Currently there is a lot of uncertainty regarding the Coronovirus pandemic so hopefully we can clarify some of this below.
Here are some of the facts that have influenced how we are approaching this as a practice:
o Coronavirus is extremely infectious, much more so than the flu.
o The country is in lock down meaning that only essential journeys should be made by the general public and workers.
o Many dental procedures create water droplets that enter the atmosphere and can potentially contain viruses.
o There is currently a shortage of basic protective equipment for dentists. FFP3 masks, which offer an enhanced level of protection, are currently not available to most dental practices.
o Current guidance from the British Dental Association recommends that: ‘no aerosol generating procedures are undertaken on any patient without appropriately fitting FFP3 masks, other required protection equipment and protocols’. This effectively means that all routine and most emergency treatments we normally offer have been curtailed.
After careful consideration of the above facts the reluctant decision was taken this week to effectively close the practice with immediate effect for all routine work. This decision has been taken in order to protect our patients and staff and to be consistent with the current lockdown. I have outlined below some details that may answer some queries you may have.
o All routine appointments are to be cancelled for the coming 2 months. If you have not already had a call and you have an upcoming appointment please do not attend. We will be in touch
o Due to the temporary ‘furloughing’ of staff there is an answerphone service only. This is checked regularly and we will try to return any urgent queries as soon as possible
o We are having regular videoconference practice meetings in order to adapt swiftly to the ever-changing situation in line with any official guidance we are given.
o We will keep you updated as soon as we are aware of any recent developments
I think it is fair to say that official guidance through this pandemic has been sparse; consequently all dental practices have been left to make their own decisions on how best to respond to the crisis. This does mean that some practices will be responding slightly differently from others. However the overwhelming aim across the profession is to keep our patients and staff safe and to resume normal activities as soon as we are able.
These are unprecedented and uncertain times and we will endeavour to update via this blog as soon as we have more information for you. In the meantime please stay safe and well by observing the government lockdown.
In the meantime if any of our patients need help in other ways we would be glad to assist. You can contact us via the practice answer machine on 01425 612111 or by email on firstname.lastname@example.org.
The elms dental practice