Full reopening from 27th July

At all times and throughout lockdown, Victoria Dental Practice has been functioning at our utmost to the level enforced by the government through Public Health England, for the care of our patients and staff.

We are delighted to say we are moving forward now to be running with all staff returning, with extended hours, from the 27th July.

We are starting to contact patients to advise them of the new protocols that we must follow.

To reduce contact time, and movement within the practice and reception, we need to still have a closed-door policy, where you attend wearing a mask. Before attending patients need to remotely complete forms via our practice internet system which directly feeds into your secure notes. This needs to be done before an appointment is made. This helps us assess the suitability and timing of the appointment for your individual circumstances. Ideally this should be done via email or smartphone.

For any appointment that uses high speed sprays such as drills or ultrasonic cleaners we, at present, must wear theatre style gowns, visors, coverings over our scrubs, and respirator masks; and the surgery door will be closed throughout the appointment. After the patient has left, the room then needs to be vacated at the end of the appointment for an hour “fallow time” to allow the aerosol to settle before cleaning, and further subsequent use. This is called an “aerosol generated procedure” or AGP. Understandably therefore this needs to be planned in advance and so our appointments are classified and timed as AGP or non AGP. Because this fallow time, we now can only therefore work out of 2 of the 3 surgeries at any one time.

The government directive is to minimize the AGP appointments undertaken, and so wherever possible hygiene visits will be not using the ultrasonic equipment and full quality scaling will be undertaken by hand to keep the appointment non AGP.

We have always been a preventative practice, and so are encouraged that a Minimally Invasive Approach is now considered best practice for the health of your mouth and the protection of all. This involves regular clinical and radiographic monitoring of small lesions, fluoride application and education. To maintain as much healthy tooth structure as possible, restorative treatment should be undertaken only where necessary, due to symptoms and/or the lesion progressing. At all times you will receive the best, up to date, quality attention and care from us all.

To increase capability, as well as resuming our previous hours, we will, for a temporary period, be working most Saturdays until 2pm.To reduce unnecessary trips and social contact, appointments offered will be longer, and payments will be taken over the phone.

There are many changes both physically and managerially because of COVID 19, but feel reassured that the health of everyone is paramount to us. Although restrictions are relaxing generally, it is thought within the dental profession this increased protection may be with us for some time.

Looking forward to resuming your appointments very soon. Please feel free to contact the practice about appointments from now on.

Simon and Helen Holguin, Victoria Dental Practice