We hope this letter finds you your family and friends in good health. Our community, our country our entire world been affected so much over the last few months with this global pandemic. We would like to take this opportunity to show our appreciation and gratitude for your loyalty and your continued support and patience despite the very difficult circumstances we all find ourselves in.
Many things have changed but one thing has remained the same; our commitment to your care and safety.
While we have been unable to see patients face to face, we have remained open every day to answer your phone calls and have been able to help a large number of patients with advice, antibiotics and in a few cases referral to the urgent care centre. We have also been able to provide many patients with temporary filling packs.
On the 28th of May the Chief dental officer of England announced that all dental practices could open from the 8th of June.
Following guidelines and recommendations we have decided to implement a phased return to treatment, starting from the 8th of June. In the first phase we will only carry out urgent non-aerosol generating procedure-based treatments. This is to minimise any aerosol in the surgery which is a potential risk for transmission of coronavirus. As a result, you may find that in this first phase of opening, the full range of dental services may not be available.
We may have to prioritise patients who have been living with significant dental problems for weeks during our enforced closure and that have been waiting for us to open to have their problem attended to. All patients that need an appointment will be contacted.
Whilst we have been shut, the practice has been making preparations for our eventual opening.
We have been investing the time in staff training, risk assessments, revising our standard operating procedures and our practice protocols.
Infection control has always been a top priority for our practice and no doubt you have experienced this during your previous visits. Our practice follows stringent standards of infection control so when you receive care it is both safe and comfortable.
Despite this we have had to update our cross-infection control policies and procedures to closely follow the guidance provided by public health England, the CDO for England and NHS England.
We are also focusing on new practice protocols in order to operate a safe and efficient dental practice for all our patients our staff and the wider community following the COVID-19 crisis. The team are working behind the scenes, in order to ensure your safety. As a result when we return, you will notice some changes when it’s time for your next appointment. We are making these changes and revising our protocols to help protect our patients and our staff. Please be assured a team member will guide you through these changes before your appointment.
Below is a summary of these changes:
Before your appointment: The day before your appointment we will call you to check your Covid-19 status with a few questions; we will also update your medical history and guide you through the procedure for your appointment.
On the day of your appointment: Before leaving from home or work please ensure that you use the lavatory and brush your teeth. Our toilet is not in use for patients at this time. The door to the practice will be closed and you will have to ring the bell to be allowed in. Please do not come too far in advance of your appointment and please attend on your own if you can. Please wear a face mask if possible when you come in.
Please observe our 2m social distancing rules once in the practice.
When you come in please use the hand sanitiser that is available and go to the PPE station where you have the option of donning shoe covers or a hair cover if necessary. Disposable masks will be provided if you haven’t got your own.
Once again, we will record the COVID-19 questions from the day before and record your temperature.
You may see that our waiting room no longer offer magazines and tea/coffee facilities because we have removed any unnecessary furniture to minimise the surfaces that can become contaminated. Water bottles will still be available on request.
You will be called in to the surgery where you will be met with the dental team who are likely to be wearing more PPE than you are accustomed to. This means that it may be more difficult to see any of their faces clearly, but rest assured they are the same friendly dental team you are used to seeing. You may be asked to rinse out with an antiviral/antibacterial mouthwash before any treatment as well as asking you to wash/sanitise your hands before sitting in the dental chair.
Once the dental treatment is completed you will be encouraged to replace your mask and use the hand sanitiser before you leave the practice. We advise you not to go back to the waiting room. We will call you later on in the day to arrange follow-up appointments or to take payments over the phone if needed.
Appointments will be managed to allow for social distancing between patients, this might mean that initially you will have fewer options for scheduling your appointments. We will always try our best to ensure waiting times are minimised, and that you are given an appointment that is convenient for you.
We will implement a daily health screening checkpoint and log for the screening of all staff. All staff will always be wearing the required PPE for the appropriate setting. All communal areas of the practice will be decontaminated throughout the day.
To minimise staff interaction, we will be working in two groups with only one dentist working at one time.
Once we get through the first phase and the full range of dental treatments are available to patients we are committed to catching up on all those routine appointments that we were unable to fulfil whilst we were asked to stay closed for face-to-face appointments. This means that in due course you will have a wider range of appointments to choose from until we get back on track.
In the meantime, please remember that we continue to be available for all our patients on 01179776567 during our normal working hours.
Thank you for your patience and understanding during this crisis. Until then stay safe and we look forward to welcoming you back soon.
Julien, Fathima and the team at KNOWLE DENTAL PRACTICE.ALL NEWS
Contact us with your questions or dental concerns: