Dental Care During Covid-19 & Lockdown #3
During the third national lockdown, the team at 76 are here to support you for all your dental needs.
Rest assured, the practice have implemented the highest standard of infection control and hygiene measures to provide a secure environment and ensure the safety of our patients and staff members. It has been confirmed by the UK’s Chief Dental Officer and the government that dental services are to continue and remain open during this period.
Whilst there may be certain rules we must follow during this challenging time, the government have confirmed that visits to your dentist are deemed essential and by law, you are allowed to travel for this purpose.
AHEAD OF YOUR APPOINTMENT
It is essential for patients to complete the online health screening & medical history forms which are sent by email a few days ahead of their upcoming appointment. The practice has the right to cancel should these forms not be completed in advance.
The patient will be advised to brush their teeth and take their temperature (if possible) prior to attending. Your temperature should be below 37.8 centigrade in order to attend.
If you have any new symptoms on the day of the appointment, please contact the practice and we will rearrange your appointment.
AT THE PRACTICE
Following use of our hand sanitiser and temperature check stations at the main reception, you will be able to access the practice.
We will also provide you with a face mask (PPE) to wear whilst in the practice if you do not have one already and we will confirm there have been no changes to your health screening upon arrival.
We understand that social distancing measures must be encouraged and adhered to, for that reason we kindly request the following:
- Arrive to the practice within 5 minutes of the appointment start time to reduce patient to patient proximity and minimise congestion.
- Attend alone unless attending with a parent or guardian, but only one please.
- We may ask you to wait in another quiet area of the building ahead of your appointment.
At present, we will not be increasing our prices. We will, however, be introducing a coronavirus protection measures charge to reflect the increased level of PPE and hygiene equipment within the practice.
Grade 1 – No Charge
Grade 2 – £20.00
Grade 3 – £50.00
We hope to eliminate these fees once it is safer for us to operate with our standard PPE. For those attending the practice for appointments with more than one patient, this fee will be charged once (on the day of treatment) to the household and not individually.
INFECTION CONTROL MEASURES
Controlling infection is essential.
At 76 Harley Street, our cross-infection control procedures are adhered to strictly by all members of the team. We pride ourselves on providing a clean environment where you, our patients and us, as the team can operate and interact safely, so no change there!
We have looked at all areas which can be the potential cause of cross infection and have implemented the following additional measures.
1. Staff Lateral Flow Antigen Testing
The practice keeps in stock lateral flow antigen tests that can be carried out if any staff members feel that they have been exposed and need confirmation before commencing work. Lateral flow antigen testing detects the presence of the COVID-19 viral antigen from a swab sample. The test is administered by handheld device, producing results in 15 minutes and can be self-administered by the practice principle dentist.
2. Increased PPE & Equipment
The practice is committed to providing a gold-standard level of protection for our patients and staff members. We have therefore employed an upgrade to our PPE protocol influenced by recommendations and scientific evidence, along with air purifiers in each surgery.
PPE is for your safety and ours and we apologise in advance that it may seem impersonal, but rest assured, we are a friendly team and there is a smile underneath the mask!
3. Antiseptic Mouth Wash
On arrival to the clinical area, you will be asked to rinse your mouth with an antiseptic mouth wash.
4. Digital Impressions
We can now take 3d digital impressions and can avoid the less pleasant impression materials.
5. Video Call Consultation
The practice will now adopt video conferencing and telemedicine services in order to help those who wish to seek dental advice and diagnostics to limit risk of transmission by not entering the practice.
This is recommended for patients with underlying medical conditions and/or are over 70 years of age, and are requested to shield as outlined by the government.
6. Waiting Room Restrictions
We regret that during this interim period, tea and coffee services will not be available by the reception team.
We have also removed all non-essential items from the waiting area including magazines, books and newspapers.
YOUR QUESTIONS & CONCERNS ANSWERED
Is there anything I should do ahead of my appointment?
Ahead of your appointment, we kindly ask that you complete the necessary forms online as requested within your appointment confirmation email. If you or anyone within your household is presenting any of the coronavirus related symptoms, or have travelled from a country on the quarantine list, we ask that you contact us immediately to reschedule your appointment.
On the day of your appointment, please brush your teeth before leaving and ensure to bring a face mask which you will be required to wear within the common areas.
If I need to cancel my appointment due to Covid-19, will I be charged a cancellation fee?
The practice will not be charging patients late cancellation fees for any Covid-19 related reason.
The cancellation policy however does stand and we do require 48 hours notice if you’re unable to attend or would like to cancel.
Have staff members at 76 been vaccinated?
The government recently confirmed that dentists and those in patient facing roles are categorised under healthcare workers within the vaccination programme which therefore means our staff are eligible for the vaccine immediately. A number of our dentists and nurses have received the first vaccination and we hope for the rest of the team to receive their 1st vaccination by the end of January 2021.
How are the PPE grades (coronavirus protection measures) charged?
The coronavirus protection measures charge will continue to be charged until we can operate with our usual PPE (before the first lockdown began).
Charges are incurred by the following:
Grade 1 – no fee – post-operative assessment
Grade 2 – £20.00 – routine dental reviews and hygiene appointments
Grade 3 – £50.00 – surgical appointments (aerosol generated)
The higher the grade, the higher risk of transmission therefore there is an increased level of PPE.
Thank you for your cooperation.
Will I be charged the coronavirus protection measures at each appointment?
The coronavirus protection charge will only be charged once on the day of your appointment.
If, for example, you are seeing both the dentist and hygienist on the same day, you will only incur one charge.
For family members attending appointments on the same day, they too will only be charged once.
The charge will only be incurred at each appointment when they’re on different dates.
ORAL HYGIENE AT HOME
Whilst dental hygiene may not be everyones’ top priority during these unprecedented times, I would still like to reinforce the importance of home care in the prevention of gum disease such as gingivitis, periodontitis, & also tooth decay.
Here a few points of what I would recommend daily:
– Brush x2 daily with an electric toothbrush
– Floss or use interdental brushes x1 daily
– Spit not rinse fluoride toothpaste
– Use non alcoholic but fluoridated mouthwash at alternate times to toothbrushing
– Ensure that you are not consuming too many sugary snacks or drinks during this period (this includes dried fruits!)
These are really difficult times but I hope and wish that everyone stays safe and well.