Category: Blog

January 2021 update

Further to the last blog, in the light of the current lockdown, we have had to make some adjustments to how we operate.

Dental practices are allowed to operate as ‘medical services’ but we recognise that the national alert level is now at level 5 and the government wants all unnecessary contact eliminated. In order to comply with this we have made the following changes to our operating procedures:

  1. Online booking has been stopped again because we need to create specific spacing between appointments. Please call to book any appointments.
  2. Most routine appointments will be cancelled for the moment. The risk cannot be justified for some recall exams and most hygiene appointments.
  3. We have stopped automatic recalls for the foreseeable future.

We thank you for your understanding and co-operation.

Stay safe and well.

Christmas update.

Firstly, we can bring you up to date on the current Covid-19 situation:

We have settled in to the “new normal” way of operating under the restrictions of the pandemic. We are able to offer full service dentistry under very safe conditions but it is not quite the same as it was. In particular:
• We have to have time separation between many of our appointments, so we are not operating at the same capacity as before and this means there may be a longer wait for your appointment booking. We are already heavily booked into January.
• Hygienist appointments are almost back to normal and we have opened up the online booking facility again. However, please note that our hygienists cannot use the powered instruments, so all appointments are hand scaling only. Also, we can only offer a very limited number of combined appointments (check up & hygiene) due to the changed booking procedures.
• Every patient needs to be pre-screened prior to the appointment and post-screened on the following day. This is a time consuming and repetitive procedure but it is a necessary requirement. For most people this is completed by sending a unique online link via email or SMS.
• Anyone with potential Covid-19 symptoms will have to have treatment delayed and must not come to the premises.
• Some of our most vulnerable patients may have to wait for routine appointments until the risk level has reduced.

We thank you for your patience and understanding with these changes.

Looking forward – we believe that we are unlikely to be completely shut down again (as in the Spring/Summer lockdown) because we have all the measures in place to be ‘Covid compliant’ BUT we are required to make a risk assessment for every person at each appointment. It is therefore possible that treatment may have to be delayed for some people if the risk level remains high or rises higher.

For Christmas and the New Year:

The practice will close at noon on Wednesday 23rd December and open again on Monday 4th January.
Emergency cover will be provided during this period by Jeremy as usual. Please either call the practice or see the notice on the door for details.

The team at Dental Excellence wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
2021 surely must be a better year!

Update on opening – 15th July 2020

Thank you all for your patience and consideration so far. Having spent the first full week in operation, it seems that our systems are working as planned (mostly).
Although things are far from normal, we are able to perform almost all dental treatments now under the new restrictions. So please do call or email the practice if you want to be seen. This includes dental check-ups (but see below for information on hygiene appointments).
Please be aware though that all appointments need a pre-screening procedure and we have to allow time and space distancing between patients. If you have not had an appointment confirmed by telephone or email, please contact the practice for advice.

Our hygienists are operating at reduced capacity and can only use hand scaling instruments at the moment, so this aspect of the practice is far from normal. Also we cannot offer joint check-up and hygiene appointments just yet due to social distancing in the waiting room.

Finally, everyone who has an appointment will be given a list of requirements for attendance to reduce the risk of contact within the practice. Please do read the list carefully. These are regulations from our governing bodies and a failure to comply may mean that we cannot see you.

Stay safe,

Jeremy and the team

Update on opening for Monday 6th July

We have been busy behind the scenes getting ready to open under the new guidelines and regulations. All of our clinical staff now have high grade respirator masks which have been individually fit-tested and certified as safe. We also have a unique fan system placed in each surgery that completely clears the air within less than 10 minutes.
As a result of these measures (and many more)

we will be open for most treatments as from 09:00 on Monday 6th July

We believe that we will operate normal (published) opening hours from Tuesday 7th onwards. Please note though that we have a backlog of work that needs priority attention, which we will be working through over the first couple of weeks. Our priority groups are listed in the previous blog.
Our protective measures allow us to start offering hygiene appointments but these, and other routine appointments, are likely to be delayed until the end of the month. Please note though, that we are unlikely to be able to offer ‘joint’ appointments (where you can have your check up and hygiene in succession).
We are still required to pre-screen all patients and to ensure social distancing within the non-clinical areas of the practice, so it is definitely not ‘business as usual’ for the moment.
So, I refer to the previous blog and confirm that

