Covid-19 updates

Admin Dental

19/6/2020 UPDATE
As we announced in the breaking news section of the last email, we reopened for emergencies on 15th June. During lockdown we continued to provide emergency cover to our patients by dispensing advice, antibiotics, temporary filling and crown recementment kits and referring acute emergencies to the Urgent Care Hub.

We now want to tell you about our plans for a gradual return to general dentistry. As from 29th June, we will resume seeing patients for dental exam and hygiene appointments. Due to the restrictions placed on us by our operating guidelines, the dentist will come and see you in the therapist’s surgery rather than in their own surgery. We then aim to resume dental procedures that generate aerosols (fillings, root canal treatments, emax crowns and extractions).

If you had an appointment cancelled due to the Covid 19 outbreak and wish to rebook this, please email the practice and one of our staff will ring you over the next few days to arrange this appointment. If this has already been rebooked since we reopened, there is no need to email. If we do not hear from you we will send you a reminder in 3 months. Appointments that were booked before lockdown will go ahead unless we contact you.

Things are changing daily, at the moment we will ring you the day before your appointment to triage you but this may well change over the next few weeks. On the appointment reminder email you will find a link to a Covid 19 questionnaire – please ensure you send us this back the day before your appointment.

We want to thank you for your kind messages of support over the past 12 weeks, we really appreciated them. We hope you will bear with us over the next few weeks/months. This is a completely new way of working for us and your safety and that of our staff remains our top priority.

As circumstances and regulations are changing we are adapting our surgical operation procedures. This means our opening hours and use of surgery times maybe different from those on our website to allow for extra decontamination procedures and 60 minutes fallow time for the surgeries where we have performed aerosol generating treatments.

3/6/2020 UPDATE
Following our email outlining our projected opening on 15th June, we are now delighted to confirm this as our reopening date. However, the guidelines set by the Faculty of General Dental Practitioners dictate for the first few weeks it will be a closed door policy, providing emergency care by appointment only.

Over the coming days the website will be updated with various information documents highlighting how a visit to the dentist will have changed. We have appreciated all your loyalty over the last three months and within reason we have tried to maintain the same pricing structure.

Unfortunately, the guidelines dictate a massive amount of extra decontamination procedures, addition of PPE and some treatments requiring one hour of surgery downtime (surgery to be left empty for one hour after certain treatments). We will therefore have no choice but to levy some small charges related to these unprecedented circumstances. Our plan patients will benefit from reduced PPE costs, as these will be subsidised by the practice.

These guidelines will be under constant review and as the NHS Covid alert level drops (currently level 4) the levy will be reduced accordingly.

At this time we cannot book routine dental care until the national alert level drops to 3, please bear with us as we try to resume a normal service. Anyone with a dental emergency please contact 01274  533933.

Stay safe and well,

Richard, Carole, Stephen and Team Honesty

26/5/2020 UPDATE
**UPDATE**
Since we wrote this email, we have received further updates to guidelines  and can confirm we  are working towards opening Monday 15th June for emergencies only. This is subject to change in this rapidly evolving situation. We will be in touch with patients requiring emergency dental treatment.
INTRODUCTION
You may or may not have seen in the latest news bulletins that dental services are to resume. There is, as yet, a lot of confusion and contention around this statement. Currently the regulators are keeping their cards close to their chest. We are still bound by a very strict set of criteria which requires us to acquire a considerable amount of personal protective equipment, most of which is currently ‘ring-fenced’ for the NHS.  We are, however, in the process of accumulating the required PPE through various sources.As soon as the guidelines become clearer and more supportive of us reopening we will endeavour to do so, assuming we can keep our patients and staff safe.In the meantime, we will be continuing to offer advice and assessment via telephone, prescribing medication and supplying temporary filling and crown re-cementation kits for collection whilst also referring our most urgent patients to the Urgent Dental Care hubs where necessary.PATIENT INFORMATION WHEN WE DO OPEN
When we do re-open, we would like you to be aware of the new ’normal’ when visiting the dentist. What follows are the latest ideas around what an average visit to the dentist will be like post reopening.

The day before your appointment you will be contacted by one of our staff and a comprehensive triage questionnaire will be conducted over the telephone to ensure you are safe to attend the practice.

On the day of your appointment, we will ask you not to bring anyone with you or bring any personal belongings into the practice. You will be asked to remain in your car until a member of our nursing staff calls for you.

You will be escorted to the surgery to maintain social distancing as much as possible:

  • Your temperature will be taken before entering the building
  • A face mask will be provided for you to wear during your visit
  • You will be asked to sanitise your hands and possibly given a pair of gloves to wear
  • You will be asked not to touch any door handles and to minimise the amount of time spent inside the building
Once in the surgery and undergoing treatment:
  • You will be required to rinse with a mouth wash
  • Our staff will look very different, we now have face visors, FFP masks, full gowns, hats and shoe coverings
  • Our air purifiers will be operational
  • We have new disinfectant for decontamination which is effective against Covid-19
On leaving our premises:
  • Payments will be taken over the phone
  • Next appointments will be made over the phone
  • Any queries will be answered via the phone

We ask you to bear with us during this transitional period, as the flow of patients will be reduced to allow us to turn the surgery around in a safe and efficient manner.

