The new normal – dental protocols for appointmentsSun, 4th Oct 2020
As we re-open in line with our COVID-19 Route Map, we have new dental protocols in place. These cover how appointments are made, what we ask of you on arrival and during your appointment and how to pay for your treatment (if needed). We have lots of safety measures in place. We have also introduced longer working hours (including weekends) to help us “catch-up” on the appointments missed in recent months.
Arranging your appointment
- If you are due to attend the Gentle Touch practice in the coming weeks, we have some new dental protocols for you to be aware of. Before you come, we will need to determine:
- If you can attend the practice, i.e. you are not shielding
- COVID history and risk – for the safety of our staff and patients, we want to ensure you are not at risk; we also want to ensure you are aware of the risks!
- That you know what to expect upon arrival – things will look quite different for a while.
- You are aware that a face cover is required throughout your visit (except when in the dental chair)!
- If you need any help regarding the patient portal, we will advise how we can help.
- You will receive your appointment reminder and link to your unique portal 48 hours before your appointment – please complete the required documents.
- If applicable, we will contact you again before your appointment to ensure nothing has changed regarding COVID risk and answer any questions.
During your visit
Our new dental protocols for arrival at your appointment are as follows:
- Please arrive at your appointed time – the outer door will be unlocked (if not, please ring the bell). There will be a large sign inside to remind you only to enter if you have an appointment, and if you are not displaying COVID symptoms.
- Before going through the inner door, please sanitise your hands at the ‘hygiene hub.’
- We will endeavour to be ready and if so, you will be directed to the surgery. This will be strange for the clinicians, as they have always enjoyed meeting you in person and having a ‘catch-up’ on the way to the surgery.
- Please leave personal belongings in your car, if applicable. Otherwise, please use the peg on the back of the surgery door for any personal belongings – we must keep all your things in one place.
- As you leave the surgery, you will be offered some hand gel. There is an additional hygiene hub positioned before you leave the reception area for your use.
Additional measures we have taken to ensure your safety
We have also developed further new dental protocols to keep you safe. To minimise the number of people in the building, we will be using a maximum of two dental surgeries. If you need to wait for any reason, the chairs in the patient lounge are positioned more spaciously. Sorry there won’t be any magazines to look at!
Due to enforced time between patients for certain treatments, we will plan to do more at each visit. For example, for those of you who normally see the hygienist, we will aim for both the hygienist and the dentist to see you in the same surgery. We will be the ones moving from room to room!
Catch-up of COVID-cancelled appointments
Due to the past few months of hard work and with the help of our new team members, we feel we have caught-up with our COVID-cancelled appointments. As always, please do not hesitate to get in touch if you have not been seen and would like an appointment!
To help catch up with deferred hygiene appointments, we have expanded our dental therapy and hygiene team. Michelle Paxton is now working alongside Clare Crocker. The team will be carrying out the full suite of dental therapy treatments when permitted.
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