New patients welcomed at dental reception

Post Covid-19 Re-opening Information

We hope you and your family are in good health. Our intention is for the information on this page to keep you well informed and reassure you of changes that we have instigated. The dental community, like yourselves has been through much over the last few months and all of us are looking forward to resuming our normal day to day routines. When you book an appointment or attend the practice, you will observe many things have changed, however, one thing has remained the same, our commitment to your dental health and personal safety.

The information provided has been created based on updated sources from within the dental, medical professions and the government.

It outlines changes to our normal procedures that we intend to employ upon the phased opening of the practice which will take place on the 8th June 2020.

At this point in time, it is not known 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.

Infection control has always been a top priority for us which I hope you have seen during your visits to our practice. Our infection control processes are of a gold standard, so that when you receive care, it is both safe and comfortable.

The aim of our new safety measures is to minimise your interaction, maintain social distancing with other patients and staff and hence keep safe. You will notice these procedural changes when it is time for your next appointment. To help you with familiarising the changes, we have divided information into the following sections.

BEFORE ATTENDING THE PRACTICE

Our receptionists will communicate with you beforehand by email/phone asking you to fill in a medical history. Please do try and complete this online as this will reduce your time in the waiting area. If you have any problems answering the questions, please contact the practice and someone will be available to assist you.

The reception staff will contact you 2 days prior to your appointment asking specific questions related to Covid-19. 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 2 weeks.
You will be asked similar questions again when you are in the practice.

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 risk group please see the link here.

Again, to reduce your time in the premises and interaction with non-essential staff members, we would kindly ask that payment for any treatment be made 2 days prior to your appointment when contacted by the reception team. We realise this early payment may be off putting, but again, this reduces the requirement for unnecessary contact or use of pin entries on card terminals at reception.

ATTENDING THE PRACTICE

When you attend the practice, we will request that you ring us from your mobile phone or use the intercom service found to the right of the ground floor entrance. Until instructed, please remain in your vehicle or if not possible, wait on the upstairs landing without entering the practice.

We intend to eliminate waiting inside the practice and at reception. 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 possible, we would ask that only the patient enters the practice unless the patient is a child, who may attend with a parent/guardian. In order to reduce cross contamination, please reduce the personal items brought into the clinic for examples jackets, bags, shopping etc.

ENTERING THE PRACTICE

When instructed we will ask you to come to the entrance of the practice upstairs where you will be welcomed by one of our receptionist.

Upon entering the practice, please use the hand sanitiser available. We will take your temperature with a no touch thermometer.

If your temperature is above 37.8°C, you will be unable to be treated and will be asked to return home and self- isolate as per current government guidelines.

Upon entering the reception you will shown to the surgery room. Passing through you will notice some changes such as the hygiene barrier placed at the reception desk to ensure safety for both patients
and staff.

Unfortunately, we will no longer be providing any teas or coffees and suggest you use toilet facilities prior to attending.

Appointments will be managed to allow for social distancing between patients. That might mean that you’re offered fewer options for scheduling your appointments.

We will do our best to allow greater time between patients to reduce waiting times for you, as well as to reduce the number of patients in the reception area at any one time.

ENTERING THE SURGERY

PPE (personal protective equipment) is a term which many of you will now be familiar with. Upon entering the surgery, the standard appearance of dentists and nurses may change from the image above depending on the treatment required, donning gowns, masks, visors and a hat.

We have also invested in the use of FFP2 and FFP3 masks that filter 94% and 99% respectively of airborne particles in both directions (patient to clinician and clinician to patient). Prior to treatment you may be asked to rinse your mouth with a mouthwash to help reduce any bacteria/viruses.

At the Dental Centre Bedford we have chosen to go over and beyond the NHS guidelines by installing air purification machines (beginning of July) into all our surgeries. The high-performance DentAir system from Bryant Dental uses the very latest and trusted technology in air purification to eliminate contaminants in the room, quickly and effectively.

If you require an additional appointment, this will be made in the surgery to avoid interaction with reception staff and or other patients.

LEAVING THE SURGERY

As mentioned, your next appointment will be made in the surgery allowing you to exit the practice without reporting to the front desk. Our reception staff will then telephone or email you to confirm your appointment and answer any questions you may have. Upon exiting the reception, we ask that you use the hand sanitiser provided.

We would like to thank all of our patients for their understanding and patience during this lockdown period.
In order to improve our service, we welcome a new dentist Dr Samantha Pugh who along with Dr David Nolte and our hygienist, Sara Andrews will be able to provide a late appointment service until 8pm on selected days.

Additionally, an early appointment slot of 8am will also be available, again on selected days.

We greatly appreciate your assistance implementing these new and modified procedures at the practice and look forward to seeing you soon.