COVID-19 REOPENING policy

VALE DENTAL PRACTICE COVID-19 REOPENING POLICY

POLICY STATEMENT

This policy has been written based on multiple updated sources from within the dental and medical professions and the Government.  It outlines the modifications to our normal cross infection control regime to be implemented once the Practice reopens.  These measures may or may not be temporary.

It is important to emphasise that our established pre COVID19 cross infection control measures against all previously known viruses and pathogens were of the highest clinical standards and woven into all clinical activity undertaken in the Practice.  Our dental practice was already a very clean environment compared to other public facilities and there is no evidence of COVID19 transmission occurring in increased rates in dentists or their staff.

Building upon these established and proven cross infection control measures, the Practice will be enacting the following additional COVID19 specific protocols to reduce the risk to both patients and staff to the minimum level at the Practice.   

 

NEW MEASURES – BEFORE ATTENDING THE PRACTICE

Pre Appointment Assessment
We will endeavor to contact you by telephone prior to your appointment to ask some Covid screening questions, and you will be asked these questions again at your appointment to ensure nothing has changed. 

If we feel that you are at risk of having been infected even if asymptomatic, we may respectfully request you delay your appointment. 

If you are potentially a high-risk patient requiring emergency treatment that cannot be delayed, then we will seek to schedule your appointment at the beginning of the day.  Please let our reception team know if this applies to you so that they can book your appointment accordingly.

Payments
We will be encouraging a contactless payment system going forward.  We will encourage payments to be made either online via BACs payments (our staff will provide the payment details) or over the telephone prior to your appointment if you do not have means of making a contactless payment(s) during your visit. However, we will accept all forms of payment in the practice as we have alcohol wipes to clean the card machine etc.

Reduced Family Members
You should attend your appointment alone, with the exception of persons accompanying a minor or someone who requires assistance. 

NEW MEASURES – ARRIVING AT THE PRACTICE

Appointment Times

Please arrive on time for your appointment, and not early. As this will allow us to manage the movement of people through the building and ensure social distancing.

Arriving by Car
All patients arriving by car, please use the allocated patient parking at the rear of the Practice.  If you arrive early for your appointment then it is advised that you remain in your car and call the Practice to record your arrival, if possible.  Once the dentist is ready to see you, you will be called by the receptionist and you will be able to go directly into the surgery. 

Hand Sanitisation
A hands-free hand sanitiser is located in the waiting room.  All patients are asked to use and apply the alcohol base gel before entering the surgery.

Waiting Areas
Within the Practice there are three designated waiting areas with appropriate markings on the floor consistent with social distancing guidelines.  We ask that each waiting area is only occupied by one family group and that you remain seated where possible.

Rest Room
We encourage patients not to use the washroom, however, if having to do so then please thoroughly wash your hands for 30 seconds.  The Rest Room will be regularly disinfected between patients.

NEW MEASURES – SURGERY PROCEDURES 

Mouth Wash
We may ask you to use a Hydrogen Peroxide mouthwash before some dental treatments are provided. 

Disinfection
All clinical and common areas including door handles and surfaces will be regularly disinfected in addition to our normal and well-established cleaning protocols.  

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
All dental staff will be using enhanced PPE in line with current evidence and clinical guidelines. Please note this will degrade the level of social interaction with patients.  This may feel like a less friendly service but please be assured we are still the same friendly team underneath it all!

Aerosol Generating Procedures
We are very mindful that a number of dental procedures generate aerosol-generating procedures (AGPs).  It may be difficult for us to carry out some dental procedures without generating some level of aerosol but this risk can be minimised by:

– Our normal high volume suction reduces aerosol production by over 90

– The use of a dental rubber dam where possible reduces bio aerosols by a further 30 to 90%

– Our new FFP2 and FFP3 masks filter out 94% and 99% respectively of airborne particles

– The risk can be further reduced by increasing surgery circulation through the simple task of opening a window and rest assured patient confidentiality will be maintained.  

Risk Management
We therefore feel that our normal dental procedures can be carried out with minimal risk by the use of existing procedures the above additional measures.

SUMMARY
The vast majority of our patients are otherwise healthy, without COVID19 infection, and we are confident that we are able provide dental care for these patients in, as normal an environment as possible.  This policy will be constantly reviewed and updated as necessitated by circumstances over time.  If you have any questions or concerns about this policy or your dental care at Vale Dental Practice please do not hesitate to contact us at enquiries@valedentalpractice.co.uk .