Covid-19: Return to work

Reopening of Terrace Dental Care

You may have heard that dental practices can open to routine care from Monday 8 June and be aware of current news coverage.

Presently we are in the process of implementing changes based on the most current guidelines available, some of which were only published on 4 6 2020. This will mean a new way of working which for many procedures will require the use of enhanced personal protective equipment (PPE). This is in very short supply. Infection control protocols have been updated to reflect the current situation. This inevitably has a significant associated cost.

The safety of all staff and patients is central to the process of reopening. When all guidelines have been published, and we feel we can safely do so, we will be in touch to start booking some appointments. However, it will be unfeasible to start routine care from the outset. Initially, we will be opening for emergency care only and we will likely be limited on the treatment options that will be available to you. We will increase capacity as we are able, based on the current guidelines and availability of appropriate safety equipment.

Looking beyond the short term, the dentistry you once knew will look different and we may have to get used to a ‘new normal’. Below are some examples for changes you will see:

  • Our practice will communicate with you beforehand to ask some screening questions, discuss treatment and go through your medical history.
  • When arriving at the practice, you will be asked further screening questions.
  • We have hand sanitiser that we will ask you to use when you enter the practice. You will also find some in the reception area and other places in the practice for you to use as needed.
  • We no longer offer magazines, children’s toys and so forth since those items are difficult to clean and disinfect.
  • Appointments will be managed to allow for social distancing between patients and to maintain shielding for patients at high risk of COVID – 19. That might mean that you are offered fewer options for scheduling your appointment.
  • When we start seeing people for their routine examinations, it will be unlikely that treatment will be undertaken at the same appointment.

How you can help

  • With the exception of children and patients with carers, patients should come alone.
  • A distance of at least 2 metres must be observed if another patient is present in the dental practice
  • Payment should be made by card where possible
  • Staff will not shake your hand. Although the family feel to our practice is important to all of us, we have to keep conversation to a minimum to limit the time you are in the practice for the safety of everyone.
  • If you show symptoms following appointment booking, you should contact the practice by phone
  • Please do not arrive early to the practice. If necessary, you should wait outside the door.
  • Please do not arrive without an appointment
  • Patients should come wearing a mask if possible or be prepared to wear one.
  • Only bring essential personal belongings.
  • You may be required to put your personal belongings in an isolation box.

Current advice is for us to strongly discourage use of patient toilet facilities. The door to the toilet will remain locked for infection control purposes. Anyone requiring urgent access to the toilet will need to inform the receptionist to ensure staff know the facilities have been used and require full decontamination.

Please be aware the level of treatment we can offer is affected by the Covid 19 risk level. The government will update on the risk level, currently we at level 4 in England.

Until such time as the Covid 19 alert level is between 1-2, all appointments will be made by remote access i.e. telephone and email.  There will be a closed-door policy and all patients and visitors will be directed to follow instructions on the door.

Any patient with signs, symptoms or diagnosis of Covid 19 presenting at the practice will be required to return home immediately and contact NHS 111. If urgent or emergency treatment is indicated in a patient with suspected or known Covid19, referral will be made to the urgent care system.

It is our goal to get back to delivering routine dental care as soon as we can possibly can. In the meantime, we gratefully ask for your patience while we do so and look forward to seeing you here at Terrace Dental Care in the future.

Yours sincerely, All the team at Terrace Dental Care