So on Monday 1st June it was fit testing day - followed by some triaging at Woodthorpe.
Dentistry is going to be quite different for a while, and this is part of the new look.
Coronavirus has the potential to be spread within the aerosols we create using high speed handpieces whilst carrying out fillings, and scaling whilst seeing the hygienist. We need to make sure we keep ourselves safe, but more importantly, we need to make sure we are not going to spread the virus between our fabulous patients and create a mini pandemic of our own.
When we start back on 8th June, we will mainly be seeing emergencies - people with pain, or people that have had problems and needed to wait. We will also be completing treatment we are part way through. Some people have had half finished treatment for 10 weeks or more, because we simply haven't been able to complete it.
Some of the safety changes we are making whilst still in the pandemic are:
1. Enhanced PPE- FFP3 respirator masks, washable long sleeved, full length gowns, aprons, visors. You will also notice clear plastic shields up on the reception desk to protect our reception staff from contracting covid.
2. Any treatment producing an aerosol (AGP) will need up to an hour after the aerosol part of the treatment is completed to allow the aerosol to settle before the surgery can be cleaned down. This means for the moment, we won't be able to see quite so many patients as the surgeries will take much longer to turn around between each patient.
3. Social distancing - we need to maintain social distancing within the practice as best as possible. This will mean 2m distance between patients in the waiting room. Depending on how many patients we are expecting at a particular time, this might mean asking patients to remain in their cars and calling them when we are ready to see them. The idea of this is to limit the amount of time a patient needs to sit around in the practice which decreases risk.
4. We will be making more use of telephone and video calling, for doing part of our consultations for now. The aim is to reduce the amount of time you need to be sitting in the practice, reducing the risks of picking up coronavirus.
Things like medical histories and pain histories maybe taken over the phone before we see you.
Another reason for this is because its really difficult to talk and be understood in the FFP3 masks!!
5. Initially dentists will be working fewer hours/days.
This is because we need twice as much surgery space to enable us to rotate our surgeries after AGPs and two nurses instead of one as once we are scrubbed up another nurse will be needed to pick up anything else that is needed.
Don't panic. It won't always be like this. This is because we are still in the midst of the pandemic.
Once we get back to normal, so hopefully will we.
Any questions feel free to email me or call the practice.
Don't suffer in silence. If you have problems, give the practice a call and we will be able to see you.