One year on from the re-opening of dental services
It’s been 12 months since the temporary suspension of all UK dentistry was lifted. The intent behind the closing of dental practices was to ensure the safety of patients and to slow community transmission of covid19.
The reason we are writing to you today is to thank you for your tolerance and understanding on what has been a very difficult year.
Furthermore, we are asking for your continued patience as we navigate the ongoing disruption in dentistry.
We want to reassure you we are doing everything in our power to take care of you and your families’ dental needs.
What’s causing the disruption to my dental care?
The strict rules and protocols that we are following to keep you safe. Many routine dental procedures create water sprays (aerosols) which may increase the risk of transmitting COVID 19. This means we have to close down the treatment rooms after your procedures to allow dispersal of the aerosol and the deep cleaning of the surgery. There is also the requirement for our dentists and nurses wearing the highest levels of PPE. This affects the number of patients we are able to see each day.
When will I be seen?
We continue to make progress in recalling you for your routine examinations. However, we are still only able to operate at about 75% of our pre-COVID capacity, so we thank you again for your patience. If you have any specific dental concerns, please contact the practice.
Will my treatment be delayed?
Inevitably some treatments will be postponed or delayed due to the reduction in capacity.
What if I have a dental emergency?
Please call us! We are here 365 days a year to offer emergency care or advice for all our registered patients. We are proud of the fact this service has remained un-interrupted throughout the pandemic.
I’m worried, is it safe?
To date there are no reports of increased rates of covid transmission in dental practices. This is because of the high standard of cross infection control. Our team are vaccinated and take bi-weekly COVID tests to significantly reduce the risk of transmission.
Why am I seeing the Dental Therapist?
Now more than ever dental therapists have become an integral part of modern dental care delivery. Annmarie and Carrie are highly skilled clinicians able to support the dentists in providing your routine dental treatment. To further increase our capacity towards more normal levels, you may be referred to one of our therapists and this will speed up your access to care. We are planning to recruit another dental therapist to our team in the near future.
What is Ivory Dental Care doing to improve the situation?
Following the re-opening of dental practices, we invested heavily in PPE for our staff including respirator masks, laundry and changing facilities. We also worked hard with our suppliers and laboratories to ensure continuity of services despite rising costs. We have recruited 5 additional staff which has allowed us to extend our opening hours to include early starts, late nights and Saturday appointments. This allows us to continue to see patients whilst still complying with all our new operating procedures. Whilst the UK dental profession reports 40-60% of previous output, we have managed to resume our services to around 75% of our pre-COVID activity. By no small measure this is down to our dedicated team, who have consistently gone above and beyond their call of duty. To further increase capacity, we are also planning to recruit an additional dentist.
When will dentistry be back to normal?
Despite the Prime Minister announcing the re-opening of the UK nationally, there are no such plans for dentistry, and we continue to be hampered by the restrictions placed upon us. We have been informed by the British Dental Association that there is to be a review into the dental regulations in September, but the general mood in the profession is that these protocols are here to stay for the foreseeable future. We believe with innovation and investment; we will continue to provide high quality dentistry for you and your family for many years to come.
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