Dental Care In The Near Future
Dental practices in the UK are able to open again from June 8th, but what should you expect when they do?
On the surface, it may appear to some patients that this means that everything is more or less back to normal. Much as we wish this were the case, it isn’t unfortunately.
When the government announced this, we heard about it at the same time that patients did. As you can probably understand, running a dental practice means not only performing treatments but also ensuring that the whole practice environment is safe for both staff and patients. This is even more important at this particular time for obvious reasons.
As the announcement came with no real forewarning, dentists and their staff have been doing all that they can to get things ready to open again as soon as possible. Unfortunately, this is not as simple as just unlocking the doors. The most obvious thing to note is that we have to plan for the new ‘normal’, at least until such a time that the virus is no longer such a threat or a vaccine is widely available.
PPE and staff training
Most of you will have now heard of PPE, the protective equipment that keeps both patient and staff safe. Due to the worldwide demand, it is challenging to source this in sufficient quantity to be able to operate safely. Our Ipswich dental patients can rest assured that we are doing all that we can to source this as quickly as possible.
Systems are also being put into place to make the practice a safe environment. This stems right from how patients can safely wait in the reception areas to how we thoroughly clean the environment after each treatment.
What should patients expect?
When the Foxhall Dental Practice opens fully again, there are likely to be a number of restrictions. One of these will be the number of patients that we are able to treat each day. Although measures to prevent cross infection have always been in place, these are more important now than ever and that will mean a lot of cleaning between each patient. Understandably then, it is highly likely that we will be able to see fewer patients each day, at least for a while.
We will do our best to prioritise the most urgent cases such as those in significant pain, as well as those that were part way through treatments when practices were forced to close. We ask that you bear with us whilst we work our way through these before dealing with more routine cases.
We will be contacting patients shortly to advise additional opening information and new procedures that will be put in place.
We are currently evaluating the guidance that we have been provided so that we can treat patients as safely possible. It is highly likely that the range of treatments that we are able to offer will be reduced but we will continue to review this regularly and keep you updated.
We pride ourselves on having friendly staff and many of you will be used to having friendly ‘chats’ with our team before receiving treatment. Unfortunately, this is likely to be reduced due to the wearing of PPE equipment. Even though it may appear a little ‘scary’ to see our dentists behind such equipment, please remember that it is still the same friendly team beneath it and we will continue to provide the same high standard of treatment that we always have.
As it may be a short while yet before we can move on to more routine care such as check-ups; just a reminder of the importance of taking really good care of your teeth at home. Regular brushing and flossing is key to good oral care and we recommend that you also try to keep your sugar consumption down as well. If you have a tooth that is weakened for any reason, try to avoid biting down on food with it and perhaps eat softer foods until it can be treated.
Until we are able to open again for a full range of treatments, we will continue to offer advice by telephone and you can call the Foxhall Dental Practice for this on 01473 258396.