COVID 19 restrictions
Practice Update 16/12/2020
Our team at St Raphael’s dental practice has been working hard to look after our patients during these unprecedented times. Since we re-opened for face-to-face appointment on June 16th, we have been working hard to go through the backlog of patients with various dental emergencies.
We have implemented several additional safety precautions to ensure the safety of our patients and staff within the practice and ensure our practice remains COVID 19 free.
Once all staff were fit tested for respirators, we then progressed to the next phase to provide treatment that involves AGPs (Aerosol Generating Procedures). Any treatment procedure which involves a fast handpiece or scaler comes under it. This has introduced “fallow time” after any AGPs, which means we have to leave the room for some time (40-60 minutes) to allow the particles to settle before we can clean the surgery and set up for the next patient.
How does it affect routine appointments?
The requirement for fallow time has significantly reduced our usual capacity to see the number of patients per day. Also, although our levels of cross-infection control were already very high, our deep cleaning after each AGP procedure now takes approximately 10-15 minutes as well along with the additional time required to wear PPE including respirators.
Our capacity has improved slightly with a reduction in fallow time as per recent guidance and our ongoing investments to improve ventilation and air changes per hour in each room. At the moment we are at about 33% of our usual capacity. The increased fallow time when surgery cannot be used means our overheads for each AGP procedure has risen dramatically on top of additional PPE costs. Our private fees have increased to take into account these overheads. Some dental practices have introduced a separate charge for the PPE. We haven’t introduced any additional charges for PPE. The government has increased patient contribution for NHS charges from 14the December.
- Due to very high demand, we have opened an additional day for our hygienist, and she is now working Tuesdays and Saturdays.
- Some of our dentists has limited private treatment slots available to all our private fee-paying clients.
From the beginning of the new year, we are hoping to proceed to the next phase to be able to offer routine examinations & fluoride applications to the children of our practice aged between 0-18. We will contact you to arrange appointments based on needs.
We continue to offer emergency services and treatment to our adult patients should you experience pain, facial swelling, lost or fractured fillings, broken teeth, trauma or suspected lesions.
- Update your emails: Please ensure the practice has your up-to-date emails to contact you and send Covid screening and Medical history forms.
- Social distancing measures still in place, and you will be required to wear a mask on entering the practice for the safety of yourself and others.
- When you arrive at the practice, click the emailed link and follow the step-by-step instructions to check yourself in. If you are unable to do this, please call our friendly reception team who will be happy to do this for you.
- We are following a one in one out system, so if possible, please stay in your car until you are asked to enter the building.