Coronavirus

Dear Patient:

You may have heard that dental practices can open to routine care from Monday 8 June.

We are aiming to open the practice during the week commencing Monday 15 June for urgent care only and we just wanted to be clear that this will not be business as usual. The treatments you are offered may be different to those you received before, depending on staff and equipment available. It will take some time before services return to what you previously experienced as normal. Please be patient.

Our community has been through a lot over the last few months, and all of us are looking forward to resuming our normal habits and routines. While many things have changed, one thing has remained the same: our commitment to your safety.

Infection control has always been a top priority for our practice and you may have seen this during your visits to our surgery. Our infection control processes are made so that when you receive care, it’s both safe and comfortable. We want to tell you about the infection control procedures we follow in our practice to keep patients and staff safe.

Our practice follows infection control guidelines made by the governing bodies. We are up-to-date on new guidance that has been issued. We do this to make sure that our infection control procedures are current and adhere to recommendations.

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
  • 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. 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:

  • 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
    • 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 practice
    • Please do not arrive without an appointment
    • Patients should come wearing a mask if possible or be prepared to wear one.

If you have an appointment arranged with us already, we will be in contact in due course to rearrange it.

Sincerely,

The Team at Richmond Dental Care

Advice for patients from the BDA

Why routine dental treatments are not available

Dental check-ups and treatments involve close contact between the dentist and patient and so should not take place. Also, dentists and their teams have to avoid using tools like drills and the ones used for scales and polishes. This is to prevent them from catching the virus from an infected patient and passing it on to other patients.

Drills and other high-speed tools create a lot of ‘spray’ from patients’ mouths so dentists need to use protective clothing and equipment.

COVID-19 has a seven-day period before symptoms show, where someone wouldn’t know they had it and could pass it on to others. If an unsuspecting patient had a filling, the spray from doing that procedure would likely infect the dentist and the nurse.

The personal protective equipment dentists wear when using high-speed tools is currently required by hospitals treating coronavirus patients. Without this equipment dentists, hygienists, therapists and nurses are not safe to treat patients as normal.

What if I have a dental emergency?

Assuming you have not got COVID-19 related symptoms, you should call your practice. They will be able to decide what your options are.

If you believe or know you have COVID-19 and have a dental emergency, please phone NHS 111.

If you have any queries please contact the practice on 0114 239 9296