We’d like to inform all our patients of the steps we’re taking to ensure we can safely reopen our dental practice.
BYWAYS DENTAL PRACTICE
Post COVID-19 reopening policy
This policy has been created based on multiple updated sources from within the dental, medical professions and the government.
It outlines modifications to our normal procedures that we intend to employ when we are allowed open from Monday 8th June.
It is not known at this time whether these procedures are temporary or whether they will become a permanent feature of the way dental practices must be run to ensure patient and staff safety in the future.
The worldwide COVID-19 pandemic is still being evaluated and studied and policies and recommendations are likely to change in line with new scientific evidence over time.
We would like to thank all our patients for their patience and forbearance during the period of temporary practice closure and for their understanding and cooperation whilst we implement new measures at the practice.
We will of course be providing dental care to all our patients in the safest possible environment. We greatly appreciate your assistance with any new or modified procedures at the practice.
We are looking at ways to temporarily increase our working hours to get through the patient load. Please do be patient with us as we will try out best to get through everyone’s appointments as soon as we can.
We understand in such a small community people often just walk into the practice for services such as booking appointments and purchasing sundries. We regret we are at present unable to let the general public in without a prior booked appointment. We kindly request that all appointments are made or changed via phone or email. If you wish to purchase sundries, again, please call or email so we can arrange this for you. We may ask for payment in advance over the phone and our reception staff will prepare the required sundries for you ready for your collection.
Patient communication before reopening
We will be contacting patients and confirming appointments ahead of their scheduled time.
We will request that all patients who are attending an appointment to update their medical and dental history forms. These forms are to be filled out in the practice, but we are working on them to be sent electronically to be completed at home.
New measures to reduce the risk of Covid 19 Transmission
Our normal cross-infection control protocols at Byways against all previously known pathogens are already woven into all clinical activity carried out at the practice.
It should be remembered that a dental practice is already a very clean environment compared to public areas and there is no evidence of COVID-19 transmission occurring in increased rates in dentists or their staff.
We have collectively evaluated all the updated guidance and observed what measures have been put in place in other countries. We feel that the measures which are outlined in this policy will reduce risk to the minimum level at the practice.
Please be assured that all our clinical staff will also be complying with our updated procedures to reduce the risk of cross infection in both directions.
Before Attending at the Practice
We will carry out a pre-attendance assessment at least two or three days before your appointment and, if necessary, a follow-up telephone conversation to assess relative coronavirus infection risk.
A dentist may also carry out a video consultation with you to assess your dental problem prior to your visit so that a treatment plan and cost estimate can be sent to you. If we feel that you are at risk of having possibly been infected, even if you are asymptomatic, we will respectfully request for you to delay booking any appointments with us for at least 14 days.
If you fail to attend your appointment, then you may be charged for the length of the appointment.
We recommend that patients in the high-risk groups for developing complications from coronavirus delay non-essential dental treatment for as long as possible until the trend of the pandemic becomes clear. If you are in a high-risk group and do require treatment, we will schedule your appointment at the beginning of the day. To find out whether you are in a high or very high-risk group please see the link here.
Byways Dental Practice will be operating contactless payment systems as far as possible going forward. We may request that payment is made over the phone for your appointment prior to you attending.
When travelling to the practice, we would recommend that you limit close contact with other members of the public as far as possible. On arriving to the practice, please could you phone us to tell us you have arrived. We will then ask you to wait in the car or outside until we are ready for your appointment. One of our staff members will call you when we are ready for you and bring you straight into the surgery. One adult can attend with a child; please do not bring additional family members with you unless they are happy to wait in the car or outside the building.
Arriving at the practice
When you attend the practice, we will welcome you, and ask for you to hang your coat or jacket in the front entrance to the practice. We may ask you to put shoe covers on. The front door will remain locked; however, we cannot accept liability for personal items so please limit what you bring into the building. We would appreciate if you can ensure the door is closed fully behind you.
We will take your temperature with a no-touch thermometer. If your temperature is above 37.8°C, you will be unable to enter the practice and will be asked to return home and self-isolate as per current government guidelines.
We intend to eliminate waiting inside the practice and at reception. Accordingly, appointments will be staggered so that patients do not arrive or leave at the same time as other patients as far as we are able to manage.
When using the restrooms, please do your best to ensure that you leave the facilities as you would expect to find them and wash your hand thoroughly. The restrooms will be regularly disinfected between patients.
If you are well, we will direct you straight to the surgery and request that you do the following before or during your appointment:
Use the hand sanitiser in the reception area or
Thoroughly wash your hands for 30 seconds with the antiseptic hand wash provided in the surgery
We may ask you to use a Hydrogen Peroxide mouthwash before some dental treatments are provided
Rubber dam or other barrier mechanisms may be used for more procedures than previously.
The Byways team have spent time critically looking at every aspect of the practice with a view to removing all non-essential items that can potentially be the cause of infection.
You will find that the practice may appear to be quite bare when you attend.
We regret that during this interim period, we will not have available any newspapers, magazines or toys in the interests of reducing all opportunities for cross infection to a minimum.
All clinical and common areas including door handles and surfaces will be regularly disinfected in addition to our normal surface cleaning protocols between patients.
We have installed a screen at the reception desk, much the same as you now see in supermarkets
Byways will be providing a buffer period between patients to allow additional time for additional decontamination procedures, allow for any treatment overruns and allow preparation time for the next patient so that they do not need to wait in the reception area.
All future appointments will be made and confirmed by email or telephone to limit your time spent at reception.
All dental staff will be using personal protective equipment in line with current recommendations and evidence.
We apologise in advance for the necessary reduction in social interaction that this will necessitate. Whilst our masks may make us appear impersonal and distant, please be assured we are still the same friendly team underneath it all!
We are especially mindful that many dental treatments are aerosol-generating procedures (AGP’s). It is difficult for us to carry out some dental procedures without generation of some level of aerosol. Aerosol suspended in the air is a theoretical source of infection which we obviously wish to keep to a minimum. Currently the dental literature suggests:
Our use of our normal high-volume suction reduces aerosol production by over 90%.
The use of dental rubber dam where possible reduces bio aerosols by a further 30 to 90%
Our regular surgical facemasks filter approximately 60% of remaining airborne particles. FFP2 and FFP3 masks filter 94% and 99% respectively of airborne particles in both directions (patient to clinician and clinician to patient).
We therefore feel that our normal dental procedures can be carried out with minimal risk using high-volume suction, rubber dam, surgical and FFP2 masks and, in aerosol generating procedures FFP3 masks as appropriate.
Despite the financial impact of the coronavirus, Byways will not be increasing its normal fees unless necessary. However, the time taken to carry out treatment sessions may need to be extended which will be included into the fees for your procedure.
The vast majority of our patients are otherwise healthy without coronavirus infection and we are confident that we are able to provide dental care for these patients in as normal an environment as possible while bearing in mind our responsibilities to mitigate risks of infection spread as far as is
This policy will be constantly reviewed and updated as necessitated by circumstances
If you have any questions regarding this policy or about your dental care at The Byways Dental Centre please do not hesitate to contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or 01491 680412