COVID 19

Coronavirus COVID-19 Update

Following Government guidelines, the surgery has now reopened. We are initially prioritising those with the most urgent dental needs, with a view to resume routine dental care as soon as we can.

We are seeing patients by appointment only, please continue to call us for advice and support.

 

Although our practice has reopened please note it will not be business as usual. The treatments you are offered may be different to those you received before, depending on staff and personal protection equipment ( PPE ) available. It will take some time before services return to what you previously experienced as normal. Please be patient with us while we work towards resuming normal dental services in a safe environment.

 

You may see some changes when it is time for your next appointment. We made these changes to help protect our patients and staff. For example:

 

  • Our practice will communicate with you beforehand to ask some screening questions. You’ll be asked those same questions again at your appointment
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  • We have hand sanitiser that we will ask you to use when you enter the practice.
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  • We no longer offer magazines, children’s toys and so forth, since those items are difficult  to clean and disinfect
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  • Appointments will be managed to allow for social distancing between patients. That might mean that you’re offered fewer options for scheduling your appointment.

 

We will do our best to allow greater time between patients to reduce waiting times for you, as well as to reduce the number of patients in the reception area at any one time.

 

How you can help:

  • Please do not arrive without an appointment
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  • Please do not arrive early to the practice. Once you have arrived, please call the practice by phone      on 01992 462 043 and check in with reception. You should then wait outside the practice until called in by a nurse.
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  • Please limit the number of things you bring with you to your appointment. ONLY bring  necessary items.
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  • Please bring your own pen to sign any consent forms
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  • We may ask you to complete your medical history form at home and bring it in at your appointment. Please ensure all parts are completed and all medications are recorded on this form
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  • With the exception of children and patients with carers, patients should come alone
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  • Only one consenting adult will be able to escort a child.
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  • A face covering must be worn by anyone escorting a child or vulnerable adult into the building. This cannot be provided by the practice due to PPE shortages. All our PPE will be needed to treat our patients and protect staff and patients.
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  • A distance of at least 2 metres must be observed if another patient is present in the dental practice
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  • Payment should be made by card where possible and we will sometimes request this over the phone. If cash payment is to be made, please make sure you bring the cash in a plastic bag. Staff will not shake your hand
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  • If you show symptoms following appointment booking, you should contact the practice by phone for advise

 

The welfare of our staff and patients is extremely important to us moving into this next stage in providing your dental care.

We look forward to welcoming everyone back

 

The Team at Hoddesdon Dental Surgery

 

Re-opening of dental practice.

This page will be updated regularly on the operation of our dental services.

The government has announced the easing of lock-down measures for dentistry commencing 8th June 2020.

Throughout the pandemic, we have been clear that our first priority is the wellbeing of our patients and staff and this continues to be the case

There will be some limits to the service to ensure patient safety. During Covid19 pandemic supplies of PPE have been restricted and so the pace at which we work will be limited by ongoing availability of PPE. The practice has been undertaking and will continually undertake various risk assessments in respect of:

  • Health and well-being of personnel
  • Availability of PPE
  • Safety of the work environment for staff and patients
  • Efficacy of dental tools to minimise aerosol
  • Adherence to evidence-based standard operating  procedures which will evolve as new evidence of health promotion and cross-infection control emerges

Aerosol Generating Procedures in Dentistry

Many procedures performed in dentistry generate a fine mist of airborne particles which can be respired and may contain airborne pathogens. Whereas there is compelling empirical evidence to suggest that transmission of air-borne pathogens is extremely low, with no recorded community outbreaks as a direct result of dental procedures across the world, we wish to operate safely, and aerosol generating procedures in dentistry will need to be carefully controlled and planned, particularly for the next few months.

In the next few weeks

Our dental hygienists are hoping to commence operating a more limited services soon. Hygienists will undertake gum treatments in a manner as to minimise aerosol. This may involve more use of non-aerosol generating hand scalers.

We are working towards commencing aerosol generating procedures with the dentist but we will initially be offering limited appointments.

All our staff have been ongoing process of training to help them manage your care in the safest way possible based on the latest guidelines

You will notice some differences in how we work

You will notice some differences to the traditional delivery of dental care. Some of the processes described below require extensive hardware and software platform changes and this will take several weeks to implement:

  • There will be wider appointment hours to enable buffer zones and reduce traffic and promote social distancing
  • Early appointments will be available for those who are shielding or who are vulnerable to maximise their safety
  • There will be a greater focus on telephonic consultation prior to an appointment  to minimise the time that you spend  in the building
  • Patients will receive a telephonic/elctronic form based COVID19 risk assessment prior to attendance
  • There will be restricted entry with a maximum number of patients in the building at any one time, and only patients who are receiving treatment will be permitted to enter unless there is a pressing need for an accompanied person with parental responsibility or to assist an older adult physically or for mental capacity reasons
  • Patients should attend without large bags, coats (where practical), 
  • Patients will be asked to bring a mouth covering if needed to wait on the premises.
  • All  patients will need to sanitise hands on entry to our building
  • Some areas of the building will have guided entry  to avoid patients touching door handles
  • Some aerosol based dental appointments will be longer with view to completing ALL work in one day to avoid re-appointing. This will naturally be subject to extent of work needed and ability and willingness to tolerate longer dental procedures.
  • Our staff will wear additional PPE for your protection and protection of the dental team to minimise the potential for community spread
  • We would respectfully ask patients to pay via card 

Maximising social distancing

Where feasible we will operate  a policy of waiting in vehicles and be called in to the surgery by a ‘Patient Guide’ so as to not congest waiting rooms. We realise this is not possible where a Car Park is not adjacent to a practice, nor will it be practical to wait outside in winter months. The practice policy on waiting outside will evolve as the R value.

Our Standard Operating Procedures

There is currently no universally accepted method of working  for dental practices. Various opinion pieces, grey literature and scientific reports have been published. Me and my team have researched most of the published guidance from various dental governing bodies, including the Faculty of General Dental Practice,  the Centres for Disease Control and the World Health Organisation and have developed our own standard operating procedures to maintain patient safety and the safety of our workforce. We believe that these are currently more comprehensive than any published document we have currently seen. This will be available for your perusal on request via the practice manager.

Minimising community spread of disease

We will be  providing  frequent training to all  staff members to ensure they can effectively and safely support your dental care in the post COVID era. Our receptionists will be wearing PPE. Our clinical staff will be wearing enhanced PPE, particularly face visors and respirators. This is for your protection and to minimise the possibility of community transmission of airborne pathogens, not limited to coronavirus.

We  ask all patients to risk assess themselves and decide if they are COVID-19 free and fit enough to receive non-essential treatment at this time and defer any non-essential treatment. 

If you require advice before attending your appointment please phone and request that one of the clinicians undertake a telephonic consultation before arranging your appointment. 

We are looking to be of service once again for our community and progressively work towards rebuilding our service in a safe manner. In doing so, we will not forget the many lessons learned by Coronavirus, and remember to treasure old values of community spirit, friendship and family.

We are looking forwards to seeing you soon and rebuilding our lives.

With our best wishes.  Stay healthy.