The coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic has affected all our lives in many ways and we have all had to make changes. We understand that some patients may have worries or concerns regarding returning to see us amid the pandemic. Here at Mint Dental Hygiene Services we take our level of patient care and safety very seriously and have implemented a number of changes to keep you safe during your visit. Below is a brief outline of what changes to expect:
Before Patients Arrive at the Practice
- Cleaning will be key! We will create gaps between patients to allow for decontamination and disinfecting of the surgery after each patient.
- Covid-19 screening – we have upgraded our medical history forms to include Covid-19 specific questions and these will now be sent by post or email to all patients, to be completed in advance of arriving at the practice. This will allow us to carry out a risk assessment on each patient. Rebooking can then be carried out where necessary. For example, to avoid vulnerable, high risk or Covid-19 positive patients crossing paths at the practice.
- 24 hours before the appointment we will ask all patients to confirm they have not and are not currently experiencing symptoms, tested positive or been in contact with anyone who has in the last 14 days
- Unfortunately, we will not be offering a walk-in service at this time. Patients will be seen by appointment only
On Arriving at the Practice
- You will be greeted by Debbie our Practice Manager, one of the first things she will do is take your temperature with a non-contact thermometer
- Please don’t be alarmed, we will be dressed in personal protective equipment. This will include a mask (will remain on from start to finish), gloves, visor and an apron
- If your temperature is below 37.8 degrees and you confirm that you are not experiencing any symptoms, we will invite you in and offer you alcohol-based hand rub or the opportunity to wash your hands. Hand hygiene is compulsory
- Please keep to a 2-metre distance until treatment prevents this from being possible
- We would kindly ask, where possible, to arrive without a chaperone to reduce footfall in the practice. If this is not possible or you are in the waiting area for a prolonged period of time we will offer you a disposable surgical mask
- Please aim to arrive at the time of your appointment, rather than being early or late, to reduce the chance of patients crossing paths or waiting in an enclosed environment
- Where possible, try to refrain from using the public toilets by using facilities before attending the practice
- No eating or drink once in the practice
The main risk with our treatments is through aerosols. An aerosol is a very fine spray which can be created through speaking, coughing or sneezing which is the reason Public Health England have advised a 2-metre social distancing rule during this pandemic. This spray can stay in the air for a period of time and can be breathed in by others and land on surfaces which can transmit the infection to others. A machine used regularly during hygiene appointments is known as an Ultra-Sonic Scaler, some patients might refer to this as the machine that sprays water, this creates an aerosol which is not generally a risk to patient’s health unless the patient is contagious with an infection such as Covid-19.
We can still use this machine, but we will need to follow strict guidelines to ensure that the aerosol has completely dispersed, and the environment has been completely disinfected. Throughout this period we will place an emphasis on hand scaling rather than the use of machines to limit unnecessary aerosols. This does not mean your teeth will not be as clean as usual, but it might take longer to achieve the same result. We will factor this into your appointment.
At the End of your appointment
- After your treatment has finished, we will revert back to maintaining social distancing at 2 metres
- We would prefer to take payments by credit/debit card if possible. We will be disinfecting the card machine after every patient
Hopefully, these measures will give you the confidence that we are doing everything we can to make the environment as safe as possible. If you have any other worries or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact us and we will do everything we can to provide you with further reassurance.
We look forward to seeing you soon.