Initially the practice will open to the most pressing of emergencies and it is then likely that routine dentistry will get phased in over the coming weeks.

Team Honesty feel fully prepared and ready to welcome all our patients back very shortly. We can’t wait to get back to providing care for all our patients.

Stay safe and well

Richard, Carole, Stephen and Team Honesty.

30/4/2020 UPDATE

We hope you are all remaining fit and well. A healthy mouth is fundamental to our overall well-being, with this in mind we want to keep you updated with our progress towards re-opening Honesty.

We are continuing to watch copious amounts of webinars and Zoom meetings from fellow dental professionals and professors, who specialise in viral epidemics. Whilst nothing is set in stone as yet, we are moving towards re-opening dental practices and we want to ensure we are ready when the time arrives.

We are confident that with a staggered regime we can begin to deliver high quality dental treatment very soon. As we move out of the acceptance phase we all have to adapt to the reality of a new working environment. This is going to be a huge challenge requiring a team effort on all our parts. The safety of our staff, clinicians and you, our patients, is paramount, so we are setting out our vision for Honesty’s future.

As a forward-thinking practice, we have a lot of the tools and protocols already in place. Although the timing is not great for us, having just re-located, it has given us space, a commodity vital to the survival of Honesty.

What we have in place already:

1. Space – social distancing can be achieved for both patients and staff.

2. Four surgeries – an ability to manipulate the surgeries to our advantage to encompass any recommendations for decontamination.

3. The use of rubber dam – used as standard to minimise viral transmission.

4. A dedicated decontamination room – large enough to adapt to any new recommendations.

5. A dedicated team – who share our vision to provide top quality care in a safe and controlled environment.

6.  A team of clinicians – covering all areas of dentistry.

7.  Extra time – to allow for special decontamination procedures to be carried out, after certain treatments.

8.  Great patients – who are motivated and trusting, and ready to accept our new regimes.

What we need to re-open:

1. Air purifiers – not recommended but we feel a vital part of our commitment to provide safety and confidence for all our staff clinicians and patients. These have been ordered and we are awaiting delivery.

2. PPE – although FFP3 masks are unavailable we have managed to source a supply of FFP2 face masks and visors.

3. Protective suits  – we are already in talks regarding these.

4. New triage protocols – a couple of days before appointments, new Covid questionnaire.

5. Exams and hygiene – to be completed in one surgery to reduce the movement of patients.

New to Honesty:

1. Dedicated video calls – to our clinicians and staff to discuss any queries, finance-related questions, review appointments. All this can be done from the safety and comfort of your own home.

2. WhatsApp and Facetime – we will have a dedicated mobile phone where patients can contact us and send photographs of broken teeth, swellings etc, removing the need for an immediate face to face consultation.

We would like to thank all our patients for your continued support, trust and patience. You have made the commitment to stay with us and we will make the commitment to keep you all safe and dentally fit and healthy.

Stay safe and take care.

Richard, Carole, Stephen and Team Honesty

20/4/2020 UPDATE
We hope you are all keeping well and staying safe. Here’s an update we’ve just sent out to our patients by email.
 
Lost fillings/crowns
We would like to keep you up to date with this fast moving situation. We have had enquires from a number of patients who have lost crowns and fillings, our advice has been to obtain a temporary filling material from local pharmacies, however, it has become apparent that these temporary filling kits are now impossible to get hold of.
 
We have contacted our suppliers and they are providing us with some temporary cement and filling material, these will be with us very soon and will be ready for patients by the end of this week.
 
Designated Dental Hubs
For patients with extreme pain, we have now been informed there are designated centres with the correct PPE available. These will be contacted through ourselves after the correct triage procedures have been followed, for further information please contact the practice on 01274 533933.
 
Research and development following Covid-19
Moving on from the immediate situation, we would like to reassure all our patients we are continually reading papers, we are members of many Coronavirus dental forums where we share our thoughts and knowledge. With this in mind we have placed an order for 6 air purification units for all our surgeries and patient waiting areas.
 
These high end air sterilisers radic8.com have core technology which has been tested again Coronavirus DF2, influenzavirus and Poliovirus. The results show a 99.999% kill rate in a single air pass. We intend to use these units in conjunction with our other infection control measures.
We would once again like to thank you all for your continued support, trust and patience in these difficult times.
 
Best wishes,
 
Richard, Carole, Stephen and Team Honesty

6/4/2020 UPDATE

We have today written to all patients concerning future dental care at Honesty.

