Attending the practice
An update for patients ...
We hope that this initial information document finds you and your family in good health. Our communities have been through a lot over the past few months, and all of us are looking forward to resuming our routines, as normally as possible.
We would like to thank you for your patience and continued support during this period of no face-to-face contact. We are now preparing to welcome you back.
Once we re-open, you will notice a few changes across the practice. We would like to reassure you that we are dedicated to providing isolated dental care that is safe for you, safe for us and safe for the community. Below outlines the main changes that you will notice and experience prior to, and during your visit to us at the Dental Wave.
Although we have started preparing for re-opening a while ago, there remains a great many more measures to be put in place, before we can safely provide any treatment. We will do our upmost to keep you updated on this.
Due to the new measures we have to adopt, there may be an unavoidable increase in fees for treatment. Originally the cost of our personal protective equipment was relatively low, however with the increase and change in equipment needed for us to be able to carry out treatment, the practice is no longer able to absorb the full cost of this. We will experience a loss of income generating time due to extended appointments and mandatory surgery down time between the appointments. Without this protective equipment, allocated time slots and extra surgery disinfection time, we would not be able to provide any face-to-face treatment. There are many of us that face a challenge to serve the public safely, especially in the dental sector, including providing safe treatment and the immense costs that accompany this. We are currently working on more affordable options for our patients.
We will initially be seeing:
- Patients with an emergency and/or dental need
- Patients with incomplete treatment prior to lockdown
- Patients with cancelled appointments due to lockdown
- Patients with urgent periodontal (gum) disease, who usually require 3 monthly treatments
- Membership patients (if you would like to find out more information on this please contact our reception team)
Before attending the practice
We will carry out a pre-attendance assessment, via your completed medical history/assessment form. These will be sent to you via email for you to complete and sign. If you do not have an email one of staff members will go through the form with you over the phone. We will contact you to assess your coronavirus infection risk prior to your appointment.
If necessary, our clinicans, Dr Salzl or Dr Vanatoru, may carry out a telephone/video consultation via our new software, Smilemate. This will enable us to assess and treatment plan any dental problems you may have. This will also help us to provide you with a treatment plan and cost estimate for any treatment needed to maintain and restore your dental health.
If we feel that you are at risk of having possibly being infected, even if you are asymptomatic, we will respectfully request that you delay booking any appointments for at least 30 days. We recommend that patients in high risk groups for developing complications from Covid-19, delay non-essential dental treatment for as long as possible.
We ask that payment is made over the phone in advance, or by contactless card payments at the practice. We are trying to avoid cash payments where possible.
When arriving for your appointment, please knock on the practice door and wait outside until one of our staff members comes to greet you, the practice door will be locked. Please try and arrive as close to the time of your appointment as possible. We ask that you do not bring anyone in with you to your appointment, unless it is absolutely essential i.e a carer. We will ask that any additional persons wait outside the practice. One adult is able to attend with a child, other family members will be asked to wait outside the practice.
We will require you to use the hand santizer provided on entering and leaving the practice. We will also take your temperature upon entering, with a non-touch thermometer. If your temperature is above 37.8°C, you will be unable to enter the practice and will be asked to return home and self-isolate as per government guidelines.
We encourage you to attend with your own mask, but of course if you do not have one, we will provide you with one on attendance to the practice. We also strongly advise that you attend your appointment with as little personal belongings as possible. Although our front door will be locked, we cannot accept liability for personal items.
We intend to reduce the amount of people in the waiting area at the same time, therefore appointments will be staggered to avoid no more than 1-2 patients being in the practice at once.
Please do your best to use a toilet facility before attending your appointment. Access to the practice facilities will be restricted, however please ask reception if you need to use them urgently.
You will also notice the waiting room may look a bit different than usual as we have protective screens in place around the reception and waiting area. We have temporarily removed magazines and other reading material, since these items can be a source of transmission and may be difficult to clean and disinfect. All clinical and communal areas will be regularly disinfected, including door handles, in addition to our normal surface cleaning protocols between patients. Please avoid touching any surfaces whilst at the practice.
You will notice that the staff will be wearing more personal protective equipment than normal to keep you and them safe – but remember behind our gear, we are still the same friendly team ready to welcome and assist you!
With regards to treatment procedures, many of these produce some level of aerosol. Aerosol suspended in the air is a potential source of infection, which we obviously want to keep to a minimum. In line with guidance from our relevant governing bodies, in order to reduce the spreading of the aerosol, we will use our high-volume suction, rubber dam where possible and staff will be wearing relevant fit tested FFP masks, water resistant gowns, visor and hadcover. We will also keep the windows open as much as possible.
Once inside the surgery, you will be asked to rinse your mouth out with antibacterial rinse (please inform us prior to this of any allergies or intolerance to small traces of alcohol). You will also be asked to wash your hands before and after any treatment.
We have reviewed your dental care management in accordance with the new recommended protocols and have made sure are staff are appropriately trained, to ensure we continue to provide you with outstanding dental care.
We will do our very best to keep you informed of our progress and we look forward to seeing you again soon.