Advice for patients

Routine dentistry during COVID-19 requires the correct social distancing measures and personal protective equipment to be in place.

We are open. We are safe.

Dentists and our teams have trained in oral health care but also infection prevention and control too. We at The Smiles Studio are well-versed in providing safe care and having practiced cross-infection control for many years, using personal protective equipment.

We request our patients to be patient

We are still catching up from when we were closed during the first national lockdown and we are seeing patients on the priority:

  • Patients needing urgent care
  • Patients at higher risk of oral disease
  • Patients with outstanding treatment needs.

The reason for the long wait is not just because of the backlog, but also because there’s a lot more disinfection of surgeries required after each treatment. Sometimes, they have to wait anything up to an hour before they can have another patient in the chair.

NHS and private care

Some patients might find that a treatment is available quicker privately than it is on the NHS. As with medical care, this often because the queue for NHS treatment is longer. It may simply be that there are many more people looking for NHS appointments.

Calling the practice

Please make sure you keep your appointment if you have on; it’s going to be safe and it’s important we don’t waste limited resources. If you can’t make an appointment, your practice may be able to offer it to someone else who really needs it. 

If you’re looking for care, you may receive initial remote advice via the phone or video call. This may lead to advice being given or the arrangement of an appointment if the dentist deems it necessary. Some routine care like a check-up might be delayed, potentially until next year unfortunately.

Please be assured that dentists are working within the current guidelines issued by governments and are doing their best to help patients wherever possible.

Receptionists are also doing their best to ensure that priority cases are treated as soon as possible. Please treat all the staff with respect. We know it can be stressful, but they are doing their best to help.

What are dental appointments like?

Practices are using personal protective equipment such as mask, gloves, aprons, and social distancing measures to keep staff and patients safe.

  • If you call to make an appointment, you will be asked some screening questions. You’ll be asked those same questions again at your appointment to see if anything has been changed since you booked
  • You will be asked to use hand sanitiser when you arrive
  • Face coverings are mandatory across all areas of the practice
  • You will also notice that our waiting rooms might look a little different with two metre markers in place
  • You will also notice that our team may be wearing different protective equipment to what you are used to seeing – this will be to increase your protection
  • Appointments will be managed to allow for social distancing between patients. That might mean that you’re offered fewer options for scheduling your appointment.

How you can help:

  • Please do not arrive without an appointment
  • With the exception of children and persons in need, patients should come alone
  • Patients should attend wearing a mask if possible or be prepared to wear one. A distance of at least two metres must be observed if another patient is present in the dental practice
  • Please do not arrive early to the practice. If necessary, you should wait outside the practice
  • Staff will not shake your hand
  • If you show symptoms following appointment booking, you should contact NHS Test and Trace

It is likely to be some time before dental services can return to what you previously experienced as normal.

However, your dental teams will be doing all they can to ensure you receive the treatment you require in the safest way.