Closing dental practices during the first national lockdown to prevent the spread of Covid-19 caused a great deal of stress to patients and dentists alike. Whilst it was understood why the government chose to do this, it has created problems of its own.
With such a long closure, it was inevitable that some people would not receive the treatment that they needed and that backlogs for routine preventative appointments would also grow.
This has proven to be the case and since the Sync Dental Centres reopened in June, we have been doing all that we can to catch up on those missed appointments and to treat any patient in need. Unsurprisingly, a few nerves were jangling when it became clear that a second lockdown was looming. Thankfully, this time, all dental practices are allowed to stay open!
Aside from the realisation that there was a real threat to the nation’s oral health if dentists were made to close this time around, many things have changed since the first lockdown. Although your handy Addlestone dental practice has long had systems in place to minimise the risk of cross infection, the seriousness of the Covid-19 situation has meant that these have been extended even further. Not only are hand sanitisers widely available throughout the practice, along with notices about social distancing, but PPE is now widely available and regularly used when seeing patients.
These new restrictions are essential to prevent the spread of Covid-19 within the dental environment but some do have certain consequences for our patients. In addition to the aforementioned, we now have to allow more time between each patient appointment so that the treatment room can be fully cleaned. As you can appreciate, this takes time and it does mean that we are able to see less patients per day than before.
If you are registered at the Sync Dental Centres, you may have had your routine dental checkup appointment cancelled. If you have, we can assure you that we are doing all that we can to work through the backlog as quickly and safely as possible. If you do experience any problems though, such as a toothache or broken tooth, please contact us as soon as you can to request an appointment.
It should be noted that an emergency appointment is for any type of significant tooth damage, such as mentioned above. It doesn’t have to be a toothache that is causing excruciating pain. Even one which is causing minor discomfort needs to be examined, and quite possibly treated, as soon as possible. A toothache is a sign that something is wrong and will almost certainly worsen if not treated promptly.
When you call us, please let our reception team know the nature of the problem. Although we will do our best to see everyone as soon as possible, we are sure that you will appreciate that we will try to see those with more serious problems as a priority.
Whilst priority is given to those in need of urgent treatment, we are pleased to be able to offer all the dental services that we usually do. There may be some changes to the way that we proceed with these so if, for example, you are hoping to have a smile makeover, please do contact us to find out the latest information.
To help us continue to work through the backlog and to avoid discomfort for yourself, we ask that you pay particular attention to your oral care regime at home. This is good advice at any time but especially during lockdown which may present a number of challenges for some of us.
Because many of us will have different routines under lockdown, it is quite possible that we might forget important things that we routinely do. For example, if you are in the habit of brushing your teeth before you leave the house for work, this may not register as much if you are working from home and it is far easier to forget to do it at all. Also, please be careful not to over indulge in too many high sugar foods. If you work from home, it is only too easy to have biscuits, sweets etc within easy reach of your laptop. If you are prone to snacking, keep a few tooth friendly snacks nearby to help you resist the temptation of raiding the sweet tin!
We hope that all of our patients are coping with this second lockdown and once again remind you that we are available should you need treatment or any dental related advice. As always, you can contact the Sync Dental Centres by calling us on the usual number of 01932 856541.