Start to Smile Again

Dear sir or madam,

We hope that you are all well and managing to cope in these difficult times.

We would like to thank you for your patience and understanding through this Pandemic.

We are happy to say that we are back to working in surgery and allowed to do more dental procedures now, which is fantastic news and another step forward.

With that being said, we are still not running to ‘normal’ capacity and would appreciate your continued understanding as we try to work through the backlog of patients who require urgent dental treatment.

We understand that many of you may have questions and concerns regarding dental care at this time, so we have outlined below the changes that we have put into place to protect all our patients and staff.

• Firstly, is it safe to have dental treatment?

Provision of face-to-face treatment will require you to attend Jennings Dental Care which will incur a small risk of viral transmission as compared to social isolating at home. Comprehensive procedures are in place to minimise this risk for all patients and staff. Dental practices are already an exceptionally clean environment compared to public areas. We already followed extremely strict cross infection protocols and procedures, receive regular inspections by the health board to ensure that we comply with their standards and you will be aware we already wearing PPE to treat every patient. Both the decontamination and PPE this has been enhanced due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

• Reduced working hours.

There are still several restrictions in place on the practice of dentistry and the number of appointments available are extremely limited at this time. We are currently prioritising patients with tooth ache and swellings, and those who were in the middle of treatment when the pandemic hit.

After completion of any aerosol generating treatment, the surgery it was carried out in must be “fallowed” (empty) for a period of 25 minutes before it can be extensively deep cleaned and made ready for the next patient to enter.

This coupled with the limited PPE resources we are supplied and the continued requirement for social distancing means we can only have 2 dentists (rather than 4) working in the practice on any one day. However, we have extended working hours to Monday – Friday, 9am – 6pm.

• Prioritising emergency appointments

As we have a large backlog of patients waiting to be seen since March 2020, we are currently cancelling all Check-ups to give priority to patients in pain or those with swelling. Reception staff are taking details of patients wishing to be seen and then passing them on to the dentists for them to allocate spaces.

Please take note of our new arrival and in-surgery protocol:

- Fill out your medical history/ COVID screen before arriving for your appointment. A link to these can be found in your text and email reminders.
- If you feel that you are at risk of having been infected – even if asymptomatic, please delay your appointment.
- Attend your appointment alone where possible.
- If you require a chaperone, we will need their details before your appointment.
- Your chaperone must wear a mask.
- When travelling to the practice we would recommend you limit close contact with members of the public if possible.
- Please endeavour to arrive no more than 5 minutes before your scheduled appointment.
- Please phone from outside the practice on 0141 956 1657 to confirm your arrival. You will be advised if we are ready for you to come upstairs.
- Please bring a mask in case you have to wait in the waiting room.
- Please bring as few possessions with you as possible. You will be asked to place any possessions you bring in a plastic box in reception.
- If there is a charge, then contactless card or over the phone payments are being encouraged.
- You will be asked to sanitize your hands with alcohol hand rub at our hand hygiene station in reception.
- We may take your temperature with a no touch thermometer.
- Staff may be wearing full PPE when you arrive at the practice.
- Although the rest room will be available, we ask if you could try to use the bathroom before you come to the practice.
- We may ask you to rinse with a hydrogen peroxide mouthwash.
- We are unable to provide cushions for support on the dental chair for the time being. If you require one could you please bring your own.

What we are doing in the practice to make sure you remain safe:

- Screening patients prior to arrival by telephone questionnaire.
- Screening on arrival at practice: temperature check/ verbally.
- Cancelling treatment where there is suspicion of COVID -19 patients with or suspected to have Covid-19 who require emergency or urgent care will be seen in urgent dental care centres.
- Provision of alcohol gel/ hand washing for patients as well as staff on arrival and before leaving the practice.
- Social distancing – ensuring 2 metre distance where possible.
- Screen fitted to reception desk.
- Reducing the number of patients in practice at any one time.
- Providing enhanced personal protective equipment for staff members and always ensuring appropriate use.
- Additional cleaning of surfaces.
- All staff will be instructed to avoid unnecessary exposure (both at work and in private) as per current government policies for social distancing.
- If any staff member is at risk of COVID-19 they will be advised isolation/ testing as advised by Health Protection Scotland.

If you would rather not attend the surgery during this time, please let a member of staff know by telephone.

Always Follow the advice of the Scottish government:

Yours sincerely
Jennings Dental Care
0141 956 1657