Guidelines for patients to help us maximize safety:
• Do not attend the dentist if you have a cough, fever, shortness of breath, or a suspected case of Covid-19.
• Please do not come to the surgery without an appointment. To schedule an appointment please ring or email. We return all phone calls and emails.
• Ideally use your toilet facilities at home before attending the practice.
• Attend alone unless essential. Ideally wait in car to be called in. We will see you promptly at your appointment time. We will advise what to do for children's appointments.
We are committed to safety for staff and patients. We are basing our approach for the COVID19 epidemic on the Dental guidelines published by HSPC 15th May 2020. Evidence base: Read here.
There is no such thing as zero risk when it comes to a potentially airborne virus, but we can minimize the risk as much as possible.
The universal standard precautions that dental practices would've used before this epidemic are to a high standard and minimize risk of surface/fomite spread. Dental staff already wear PPE, practice good hand hygiene, good uniform hygiene procedures, and clean all surfaces/lines to a high standard.
Measures taken to minimize spread from symptomatic patients to staff/patients:
In general the approach beyond these measures taken is to eliminate any symptomatic Covid19 patients attendance at the surgery, this currently is regarded as the major spreader of the disease.
Asymptomatic patients who are unaware they have Covid19 still have some risk of spread, and our main approach is minimizing the risk of contact or droplet spread from these patients. Evidence base: Read here.
Measures taken to minimize spread from asymptomatic patients to staff/patients:
Removed non-essential items from surgeries and waiting areas.
Minimize use of waiting room/w.c
Minimized attendance in surgery (more time per appointment, no multiple patient bookings)
We may take more details than normal over the phone or at the door to minimize time in the surgery Socially distanced staff lunches
No use of cuspidors (spitting) in surgery
Implemented 1% hydrogen peroxide rinse for aerosol generating/higher risk patients. Source.
Higher risk patients may be treated first thing in the day
Hand hygiene for patients on entering and exiting premises
We are NOT using hypochlourous mist cleaning devices, or air transfer systems, as the evidence of effectiveness is low and may even be counterproductive.
Measures taken to minimize spread from staff to staff/patients:
The last danger is spread from staff. Staff temperatures are taken at the start of each day. Staff will not attend if they have any symptoms of respiratory illness. Staff will access rapid COVID-19 testing if displaying any symptoms. When antibody tests become available that are accurate, these will be used. Additional internal work policies will be enacted to reduce risk.