and Friends of Smilecare Dental Clinic.


Smilecare Dental Clinic Reopening Policy updated 6th November 2020

We are open during this second lockdown as before, please read on for more information.

This policy has been created based on multiple updated sources from within the dental and medical professions and the government. It outlines modifications to our normal procedures that we intend to employ once the practice can be reopened after the COVID-19 pandemic peak has subsided.

It is not known at this time whether these procedures are temporary or whether they will become a permanent feature of the way dental practices must be run to ensure patient and staff safety in the future. The worldwide COVID-19 pandemic is still being evaluated and studied and policies and recommendations are likely to change in line with new scientific evidence over time.

We would like to thank all of our patients during this period of temporary practice closure, for their understanding and cooperation whilst we implement new measures at the practice. We will of course be providing dental care to all of our patients in the safest possible environment. We greatly appreciate your assistance with any new or modified procedures at the practice.

Timetable

The practice reopened on 1st July, we are seeing patients for asessment of pain, broken teeth and essential treatment Our hygienists are available to see patients for hand scaling only. If you have an Implant and want to book a hygiene appointment, we will need to schedule this at a specific time of day, either at 12:15pm or the last appointment of the day.

For routine check ups, we are now booking all routine appointments from the beginning of December, please feel free to email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or text/call 07506179922 to book in.  We will be sending out our regular reminders.  

For all our Health Plan Patients Jan will be checking your plans, bringing everything up to date, and contacting you to confirm,

Patient communication before an appointment

Charlotte and Rachel will be contacting patients to confirm appointments, along with updating each patient’s medical history records, and completing a risk assessment for coronavirus infection before attending the surgery.

Details of new measures at Smilecare to reduce risk of COVID-19 transmission

Our normal cross-infection control protocols against all previously known pathogens are already woven into all clinical activity carried out at Smilecare. It should be remembered that a dental practice is already a very clean environment compared to public areas and there is no evidence of COVID-19 transmission occurring in increased rates in dentists or their staff.

We have collectively evaluated all of the updated guidance and observed what measures have been put in place in other countries. We feel that the following measures will reduce risk to the minimum level at the practice. Please be assured that all of our clinical staff will also be complying with these procedures to reduce the risk of cross infection in both directions.

Before attending the practice

  • Via telephone and/or email we will carry out a pre-attendance medical history and risk assessment the day before your appointment.  If we feel that you are at risk of having possibly been infected, even if you are asymptomatic, we will respectfully request for you to delay booking any appointments with us for at least one month. When you attend your appointment we will ask you to bring in a completed medical history form which we will have emailed/posted to you.
  • 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. To find out whether you are in a high or very high-risk group please see the link below:

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/people-at-higher-risk- from-coronavirus/

  • If you are in a high risk group and do require treatment we will schedule your appointment at the beginning of the day to limit your potential exposure to other patients and aerosols.
  • We request that payment is made over the phone for your appointment, this reduces the requirement for unnecessary contact or use of pin entries on card terminals at reception.
  • When travelling to the practice, we recommend that you limit close contact with other members of the public as far as possible. We will meet all patients outside the building and bring them straight into the surgery. 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 or outside the building.

Arriving at the practice

  • We intend to eliminate waiting inside the practice and at reception. Accordingly, appointments will be staggered so that patients do not arrive or leave at the same time as other patients as far as we are able to manage.
  • When you attend the practice the front door will remain locked and we will welcome you into the practice.
  • We will direct you straight to the surgery and request that you do the following before or during your appointment:
    • Use the hand sanitiser in the reception area or
    • Thoroughly wash your hands in the surgery for 30 seconds with the antiseptic hand wash which will be provided.
    • We may ask you to use a Hydrogen Peroxide mouthwash before some dental treatments are provided
    • Rubber dam or other barrier mechanisms will be used for more procedures than previously.

Practice procedures

•   The Smilecare team have spent time critically looking at every aspect of the practice with a view to removing all non-essential items that can potentially be the cause of infection. You will find that the practice may appear to be quite bare when you attend.

  • 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 buffer period between patients to allow additional time for additional decontamination procedures, allow for any treatment overruns and allow preparation time for the next patient so that they do not need to wait in the reception area.
  • All future appointments will be made and confirmed by email or telephone to limit your time spent at reception.

Dental procedures

  • 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 necessitate. 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 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. Currently the dental literature suggests:
    • Our use of our normal high-volume suction reduces aerosol production by over 90%.
    • The use of dental rubber dam where possible reduces bio aerosols by a further 30 to 90%
    • Our regular facemasks filter approximately 60% of remaining airborne particles.
    • FFP2 and FFP3 masks filter 94% and 99% respectively of airborne particles in both directions (patient to clinician and clinician to patient).
  • We therefore feel that our normal dental procedures can be carried out with minimal risk by the use of high-volume suction, rubber dam and FFP2 masks and, in high aerosol generating procedures FFP3 masks as appropriate.

Summary

The vast majority of our patients are otherwise healthy without coronavirus infection and we are confident that we are able to provide normal dental care for these patients in as normal an environment as possible while bearing in mind our responsibilities to mitigate risks of infection spread as far as is practically possible.

This policy will be constantly reviewed and updated as necessitated by circumstances over time.

If you have any questions regarding this policy or about your dental care at Smilecare please do not hesitate to contact us via telephone: 0208 994 2548  or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Thank you for your support

The Team at Smilecare Dental Clinic

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are you worried that you may need dental treatment?

Here at Smilecare our philosophy is to help our patients become dentally fit with minimal intervention. There is often more than one approach to treatment, so if you are looking for just a second opinion or a conservative treatment plan we can help. Pop in or call us for a welcome pack and a chat with our friendly receptionists: Jan, Charlotte or Rachel.

Do you think you may be told off?

We often find that patients who haven’t seen a dentist for a long time are concerned that they will receive a lecture from us. Here at Smilecare we understand that dentistry can be a daunting prospect, we are good at listening to what you want and any concerns you may have, and we promise not to tell you off.

 

Would you like to be looked after by friendly people who really care?

We believe in looking after our employees so much so they won’t want to work anywhere else. This means that every one at Smilecare will take the time and care needed to look after you. This is reflected in that most of our patients come through personal recommendation via a friend, family member or work colleague. 

Feel free to email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., telephone 02089942548, or just pop in and meet one of our receptionists, Charlotte, Jan or Rachel, we're here to help. 

Opening Hours: Mon, Tues & Thurs 8am to 5pm.  Wed & Fri 8am to 3:30pm

Disabled Access: Please note we have ground floor surgeries for dental and hygiene care.  Feel free to call 02089942548, to discuss your needs.

Website last updated: 5th June 2020

 

 


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