Having been open for just over a month now, it is time to update you on how things have been going. As we are still not fully out of lockdown, we are strictly adhering to measures and procedures so that social distancing and other processes to minimise cross infection, are observed to reduce spread of the virus.
I have been told by some of my patients that their visit to us is their first trip out since lock down began. I appreciate the trust put in us.
We have been able to carry out any necessary treatment with little disruption or change to the clinical procedure. What has changed is the movement of patients through the practice. Patients have been very understanding with regard to our timings and protocols, such as waiting outside until called in for their appointment.
From a personal perspective, wearing heavy duty facemasks with a visor and my magnifying glasses, along with a plastic gown for extended periods has its challenges. Not least is the difficulty communicating with patients and my wonderful staff during and after treatment. The ‘fallow’ time following aerosol production when drilling, (we must vacate the room for 1 hour to allow aerosols to disperse), has meant that I am currently using both surgeries to see patients in order to maximise the efficiency with which we work. Sadly, that means that Leigh Ann and I cannot work at the same time and we cannot see as many patients as we have previously.
I am also pleased to say that the hygienists have returned to work, although currently, we are trying to avoid production of aerosols, which means they are only using hand scaling techniques.
Overall, it is good to be back at work and being able to help our patients, and I believe we are now caught up with the back log of dental issues from the lockdown period. This means we are now booking routine check-ups.
Dentists are well used to very high levels of cross-infection control and are thus well placed to deal with these measures. The extra demands now in place in dealing with the current crisis coupled with the massive increase in price of the PPE we must wear has meant that we find it necessary to add a small charge of £16.00 when we perform aerosol generating procedures . This is to cover the cost of additional PPE for both dentist and nurse and will only be in place until the situation settles. You will note that we have not increased our fees and we do not add this charge to procedures that do not create an aerosol such as check-ups and hygienist appointments.
An Update On Our Re-opening
The whole team at JL Dental are working hard to ensure that your visit to our practice will be a pleasant, effective, and most importantly a safe experience. Many of the procedures and protocols that were routinely part of safe delivery of dental care are already well developed and practiced here. With the COVID-19 pandemic and in light of the official guidance published this week, we have upgraded many of these routines to ensure that we are offering you as safe an environment as possible. Click here to read this update in it's entirety.
On Thursday at 5p.m. it suddenly became clear from the rolling news panel during the Prime Ministers announcement that dental practices will be allowed to reopen from Monday 8th June. I am grateful for your loyalty and patience in these times, and personally I am looking forward to going back at work. Click here to read the rest of our statement.
To the patients and friends of JL Dental Care.
In March, following government advice, and with a heavy heart, we had to temporarily close the practice. As of today, a date for reopening is unclear. As I am sure you will appreciate this is to help with the fight against Covid-19 (Coronavirus) and limit both the spread of this disease and the impact on our NHS.
For now, and most importantly, if you have a dental problem or a concern - call us. Either leave a message or use the number given out to speak to one of us and we will endeavour to help you with advice and guidance, and in a severe emergency guide you on to emergency care.
You can even call if you just want to speak to us to let us know how you are getting on or for a chat.
What to do when you have a dental emergency when practices are closed
For now, in the absence of face to face appointments we have attached a document explaining how to manage some common dental issues.
We are still answering telephone calls and are happy to offer you advice, we thought that the attached document would be really useful. ‘Managing Toothache at Home’ contains lots of practical advice on handling an array of dental issues. Please feel free to download or print it for reference by clicking here
We appreciate your assistance in trying to prevent the spread of this virus and as always, the health and wellbeing of our patients and staff is, and will continue to be, our top priority.
Keep well and keep safe.
What to do when you have a dental emergency when practices are closed
One of the things we are most conscious of is what would happen if any of our patients were to have a dental emergency when we are not allowed to offer face to face appointments, and the practice remains closed, under the current guidelines. Although we are still answering telephone calls and would be happy to offer you advice, we thought that the attached document would be really useful.
It’s entitled ‘Managing Toothache at Home’ and contains lots of practical advice on handling an array of dental issues, with the goal of minimising pain and discomfort. Please feel free to download or print it for reference by clicking here
What’s happening to my dental treatment? Should I go to or make an appointment?
Last week, we would have told you YES, it’s very important to keep your appointment and look after your dental health, but in light of the current Covid-19 pandemic , there is MORE to consider - certainly in the short term.
The current situation:
Temporarily, we need to be more aware of social distancing and prioritising our exposure risk especially if you are in one of the higher risk groups – over 70, underlying medical condition etc. Internationally, many countries, cities, and agencies, are recommending staying home and avoiding “unnecessary contact” with others - so how do I know if MY appointment is necessary?
Some people think of “6-month visits” as a luxury expense when in reality, they’re one of the most beneficial things you can do for your overall health. Usually it is the PERFECT time to catch problems early while they’re STILL reversible and offer advice on how to keep your mouth healthy. For this reason, if you look at it that way, keeping these appointments, will actually (in normal times) SAVE you money!
In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, we will be available to provide emergency/medically necessary appointments but not booking elective and preventive ones; this includes dental checkups, whitening, orthodontics, regular cleanings, and small fillings; these are now put on hold for the time being, however you can call us if you want information about your own dental situation.
Dental treatments of necessity require close contact and the sprays and aerosols produced by the drill and ultrasonic cleaner are very high risk for cross infection to our staff and other patients in spite of the high levels of in-practice hygiene we always undertake. This is a further reason to limit our services until this situation has settled.
So, in the meantime, look after yourselves and from a dental perspective, you may well have plenty time to brush, floss, interdental clean and look after your teeth and perhaps most importantly don’t over-indulge on sugary snacks!
We are reviewing the situation daily and will update you as things change but, in the meantime, if you have a dental emergency, please call and we will advise you appropriately.
If you receive an automated reminder from us inviting you for a check-up or hygienist visit, please ignore them for the time being.
Keep well and keep safe.
In light of the growing number of COVID- 19 (commonly referred to as Coronavirus) cases in the United Kingdom, we are following government and British Dental Association advice and guidelines by putting extra measures in place to keep our practice safe for our patients and staff.
As always, all surfaces in our practice, including door handles and bathrooms are sanitised after every use and we will continue to uphold the highest possible hygiene standards.
With everything that we know about COVID- 19, it seems likely that it’s not going to go away soon. As a result of this, we’d like to ask patients to please follow the following guidelines when coming to the surgery.
If you are unwell with cold-like symptoms (runny nose, cough, sore throat, headache, fever) please do not come to the surgery and contact your GP or call the NHS 24-hour helpline on 111.
If you have been to an affected area within the past 14 days and you have the above symptoms, please do not attend the practice, but reschedule your appointment for 14 days’ time. A full list of the affected areas is available on the government website https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/coronavirus-covid-19-uk-government-response
If you have been in contact with anyone who has been to an affected area within the past 14 days and you have the above symptoms, please do not attend the practice but reschedule your appointment for 14 days’ time.
The most recent government advice is to stay indoors and avoid contact with other people if you’ve travelled to the UK from the places outlined on this link (which also includes timeframes on self isolation), even if you do not have symptoms https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public#returning-travellers
Please wash your hands just before your appointment. Hand sanitisers are available in the surgery.
Should you need to cough please do so into the crease of your elbow. Should you need to sneeze please do so into a tissue and dispose of the tissue in the bin provided.
We appreciate your assistance in trying to prevent the spread of this virus and will be more than happy to provide you with an alternative appointment. As always, the health and wellbeing of our patients and staff is our top priority.