What to expect when Cygnet Dental opens again for business
As you will probably know, dental practices were given the go ahead to open on Monday. This is good news but unfortunately dentists were only advised at the same time as the general public, leaving us very little time to finalise our re-opening plans.
We are doing all that we can to open as soon as possible but we will not do so until we are satisfied that new procedures and protection are in place for both staff and patients.
We are still evaluating the guidance that has been provided and taking steps to put new procedures into place. In today’s blog, we explain some of the things that we are looking at and at some of the differences that patients may well see when we open. Naturally, we will advise when we are opening and this will be as soon as we can.
PPE, or ‘personal protective equipment’ is essential to ensure that treatments can be carried out safely. Anyone who has kept up to date with the news though will be aware that worldwide demand for this means that it is very difficult to source at the moment. We continue to do our best to source the clothing and equipment needed so that we can see our patients once again.
Currently, we are still offering a telephone service for patients who have a dental emergency. Where the problem is urgent, you may be referred to an urgent dental centre. For more routine problems, we will offer advice on how to manage it until it can be treated. We may also provide antibiotics where appropriate. Once we reopen, we will be contacting patients as quickly as we can. We do ask that patients understand that we will be prioritising those who are in need of prompt treatment or are in pain. Those who were mid way through a treatment will be contacted early too.
Our intention is to treat these patients as priority and then see others for more routine appointments. As it is likely that the number of patients we can see each day will be restricted, we ask that you really do make sure to clean and floss your teeth well each day. If you have a problem such as a broken tooth or have lost a filling, please try to avoid using that particular tooth when eating. This will help to prevent further damage until you can come in to see us.
The fact that dental practices are able to open again might indicate to some that all treatments are available again. Unfortunately this is not likely to be the case for a while. Some treatments, such as extractions, can be carried out safely, providing that PPE is used alongside other general hygiene measures. Others may not be as straightforward though and it is very likely that the number of treatments we are able to offer initially will be restricted.
We appreciate that this is far from ideal, but patient and staff safety comes first and until we are able to find ways of performing these treatments, or the virus threat level is reduced enough, patients may have to wait for certain treatments. We are currently assessing this and will advise soon which treatments are going to be available initially.
One of the most noticeable changes that you will find when you come to the Cygnet Dental Practice for treatment is that it might be more difficult to have the openly friendly dentist/patient relationship that you had before we went into lockdown. The barrier that PPE provides between dentist and patient is excellent from a safety perspective but does make conversation much more difficult! Dentists will also be dealing with new aspects of dental treatment and will also need to be increasingly focussed whilst they carry out treatments.
This does mean that some of the casual ‘banter’ you may have had with your dentist may be missing for a while. Please remember that this is not a reflection on you and that our team is still the same friendly people that you have always known. Like you, we can’t wait to get back to the days where the conversation is more relaxed, but safety must come first.
Please be assured that we are doing all that we can, as quickly as we can, so that patients can start to receive treatment again. In the meantime, you can call our Wickford practice, if you have a dental emergency, on 01268 733078.