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COVID-19 : Practice Update

March 25th, 2020

To all of our lovely patients,

As we all know the world has been somewhat turned on its head in the past few weeks and our version of ‘normality’ is changing quickly, but only for the temporary we know. Here at Smiles we are doing our best but have had to make some immense changes as we follow guidelines set out by the NHS and the British Dental Association in order to do our bit to keep you, our valued patients and staff as safe as we can.

What does this mean for you?

We now face a ‘requirement to stop all non-urgent activity in line with the changes to people’s everyday lives that the Prime Minister has signalled’ and so ‘all routine, non-urgent dental care including orthodontics should be stopped and deferred until advised otherwise.’

We have established an urgent care service providing telephone triage for patients with urgent needs during usual working dental hours. If your condition is urgent and cannot be managed via telephonic advice or analgesia (painkillers), Local Urgent Dental Care Systems are being put in place.

If you have an upcoming appointment, you have probably already been contacted by one of our lovely reception staff with regards to rescheduling your non urgent appointment. Some of you have obliged and we have rebooked your appointment for early summertime as we hope normality will have been somewhat restored by that point. It is important to reschedule the appointments instead of cancelling them outright so that you to get lost in our system. Rescheduling again closer to the time is no problem at all.

Are we taking any appointments at this time?

As it stands, we are only permitted to schedule dental emergency appointments.

What counts as a Dental Emergency?

  • If you are suffering with facial swelling extending to the eye or neck, possibly causing airway restriction or breathing/swallowing difficulties.
  • Trauma including facial/oral laceration and/or dentoalveolar injuries, for example avulsion of a permanent tooth.
  • Post-extraction bleeding that the patient is not able to control with local measures
  • Dental conditions that have resulted in acute and severe systemic illness
  • Severe dental and facial pain: that is, pain that cannot be controlled by the patient following self-help advice
  • Fractured teeth or tooth with pulpal exposure.
  • Dental and soft tissue infections without a systemic effect.
  • Oro-dental conditions that are likely to exacerbate systemic medical conditions .

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you are in pain and we will advise you as best we can! Each patient will be assessed and managed on their own merit, taking into account the patient’s best interests, professional judgement, local Urgent Dental Care arrangements and the prioritisation of the most urgent care needs.

What precautions are we taking in the practice?

  • We are only permitting one patient in the practice at any one time. This means spacing appointments 15 minutes apart/ asking patients to remain in their cars until phoned and invited in.
  • Patients are politely asked to wash their hands upon arrival.
  • No routine dental appointments.
  • No aerosol producing treatments.
  • Hourly wipe down of reception/waiting room areas.
  • Our dental nurses already adhere to a high standard of infection control but additional measure have been put in place such as the cleaning of door handles between every patient etc.
  • At this time we are only accepting contactless payment or payment over the phone.

We are doing our best to keep everyone as safe and virus free as we can!

Are you taking on New Patients at this time?

We can not take on new patients at this time but if you are interested please ring to give your name and number and you will be contacted when we are up and running again however, please note that our NHS waiting list is quite long so if you are looking to be registered and seen quicker, private may be the way to go.

We are grateful for your patience and understanding and hope that you are keeping safe, staying healthy and remaining indoors at this troubling time. For each of us, this is a challenging time and although it may be hard to remember, we must maintain the notion that there is a bright and shining light at the end of this tunnel. For now however, it is important that we remain fit, in our minds and bodies and do our best to look out for one another and for our community.

Stay Safe and Keep Smiling!

See you soon!

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