We hope you are staying safe and well and we cannot wait to welcome you back through our doors once this crisis is resolved. As you can imagine these are extremely difficult times for us all with much uncertainty. Rest assured we are researching amongst our fellow dental professionals, our clinicians have joined many dental forums, these are giving us ‘food for thought’ and we are finding them great platforms to share/gather knowledge, as we all begin to rebuild our businesses.

Honesty Dental Plan – update

For those of you who belong to our Honesty Dental Plan, firstly we would like to thank you all for your continued support and trust. Your membership makes a significant difference in keeping our team together and the practice viable. We have built a first class group of highly committed clinicians and our wish, to you, is to continue to offer a high level of support particularly in these very  difficult times.

With this in mind we intend to credit your account for any services you do not receive.

For example: for anyone who has missed their routine examination and hygiene appointment (i.e. it was due in the last two weeks of March or April), you will be credited £80 to your account from the last two weeks of March. This will be continued for as long as the government or our governing body restrict our opening. You will remain on our Insurance Scheme, with all the benefits of our plan with your registered dentist and loyalty discount. This credit can be used against a check up/ hygiene upon reopening or if you wish to forgo the missed appointments this can be used against treatments going forward.

Over the last few weeks we have answered many calls from our patients and although we are unable to offer physical treatment, we have been there to offer analgesics, antibiotics and advise.

As this scenario moves forward we will keep you informed with any developments as they become available to us.

Stay safe and well.

Richard, Carole, Stephen and Team Honesty

25/3/2020 UPDATE

As you are aware, on the 16th March, after a weekend of information-gathering and talking to fellow professionals about the situation regarding Covid-19, we took the difficult decision to postpone all routine dental care.

As the situation escalates it has become necessary to close our doors completely, following directives from our governing body the BDA. We will however be answering our phone lines between 8am-12pm Monday to Friday and monitoring our emails daily.

Our contact details are as follows:

Telephone: 01274 533933

Email: info@honestydentalcare.co.uk

The situation is constantly evolving with more restrictions being placed on us daily, so updates will be posted on the website, Facebook and Instagram

Rest assured we will continue to be here for you at the end of the phone for any help and advice and to provide any necessary medication.

23/3/2020 UPDATE

As the ongoing situation deteriorates we have been advised by our governing body the British Dental Association to cease all routine dental treatment and only see extreme emergencies.

As you are aware we took the very difficult decision last week to close our doors. We would like to assure you we will still be seeing emergencies and would like to provide you with some guidelines of what constitutes an emergency appointment:

– Pain/toothache not controlled by paracetamol
– Facial swelling
– Suspicious oral ulceration longer than two weeks

We would also like to inform you there will be a strict triage regime in place and instructions given for entry to our practice, this is for your safety as well as our staff.

At this moment in time we will be available by phone at our practice from 8am till 12pm for urgent dental advice on 01274 533933 or by email.

As you are aware this is a fast moving situation and we know from updates with our fellow professionals and governing bodies, this may all change at a moments notice.

All appointments have been cancelled until the end of April, this will be reviewed regularly and if the situation improves they can all be reinstated as required.

We are grateful for your understanding at this difficult time for all of us, you will appreciate this is far from the best outcome for our practice, however, we are convinced this is the best scenario for all concerned. We are currently in discussions with your Honesty plan provider to make a financial reduction in lieu of these unprecedented circumstances, please be patient and we will update you as soon as we have more information.

We thank you for trusting us with your dental care and we hope you and your families remain safe and well.

17/3/2020 UPDATE

We would like to reassure all our Honesty plan patients that we are in close communication with our plan providers.

We are hoping these measures will only be temporary and as soon as it is safe to reopen, priority will be given to plan patients for all their dental requirements, with extra hygiene and dental appointments available. We would like to assure you that emergency appointments will be given priority to plan patients both in and out of hours.

In the unfortunate event of any redundancies our plan providers have asked us to reassure you all that the plan will be covered by the insurance. Click link below for more details.

We will continue to monitor the situation closely and keep you updated.

16/3/2020 UPDATE

As a valued patient here at Honesty, we wanted to inform you that after a weekend of information-gathering and talking to fellow professionals about the current situation regarding Covid-19, we have taken the difficult decision to postpone all routine dental care.

This has been necessary due to a combination of staff isolation and protecting vulnerable members of staff and patients. We will, however, run a core service to provide emergency dental care for all our patients who are not in compulsory isolation or suffering from symptoms of Covid-19. For all patients in this category there is a dedicated government team that can be contacted by 111.

For any patients who feel they need urgent care please contact us on 01274 533933 to discuss your individual case. We request that all orthodontic patients please call the practice to organise their follow up appointments.

We would like to assure you we are monitoring the situation closely and responding to the rapid changes every day, as the safety of our patients and staff remains our top priority.

Once we believe it is safe to do so, we will reopen and let you know via email or social media. Please see our website and Facebook for weekly updated information.

Through these difficult times please be aware we are increasing our cross-infection control policies for the protection of our patients and staff.