COVID-19 & Your Dental Treatment: Update
As you'll know, the practice re-opened after lockdown on 10th June 2020, for emergencies only. As COVID-19 shows no signs of going away, in this post we'll look at what's been happening at Plumfield since and what you can expect in the near future.
Since June 10th:
- We've seen many of you face-to-face for emergency dental care and advice. Your dental team have been working with personal protective equipment, such as a plastic apron, face mask, gloves and visor. We've been asking you all to maintain social distancing, wear a face covering when you come into the building and only attend if you have an appointment. Thank you for your continued co-operation, as we still need to maintain these measures.
- We've also referred patients, where necessary, to local Urgent Dental Care centres, which continue to operate in this area – this has usually been for treatments which require enhanced personal protective equipment (PPE), which we struggled to procure. When we closed during lockdown, we answered the call from our local NHS to donate more basic items to relieve pressure on this essential service.
- We've carefully re-introduced non-emergency examinations and hygiene, while still giving priority to emergencies, our Plan members and our most vulnerable patients. Treatments have remained limited.
- We adhere to new guidance for dentistry as it emerges, including cessation of remote prescribing (patients now must be seen face-to-face if safe to do so, before a prescription for medications such as antibiotics can be issued).
- We have continued efforts to obtain enhanced PPE for our staff and to get staff members fit-tested. This means we can safely undertake a wider range of dental treatments.
- These treatments are known as Aerosol Generating Procedures (AGPs), as they require the use of high speed instruments which generate a high volume of spray, or 'aerosol' during treatment. This aerosol carries viruses and bacteria from the mouth, such as COVID-19. The aerosol can hang in the air, before settling on surfaces.
- Look out for our next post in this series - all about the safety measures we'll be taking for this type of work to limit spread of COVID-19 in the community and what that means for you.
We'd like to thank you all for your continued support of the practice and your commitment to working with us, for better dental health. Once again, we're giving priority to those in pain, patients who were mid-treatment before lockdown, Plan members and the vulnerable.
For urgent assistance, please call (01228) 521701 - please note, we are currently receiving a higher than usual number of telephone enquiries. You may need to leave a message at busier times and a member of our reception team will come back to you.