Following the gentle re-opening of our practice on the 8th June, we are pleased to announce that we are now ready to see patients who require a wider scope of dental procedures. This would include, those patients who require fillings to be replaced, root canal treatments to be completed or crowns to be prepared and fitted. Consultations with the implant specialist (prosthodontist) and the gum specialist (periodontist) are also open for bookings, but overall availability to see the dentists or hygienists may be limited.
Patients that suffer from chronic gum problems such as persistent bleeding or build-up of plaque, would be advised to book in to see the hygienist at their earliest possible convenience. Please be advised that due to the additional costs of PPE and extra measures required for patient safety during this unprecedented time, the charges for hygienist appointments will be £90 for 30 minutes and £120 for 45 minutes.
For AGP (aerosol-generating procedures) involving the dental drill, an additional charge of £45 will be incurred for the patient safety measures taken. We hope that these charges will be reduced once the guidelines have been eased. Please also be aware that our triage policy is still in effect and we will be inviting all patients to submit new medical history forms and COVID-19 screening forms prior to their appointment.
At GSD our normal cross-infection control protocols 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 of 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 of our clinical staff will also be complying with our updated procedures to reduce the risk of cross-infection in both directions.
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 accordingly
GSD will be operating contactless payment systems going forwards. This reduces the requirement for unnecessary contact or use of pin entries on the card terminal at reception.
When travelling to the practice, we would recommend that you limit close contact with other members of the public as far as possible. Once at the practice, we will meet all patients outside the lobby of the practice and bring them straight into the surgery where possible. For children’s appointments only one adult may 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.
The GSD 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. We regret that during this interim period, we will not be providing our filtered water machine 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. GSD will be providing a buffer period between patients to allow extra time for additional decontamination procedures, allow for any treatment overruns and allow preparation time for the next patient.
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, dental literature suggests :
- Our use of our normal high-volume suction reduces aerosol production by over 90%.
- The use of a dental rubber dam where possible reduces bioaerosols 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 by the use of high-volume suction, rubber dam, surgical and FFP2 masks and, in aerosol-generating procedures FFP3 masks as appropriate.
Due to the financial impact of the Coronavirus, GSD will be adjusting its normal fees where necessary to allow for the extra time taken to carry out treatment and the extra protective equipment required for the 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 practically possible. This policy will be constantly reviewed and updated as necessitated by circumstances over time. If you have any questions regarding this policy or about your dental care at Garden Square Dental please do not hesitate to contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org
Amer, Sofi, Prabha and the Garden Square team.