01450 372 476
  20 North Bridge Street, Hawick, Scottish Borders, TD9 9QW

Post COVID-19 Reopening Policy

This policy has been created based on multiple updated sources from within the dental and medical professions and the government.

It outlines modifications to our normal procedures that we intend to employ once the practice can be reopened after the COVID-19 pandemic peak has subsided.

It is not known at this time whether these procedures are temporary or whether they will become a permanent feature of the way dental practices must be run to ensure patient and staff safety in the future.

The worldwide COVID-19 pandemic is still being evaluated and studied and policies and recommendations are likely to change in line with new scientific evidence over time.

We would like to thank all of our patients for their patience and forbearance during the period of temporary practice closure and for their understanding and cooperation whilst we implement new measures at the practice.

We will of course be providing dental care to all of our patients in the safest possible environment. We greatly appreciate your assistance with any new or modified procedures at the practice.

Timetable

 It is our intention for the practice to re-open to patients for meaningful beneficial appointments as soon as the Scottish Government and Chief Dental Officer advise we can do so.  Until that point we will continue to provide the best service we can via telephone consultations or video consultations should that be desired by the duty dentist.

Our team has been working hard behind the scenes to prepare the practice for reopening and have updated our policies and protocols to ensure your safety is paramount.

Initially, we will prioritise the following patient groups:

Further to the above patient groups, we intend to prioritise patients who were due for routine examinations and hygienist visits during the period of closure.

Patient communication before reopening

Our team will be contacting patients and confirm appointments ahead of their scheduled time.

We will request that all patients who are attending Teviot Dental update their standard medical and dental history forms beforehand. These forms will now be in electronic format available through our website.

We will also ask you to complete a Covid-19 Questionnaire (also online via teviotdentalpractice.com) which will allow us to assess your level of risk for coronavirus infection before you attend the surgery.

New Measures to reduce the risk of COVID-19

Transmission

Our normal cross-infection control protocols at Teviot Dental against all previously known pathogens are already woven into all clinical activity carried out at the practice. It should be remembered that a dental practice is already a very clean environment compared to public areas and there is no evidence of COVID-19 transmission occurring in increased rates in dentists or their staff.

We have collectively evaluated all of the updated guidance and observed what measures have been put in place in other countries. We feel that the measures that are outlined in this policy will reduce risk to the minimum level at the practice.

Please be assured that all of our clinical staff will also be complying with our updated procedures to reduce the risk of cross infection in both directions.

Before Attending the Practice

We will carry out a pre-attendance assessment via your completed medical history and questionnaire relative to coronavirus infection risk. If you have any difficulties with completing the forms our team are here to assist.

A dentist may also carry out a video or phone consultation with you to assess your dental problem prior to your visit so that a provisional treatment plan can be proposed to minimise the number of visits you require. We may also request that you send photographs of your mouth to our practice by email or phone.

If we feel that you are at risk of having possibly been infected, even if you are asymptomatic, we will respectfully request for you to delay booking any appointments with us for at least one month.

We recommend that patients in the high-risk groups for developing complications from coronavirus delay non-essential dental treatment for as long as possible until the trend of the pandemic becomes clear. If you are in a high risk group and do require treatment we will schedule your appointment at the beginning of the day.

To find out whether you are in a high or very high-risk group please visit the following website https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/people-athigher-risk-from-coronavirus/ or ask any member of our team for guidance.

When travelling to the practice, we would recommend that you limit close contact with other members of the public as far as possible.

Please endeavour to arrive no more than five minutes before your scheduled appointment. If you are travelling by car we would be grateful if you could wait in your car and call the practice on 01450 372476 to confirm your arrival. If the weather is good enough there is a waiting point by the main entrance and you can ring the bell to let us know you’re there. We will meet all patients on arrival at the building and bring them straight into the surgery.

One adult is able to attend with a child; please do not bring additional family members with you unless they are happy to wait in the car or outside the building.

Arriving at the Practice

When you attend the practice, we will welcome you, and ask for you to hang your coat or jacket in the porch entrance to the practice. The front door will remain locked; however we cannot accept liability for personal items so please limit what you bring into the building.

We may also take your temperature with a no-touch thermometer. If your temperature is above 37.8°C, you may be unable to enter the practice and could be asked to return home and self-isolate as per current government guidelines.

We intend to eliminate waiting inside the practice and at reception unless absolutely necessary. Accordingly, appointments will be staggered so that patients do not arrive or leave at the same time as other patients as far as we are able to manage.

If you need the restroom, please do your best to ensure that you leave the facilities as you would expect to find them and wash your hands thoroughly. The restrooms will be regularly disinfected between patients.

If you are well, we will direct you straight to the surgery and request that you do all the following before or during your appointment.

Practice Procedures

The Teviot Dental team have spent time critically and clinically looking at every aspect of the practice with a view to removing all non-essential items that can potentially be the cause of infection.

You may find that the practice appears to be quite bare when you attend.

All clinical and common areas including door handles and surfaces will be regularly disinfected in addition to our normal surface cleaning protocols between patients.

Teviot Dental will be providing a buffer period between patients to allow additional time for additional decontamination procedures, allow for any treatment overruns and allow preparation time for the next patient so that they do not need to wait in the reception area.

All future appointments will be made and confirmed by email or telephone to limit your time spent at reception.

Teviot Dental will be operating contactless payment systems going forward, and we will request that payment is made using a credit or debit card only.

Dental Procedures

All dental staff will be using personal protective equipment in line with current recommendations and evidence.

We apologise in advance for the necessary reduction in social interaction that this will no doubt necessitate. Whilst our PPE may make us appear impersonal and distant, please be assured we are still the same friendly and caring team underneath it all!

We are especially mindful that many dental treatments are aerosol-generating procedures (AGP’s). We are following the guidelines and initially it is expected that we will not be delivering these unless there is a clinical need.

It is difficult for us to carry out some dental procedures without generation of some level of aerosol. Aerosol suspended in the air is a theoretical source of infection which we obviously wish to keep to a minimum. Currently the dental literature suggests:

We therefore feel that our normal dental procedures can be carried out with minimal additional risk by the use of high-volume suction, rubber dam and FFP masks.

Despite the financial impact of the coronavirus we have no plans to increase our normal fees at this time. However, for aerosol generating procedures where additional preparation time is required before and afterwards, we intend to charge a reasonable supplement on treatment which you will be informed of in advance. We trust that you appreciate the necessity of this supplement in ensuring the safety of all our patients and staff.

Summary

The vast majority of our patients are otherwise healthy without coronavirus infection and we are confident that we are able to provide normal dental care for these patients in as normal an environment as possible while bearing in mind our responsibilities to mitigate risks of infection spread as far as is practically possible for the benefit of Public Health following the Scottish Governments framework.

Our policies and procedures will be constantly reviewed and updated as necessitated by circumstances and the best available evidence over time.

If you have any questions regarding this policy or about your dental care at Teviot Dental Practice please do not hesitate to contact us on 01450 372476 or [email protected] where a member of our team will be happy to assist.

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