any previously booked appointments are void at the moment

All appointments under the new guidelines need to be booked and confirmed by telephone and no one can be seen without a response to the pre-screening questions. Thank you for your patience and co-operation with this.
Our opening in July can be regarded as a ‘beta test’ for the procedures. The whole system is so alien to us all that we are sure it will need adaption and modification over the first few weeks. Furthermore, as the risk status changes (for better or worse), there may be other changes imposed or conditions relaxed.
For the moment it’s good news for all though, and we look forward to seeing you again even if we are peering at you from behind our PPE!
If you are wanting to arrange a non-urgent appointment, we kindly request that you call later in the week as we anticipate Monday the 6th will be a very busy day.

Stay safe,
Jeremy and the team

Update on Covid 19 situation @ 9th June 2020

As the dust of confusion begins to settle and clear, I can now explain where we stand with regard to opening for business again. Please bear in mind though that regulations may change again before the end of the month. Please keep checking this blog for updates.

Firstly, we have had a problem with our server automatically sending out appointment recall messages and reminders and allowing online booking. Hopefully this has now been stopped, but for the avoidance of doubt, please understand that NO routine appointments can be booked at the moment. If you have a check-up or hygiene appointment booked, or if you have been asked to book one, there are no appointments allowed under the current guidelines. So, no routine appointments are valid. If you have not been contacted by telephone and pre-screened, your appointment is not valid. I apologise for any confusion caused.

Secondly, we opened for treatment of emergency patients on Monday 8th and Tuesday 9th June. We were allowed to do basic first aid treatments. The practice has shut down again until at least the end of June while we prepare for more normal opening but telephone advice (as before) is still available during this period. See previous blogs for the number to call.

Thirdly, the main problem for dentists operating is the potential for infective spray created during our drilling, scaling and spraying in the mouth. These are called ‘aerosol generating procedures’ (AGP’s). At the moment we have to assume that any of our patients could carry the Covid 19 virus and we must have rigid precautions in place before we are allowed to perform any AGP’s. The regulations require us to have:

• Special certified respirator masks which have to be tested for proper facial seals on each individual person by a certified external tester.
• Full PPE with, long sleeve surgical gown, caps, visors, shoe coverings etc. (We are currently trying to source the required PPE.)
• A ‘fallow period’ of one hour after an AGP (to allow droplets to settle) before we are allowed to enter and clean the surgery surfaces. This means that whenever we perform an AGP, we cannot use the surgery again for at least 75 minutes.

I think you will understand that this mode of practice is far from ‘normal’ for us.
The consequences are that we will have to prioritise patients when we do open and risk-assess every AGP to make sure we only do an AGP when it is absolutely necessary. Patients will be prioritised as follows:

1. Those requiring emergency or urgent treatment and those requiring follow-up treatment from temporary emergency treatment.
2. Those who were under treatment at the time of lockdown and need to have treatment completed.
3. Those requiring non-urgent treatment that is necessary to prevent deterioration to a potential for urgent treatment.

After dealing with these priority groups we will be able to book normal check-up appointments for patients who are not at risk.
Please note though that the current situation means that ALL hygiene appointments are disallowed until further notice. We believe that it will be at least September before hygiene appointments can be considered again.
I am genuinely sorry that we are unable to resume normal operations for our patients. Believe me, we are desperate to get back to normal as soon as possible. The financial implications of 3 months without income and (?) months at 25% capacity (with increased costs) are perilous for dental practices.

