COVID 19 continues to have a huge impact on all our lives. As we are sure you can imagine the delivery and volume of dentistry presently carried out in the UK is far from normal. We feel it would be beneficial to our patients for us to post a short update to explain how the services are currently being delivered from the practice. We appreciate you taking the time to read this update.
Our bespoke dedicated decontamination unit.
Lemon Dental Care LTD, like most dental practices in the UK, is termed a “mixed” practice. This means that we are independently owned and operated. Our appointment system is split between a specific amount of clinical time for independent treatment (non-NHS treatment) and a specific amount of time for NHS treatment as commissioned by the Department of Health.
We continue to operate in accordance with Department of Health protocol where surgeries must lie fallow for up to 30mins after any aerosol generating procedure has been carried out before our staff can re-enter the room to carry out rigorous cleaning. Examples of aerosol generating procedures include using a fast drill, an ultrasonic scaler or using the intraoral air/air and water syringe.
As a consequence of the fallow time and the physical challenges of operating in high level personal protective equipment the number of appointments is much lower than during pre-pandemic levels. This is applicable to all dental practices in the UK.
We all know that prevention is better than cure. This is all the more important during the pandemic when availability of dental treatment is at a reduced level.
Dental decay is preventable by reducing our frequency of sugar intake. Eliminating sugar between meals and stopping grazing on sugar containing foods during the day will reduce your risk of developing dental caries.
Gum disease- Cleaning our teeth thoroughly twice daily with a tooth brush, dental floss, and interdental brushes such as tepe brushes will help to promote healthier gums.
Appointment Allocation for Dental Emergencies
In order to make the most efficient use of the appointment time available, registered patients with a dental emergency will be prioritised. A dental emergency is defined as having one or more of the following;
i) An acute, uncompromising, spontaneous, constant dental pain
ii) A spreading infection in the mouth, this may compromise the airway making breathing difficult
iii) Uncontrolled bleeding from a tooth socket
iv) If a patient has suffered an acute trauma to the teeth where one or more teeth may have been displaced or fractured exposing the nerve.
Appointment Allocation for Non-Emergency Treatment
Patients with any other dental problems (non-emergency) will be offered an assessment appointment as soon as possible. This is vital in order for us to diagnose the problem and to allow us to estimate the clinical time required to provide the necessary treatment. At this appointment the dentist may place a dressing, give advice or issue a prescription for medication if clinically necessary.
Make an Appointment
To make an appointment please phone the practice from Monday to Friday between 9am and 1pm or 2pm and 5pm, call 028 9048 3537. Please leave your details, contact number and a brief summary of your dental problem on the answering machine. Our dentists are making their own appointments due to the impact of fallow time on the appointment system. Please note that our dentists may be working in surgery when you phone but will return your call as soon as possible.
We greatly appreciate your continued support and patience as we endeavour to deal with the new restrictions and challenges of delivering dentistry in these new times.
What’s different at the practice?
1. We will ask you to attend alone (where possible) and no sooner than 5 minutes before your appointment time.
2. We require that you attend wearing a face covering unless exempt from doing so.
3. There are now plastic screens at reception and hand gel for you to use on arrival and on leaving the practice.
4. Our dentists and nurses will be wearing PPE. Where any aerosol producing procedure is to be carried out we will be wearing gowns, gloves, visors and professionally fit tested face masks.
5. We would ask that patients bring a cardigan/sweater or jacket to the appointment as the ventilation system that we operate for your safety can cool the surgery.
6. We would ask you to pay for your treatment with a debit or credit card-preferably by contactless method if possible. We no longer accept cheques as a means of payment.