Seeing the Hygienist: What's New?
From next week: if you're a Plan member, it's time to re-build your regular prevention routine. Recently, we haven't been undertaking procedures which can generate a large volume of spray, or aerosol from the mouth, including scaling and polishing.
Why does aerosol matter?
Based on current evidence, it's believed that the Coronavirus which causes COVID-19 can be spread by virus particles contained in saliva droplets and dental aerosol. The virus can also be spread by people who have no symptoms.
To date, dental practices in England had been advised to limit the risks to patients and staff by taking new measures, including limiting aerosol-generating procedures. If such procedures are undertaken, this requires an enhanced level of personal protective equipment, which remains difficult to source.
While safety remains a priority, we also believe that changing the way we work is preferable to delaying hygiene visits further for our Plan patients.
You'll see the dentist and hygienist or therapist together, if needed, in the same surgery. We still need to space appointments for additional treatment-room cleaning.
If your next examination or hygiene falls outside of the usual intervals for your Plan, because of COVID-19, there will be no additional charges for the examination or hygiene.
You may not be able to book your appointment on your preferred day, owing to the need to space appointments, while ensuring as many patients as possible are seen.
You'll have your usual check-up and mouth cancer screening and we'll also discuss any possible treatment you might need - we're still limited in the types we can complete. We'll talk about what needs doing soon and longer-term plans for you.
Your hygienist will clean gums, gaps and teeth, with a difference: we aren't using instruments which generate lots of spray, including ultrasonics, to clean teeth. - This means: very little water and you won't feel much vibration. You may notice more pressure on gums or teeth. To clean effectively, your hygienist may need longer than usual.
As with any other treatment, your dentist and hygienist will meet you in the treatment room wearing their personal protective equipment (PPE).
You'll be asked to leave non-essential items outside of the surgery - please take essential medicines and mobility aids with you.
As always, if there are dental or medical problems we don't already know about, please let us know.
If you have any questions about Practice Plan, seeing the hygienist, or you'd like to book a hygiene appointment, please contact us.