As part of the easing of lockdown restrictions, patients of the Sync Dental Centres here in Addlestone will hopefully be pleased to see that we were allowed to open again from 8th June.
Those of you who have been struggling with a relatively minor dental issue, such as a toothache, will no doubt be relieved to hear this, but there will be some changes when you visit us next. The health and safety of our patients and staff is our primary concern and with this in mind, today’s blog looks at some of the changes you might see when you attend your appointment.
One of the biggest challenges facing dental practices has been the purchasing of PPE (personal protective equipment). As you will probably know, this has already been a challenge for hospitals and care homes and is no different for dentists. Because of the worldwide demand, it has been difficult trying to source this. We have been fortunate in managing to source sufficient PPE so that we can open the practice again and this will be one of the most noticeable changes that you can expect to see when you come back to us for treatment.
Although disposable masks and gloves have been used for some time, PPE equipment, for obvious reasons, offers a more intrusive barrier between the dentist and patient. This helps keep both parties safe, but it does mean that conversation will need to be more limited and mostly restricted to discussions around the treatment. Although we may not be able to discuss a football match or local news, please be assured that our team are still the same friendly faces behind the mask! As we are sure that you do too, we look forward to the day when normal conversations can resume again.
Because of new hygiene procedures, a lot more time will be taken up making sure that the treatment room is fully cleaned between each patient. This is not a five minute job and requires deep cleaning of chairs and anywhere that contact may have been made. Unfortunately, this time taken does mean that we will be seeing less patients each day, at least for a while. We will do our best to prioritise patients who have been in pain with toothache or damage to their teeth but which weren’t sufficiently severe enough to be referred to an urgent dental centre.
You will also notice changes that require our patients to act upon. These will include elements of social distancing and the use of hand sanitisers which will be stationed around the practice. Please use these and if you are unsure of anything, please do ask a member of our team.
We ask that you bear with us whilst we work our way through the most urgent cases and will do our best to get to more routine appointments as soon as we possibly can.
If you are someone that suffers from anxiety about seeing a dentist, the added stress of lockdown may have made this worse. This is a concern as it could lead to these patients deciding not to rearrange their cancelled appointments. The fact that our dentists will be protected by PPE and may look a little ‘scary’ to some people probably isn’t helpful either. Just a reminder to these patients that you shouldn’t ignore your oral health. Dental problems simply don’t go away and, in nearly all cases, will become worse. This may mean that, for example, instead of requiring a small filing for a cavity if detected early on, you may end up having a deeper filling, root canal treatment or even an extraction should you choose to ignore the problem.
Although we might currently look like something out of a science fiction film, please remember that our dentists are primarily concerned for your welfare and will do all that they can to put you at ease so that you can receive any necessary treatment. If you suffer from dental anxiety, please talk to us so that we can help you receive treatment and not allow problems to build up.
We are very pleased to be able to open again and to serve our Addlestone patients and we are taking appointments again on 01932 856541.