Thank you for your patience and consideration,

Stay safe,
Jeremy and the team

Update on Covid 19 situation @ 3rd June 2020

Having spent the last three days going through the regulations and trying to source the required PPE equipment, it has become apparent that we are a long way off from opening as normal. The furlough regulations also complicate our partial opening.
This is the current situation:
• We will open on Monday the 8th June and Tuesday the 9th June to treat emergencies only. The type of treatment that we can deliver is highly restricted, so it may only be temporary (holding) treatment.
• Both days will be reduced hours from 9am until 4pm (not our normal opening hours).
• We will contact all of the patients who have called with problems during the lockdown to arrange an appointment. There will be pre-screening questions and a strict protocol for patients entering the practice.
• Patients will not be seen without an appointment. Please do not turn up at the practice – you will not be seen.
• If you have had a dental problem but not called to speak with Jeremy, or if you have had telephone advice but not been contacted by Monday 8th June, please call or email the practice.
• All routine dental appointments that had been arranged for this year (2020) have been cancelled. Please remove any future appointment dates from your diary.
• Patients who are given emergency appointments will have to follow a strict protocol. Final details are being decided at the moment but please expect:
o You will not be allowed to wait in the practice. We advise you to arrive a little early but please wait in your car or outside the practice. Please ring the bell at the designated time of your appointment and we should be able to take you straight through to the surgery.
o To avoid contact within the practice, appointment scheduling is critical. If you arrive late, we regret that we may not be able to see you.
o Do not bring anyone with you into the building. No one will be allowed to wait inside.
o Do not bring any bags or coats/jackets into the practice.
o WC facilities will be closed for access, so please make sure you use home facilities before leaving.
• From Wednesday 10th June the practice will go back into lockdown mode with telephone advice only. This will remain until further notice.
This is disappointing news, but at least we will be able to sort out emergency care for our patients.

Stay safe,

Jeremy and the team

SMS messages

Please be aware that I switched on the computer server today and it will have sent out SMS reminders automatically for appointments (previously) due in the next 48 hrs.
This was an automatic system process and it should have been cancelled.
These messages should be ignored – the practice is NOT OPEN until further notice. Please see my previous blog.
I apologise for the confusion.
Keep safe everyone,

Jeremy

COVID19 Update 27th March 2020

The latest advice promulgated on 27th March is that there should be no face-to-face consultations – even for emergencies.
We will be available for telephone advice for any of our patients and will be able to do some limited prescribing by telephone.
In cases of serious emergency you are advised to contact the Local Urgent Dental Care system – details of which should be available from NHS 111.

So:
If you have a dental emergency or want some advice please call 07967 516056.
For almost all cases we should be able to offer advice on how to manage the problem and can prescribe the most commonly required drugs (painkillers and antibiotics).
For very serious emergencies we may have to refer you to the Local Urgent Dental Care system.

Further updates will be posted here as and when.

Stay safe, we wish you all well.

Jeremy and the team

2017 Newsletter

THANK YOU

As the New Year is fast approaching we would like to say a huge thank you to all our patients for their on-going support and for recommending us to their friends and family!

AWARD WINNER

2017 has been a fabulous year for our hygienist Libby who won Hygienist of The Year 2017! This is a huge award and we could not think of a more deserving winner! Congratulations again Libby, we are very proud to have you as a member of the Dental Excellence family. Libby is available to see via direct access and offers early morning appointments, specialising in children, nervous patients and periodontitis.

REVIEW OF THE YEAR

‘After a dreadful experience with another dentist Jeremy not only put my teeth back together with amazing implants & ongoing bits & bobs, but totally restored my confidence in dentists – which is some sort of miracle!’ – Dr Fraser

TEAM MEMBERS

This year we have been joined by two new members of staff. Our Head Dental Nurse – Liane and a returning face – Elizabeth, our practice receptionist. Our team is ever growing and we are proud to work together to create an efficient and friendly environment.

2018

We have lots of surprise projects for next year! Keep in touch via facebook, Instagram or our website – www.dental-excellence.org.

FROM ALL THE TEAM

We would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New year!

 

5 Dental Myths – True or False

We hear different dental myths almost everyday! Here we give our take on the most common ones

 

1. It’s always best to brush your teeth straight after eating

We would always recommend waiting at least 30 minutes before brushing your teeth after eating, brushing straight away can ruin the tooth natural enamel.

2. Mouthwash should be used in between daily brushing if required and not after brushing

Mouthwash is great to freshen your breath but is not required after brushing – leave the toothpaste to do the hard work!

3. Only fizzy drinks with sugar are bad for my teeth 

ALL fizzy drinks can damage your teeth, this even includes fizzy water! The carbonic acid in fizzy drinks can erode your teeth over time . If you are going to have the odd fizzy drink make this at meal time!

4. Never rise your mouth with water after brushing, it can wash away the fluoride that has been left of your teeth by the toothpaste.

We recommend ‘spit don’t rinse’ .Fluoride helps prevent cavities.

 

5. Using a hard toothbrush cleans teeth more thoroughly

A soft toothbrush, used effectively cleans teeth better and at a lower risk to gum damage and enamel loss.