Dentist Covid Rigmarole, Oct 2020

This is what it’s like to have a dentist appointment in the UK the time of Covid:

Dear Patient,

Please read the information below carefully about COVID 19 and your upcoming appointment.

Covid-19 virus has a long incubation period during which carriers of the virus may not show symptoms and still be highly contagious. It is impossible to determine who has it and who does not.

You therefore need to fill in the online triage form before your appointment. We will not be able to see you if you have not filled in the form.

If you answer yes to any of these questions below, please do not attend your appointment and call NHS 111 for advice:

1. Have you tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 7 days?
2. Are you waiting for a COVID-19 test or the results?
3. Do you have any of the following symptoms:

  • New, continuous cough;
  • High temperature or fever;
  • Loss of, or change in, sense of smell or taste?

4. Do you live with someone who has either tested positive for COVID-19 or had symptoms of COVID-19 in the last 14 days?
5. Have you been notified by NHS Test and Trace in the last 14 days that you are a contact of a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 and you do not live with that person?
6. Have you travelled to any country that is on the government quarantine list in the last 14 days?

Dental procedures can create water spray and as it is ultra-fine in nature it can linger in the air for minutes to sometimes hours, which can transmit the Covid-19 virus. We are therefore limiting these procedures and the use of drills at the moment. Due to the frequency of visits of other dental patients, the characteristics of the virus, and the characteristics of dental procedures, there may be an elevated risk of contracting the virus simply by being in the dental practice

We will be following rigorous triage and scheduling protocols to ensure the safety and well-being of you, our patients, and the team members at Orthoclinique and we will have to be very firm in our processes to benefit everyone.

We have temporarily changed some procedures to reflect this and therefore please make sure you have read the following information.

The current advice is to limit certain aerosol producing procedures to limit spread of the virus. As a result there may be a delay until we can carry out certain procedures such as repairs, bond ups (fitting of braces) and debonds (removal of braces) that are known to produce aerosols.

Attending Appointments:

· When you arrive for your appointment, please stay in your car or outside the practice maintaining social distance. The front door will remain locked. Please come to the door 2 minutes before your appointment time.

· Due to the restricted scheduling we will not be able to see you if you arrive late and your appointment will be rebooked.

· Only the patient that is being treated will be allowed to enter the practice. The only exception for this will be for young/anxious patients. Of those, only ONE parent/caregiver may accompany the patient. Absolutely no other family members or friends will be allowed inside.

· Please bring your own face covering and wear it to your appointment. Government guidelines for social distancing and wearing face coverings inside buildings continue. We cannot provide masks so if you do not have face covering, you may not be allowed into the practice.

· Please limit bringing in items and personal belonging into the practice.

· You will be required to sanitise your hands with the alcohol gel at the entrance

· Staff using a touchless thermometer will take your temperature. If your temperature is over 37.8 degrees C, you will be asked to leave and not return for the specified 14-day self-quarantine period.

· You will be asked about any recent exposure to someone with COVID-19 or having signs and symptoms of the same and if so you will be asked to leave, and not return for the specified 14-day self-quarantine period.

· Maintain the social distancing guidelines when in the practice until seated in the treatment chair. Whilst in the waiting area please be seated on the marked chairs

· Only the patient will be allowed into the clinical area and parent/guardian will have to wait in the waiting area to limit potential exposure

· The patient toilet will be closed, so please prepare for that before arrival.

· We ask for understanding while we will try to address all of your treatment needs during your visit due to strict scheduling times. Individuals with broken brackets may not have these repaired due to the risk of aerosols and will be rebooked for separate appointment in the future.

· You will not be able to rinse your mouth in the surgery. If required the staff will use suction to clear out the debris.

· Please don’t be perturbed by the clinicians wearing full PPE and this will make conversation difficult and we are grateful for your understanding.

· We ask you to leave the practice straight after your appointment and we will be in touch to book your next appointment. Please don’t go to the reception desk to do this.

If you or someone in your household develops symptoms of COVID 19 please do not attend for your appointment.

We have had to make these changes made to ensure the health and well-being of our patients and our team. We are taking your safety VERY seriously and we would ask for your patience and understanding.

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