RE: Resumption of dental services in England
The goal for patients and professionals is to resume the safe and effective provision of the full range of care in all practices, as rapidly as practicable.
In developing this approach, we recognise:
• clear safety standards, including personal protective equipment (PPE) and infection prevention and control (IPC) protocols are required to safely deliver dental care, as recommended by Public Health England (PHE)
As of 29/11/2021 a lot of the government guidelines have changed. However, it has not immediately affected the waiting times and backlog caused by the last couple of years of the pandemic.
New guidelines have done away with fallow times and extra PPE for treatments to patients who do not have any suspected respiratory infections.
Those patients who do have a suspected respiratory infection (anything from a cold to COVID-19) must delay their appointment unless it is urgent.
see here for full details
We started to reintroduce check-ups in July 2021 at a reduced capacity, but we are currently over run with patients and treatments are booked up to 2 months in advance.
We are still only able to operate at 65% capacity due to COVID-19 restrictions* (due to the amount of emergency appointments we are receiving at present and the amount of treatments the emergency appointments require) we have no choice but to postpone check-ups for all of December in an attempt to catch up.
Check-ups are currently pencilled in for over 14 months from the date of this update. If we cancelled your check-up or moved it, we will contact you in due course with your new one. The practice policies still apply and it is the patients responsibility to ensure they are still registered.
As per the government directions we are prioritising appointments in this order: Emergencies (people in pain), treatments, at risk groups (perio disease, children etc) and lastly check-ups.
Please do not attend the practice if you do not have an appointment.
Please wear a face covering for your appointment (unless exempt) and come alone unless you need a chaperone.
We have been working in partnership with NHS England as an Urgent Dental Centre for our area and this will continue to do so. Any of our own patients requiring urgent dental treatment may still contact us as usual (preferably by email to request a call back from a dentist). email@example.com
In order to get back to “normal” we must phase our approach, not only for patient safety, but staff as well. Over the past month we had started to introduce a lot more routine check-ups and more treatments, including some cosmetic private treatments providing they are non-AGP (which means we do not need to drill, such as composite bonding and lip fillers).
We had started to re-introduce a lot more routine check-ups to patients in the order in which they were cancelled starting in March. This proved to be impractical and we have had to make the decision to not cut back a lot of routine check-ups in order to protect our social distancing policies, therefore cancelling some that had been made.
We are encouraging the following registered patients to attend:
- Patients with active gum disease (at this time we will not be able to deep clean teeth due to COVID-19 protocols). We will assist you with hand scaling and highlighting the areas you are missing.
- Continuation of denture work, crown work and crown repairs where eating/talking is causing you a problem.
- Patients in discomfort/pain
Whilst you wait for an appointment, we have articles on oral hygiene and handy tips on our website you can read here.
We have a list for all registered patients who wish to have a check-up. As it stands we will be looking to pencil people in for March 2022 from this list. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to place your name on the check-up list.
- You may email us at email@example.com to request a call back for triage
- We are being sent urgent patients referred to us from the emergency dental services for our area as part of our Local Urgent Dental Care system.
The Emergency Dental Services number for non-registered patients is
0300 1234 010
When routine dental care resumes, it is ultimately the patients responsibility to book an appointment. Our best efforts have been made to move patients appointments to later in the year, so that you remain registered. Any patient who does not attend the practice within a 2 year period for a check-up will be de-registered.
This also reduced the amount of patients in the waiting room, to ensure social distancing
Appointments are longer than normal to allow for the donning and doffing of extra PPE and also extra cleaning after each appointments