COVID-19 Update

Dear Patient

As you may have heard dental practices were able to re-open from 8 June 2020 but the priority initially was patients with urgent dental problems that could not be managed by telephone advice, analgesia (painkillers) or antibiotics where clinically required. We continue to give priority for face to face appointments to patients who have urgent dental problems but we are now able to offer routine examination appointments to patients. It will be possible to take xrays at the appointment if clinically indicated but currently we will not be able to offer scaling as this is an aerosol producing procedure and these have to currently be minimised. The reason for this is that current guidance states practices must leave the surgery to stand for one hour following an aerosol producing procedure prior to it being cleaned ready for the next patient. This also applies to treatments such as most fillings and crown preparations. Therefore if at your routine examination it is advised you require dental treatment we may need to defer this to a later date.

While many things have had to change because of recent events one thing has remained the same, our commitment to your safety and that of the dental team.

Infection control has always been top priority for our practice. Our infection control processes are made so that when you receive care it is both safe and comfortable. We want to tell you about the infection control procedures we follow in our practice to keep patients and staff safe. Our practice follows infection control guidelines made by the governing bodies.

We are up to date on new guidance that has been issued. We do this to make sure our infection control procedures are current and adhere to recommendations.

You will see some changes when you come to the practice for an appointment. We have made these changes to protect both staff and patients.

Our practice will communicate with you prior to the appointment via telephone to ask some screening questions and to update your medical history.

We have hand sanitiser we will ask you to use on arrival at the practice and is kept in the reception area.

All magazines and toys have been removed from our waiting area as these items are difficult to clean and disinfect.

Appointments will be managed to allow for social distancing between patients. This may mean that you are offered fewer options for scheduling an appointment.

In addition we ask as far as is possible for patients to attend on their own although there is an exception for carers and for adults accompanying children. If you require an interpreter you may bring someone but they should be from your own household.


HOW YOU CAN HELP

With the exception of children and patients with carers, patients should come alone.

A distance of at least 1 metre must be observed if another patient is in the practice.

Payment should be made by card rather than cash where possible.

Staff will not shake your hand.

If you show any symptoms of covid 19 or are contacted by the NHS.

Track and trace service once you have booked an appointment you must contact the practice by phone and the appointment will be deferred.

Please do not arrive more than 5 minutes prior to your appointment to maintain social distancing.

Please do not arrive without a scheduled appointment.

Patients should wear a mask when attending an appointment or other suitable covering over your nose/mouth on arrival to the practice.


In summary, by following rigorous infection control in accordance with relevant guidance from governing bodies, we minimise the risk of Covid 19 transmission. However, this risk cannot be eliminated and you should weigh up the risks and benefits of attending for a face to face appointment.

If you would like to go ahead with an appointment please respond by email to confirm that you have read, understood and consent to the risk of possible covid 19 exposure.

Once your email has been received we will be in a position to offer you an appointment.

Yours Sincerely
The Dental Team at ML Crowe Dental Practices


M.L CROWE DENTAL PRACTICES (For Hygienist patients)

417 Spring Road, Ipswich IP4 5LY and 17a Great Colman Street, Ipswich, IP4 2AN

01473 252 071 and 01473 727 186

DENTAL HYGIENE SERVICES

Dear Patient,

We hope this letter finds you in good health and thank you for being patient and bearing with us during challenging times. As you may have heard dental practices were able to re-open from 8th June 2020, but the priority initially was patients with urgent dental problems. We continue to give priority to patients that have urgent dental problems but are delighted to now be able to offer hygienist appointments once again to our valued patients. While many things have changed in our lives and workplaces, our values have remained the same:

1- Deliver honest, ethical, and excellent dental care
2- Provide a safe environment for our patients and team

Infection control has always been a priority for our practice,and we have taken further steps to enhance our already excellent cross infection measures. Our practice follows infection control guidelines set out by the governing bodies and we are committed to your safety by ensuring our infection control procedures are current and that we are adhering to all recommendations. You will notice some changes when you visit the practice for your nextappointment with the hygienist. The aim of this is to maintain social distancing and to reduce the risk of transmission of the virus.

These changes include:

• Prior to you visiting us, our practice will telephone you before your scheduled appointment to ask you some screening questions and to update your medical history.This screening process assesses the safety of treating you in the practice.
• Appointments will be managed to allow for social distancing between patients. This may mean that you will be offered fewer options for scheduling an appointment.
• We kindly ask as far as possible for patients to attend on their own although there is an exception for carers and for adults accompanying children.
• A distance of at least 1 metre must be observed if another patient is in the practice.
• If you show any symptoms of Covid-19 or are contacted by NHS Test and Trace service once you have booked an appointment you must contact the practice by telephone to defer your appointment.
• Please do not arrive more than 5 minutes before your scheduled appointment to maintain social distancing.
• Please do not come to the practice unless you have a scheduled appointment.
• Patients should wear a mask or other suitable covering over your nose/ mouth on arrival to the practice.
• Upon arrival to the practice you will be asked to use handsanitiser which you will find at our reception desk.
• Payment should be made by card rather than with cash where possible.
• Our magazines and toys have been removed as these items are difficult to clean and disinfect.
• Staff will not shake your hand. We apologise in advance for the necessary reduction in social interaction during this period – please remember it is still the same happy faces and friendly team under the masks!
• At this present time, we are unable to carry out your treatment using ultrasonic scalers (instruments with water) as this is an aerosol producing procedure and these currently must be minimised. Whilst we are unable to use this instrument, this is not a problem as our hygienists are highly trained professionals and are able to carry out your treatment with manual hand scalers, which you will already be familiar with as we normally use these instruments alongside our ultrasonic scalers in most appointments.
• Manual instruments can sometimes take a little longer to remove tougher deposits on the teeth. If you have substantial calculus (tartar/ ‘build up’) then in some circumstances we may suggest that you come back sooner/ for another appointment.
• Where possible we can carry out polishing of the teeth, but this needs to be risk assessed individually by the hygienist during the appointment. We may be unable to offer polishing for instance if there is a lot of gingival (gum) inflammation and bleeding.
• The current private charge for a hygienist appointment is £49.00. This charge will be increased from 1st January 2021 to £51.00

Prevention in dentistry is so important and during this time, we feel it is more important than ever before. Therefore, we will be focusing on oral health advice and prevention during your appointment and at home there are some simple things you can do to minimise your risk of dental problems:

• Continue to brush your teeth twice a day, for at least two minutes with a fluoride toothpaste
• Use floss or interdental (Tepe) brushes at least once a day (twice a day if possible)
• Reduce your intake of sugary foods and drinks (particularly in between meals)

In summary, by following rigorous infection control in accordance with relevant guidance from governing bodies, we minimise the risk of Covid-19 transmission. However, this risk cannot be eliminated completely, and each patient needs to weigh up their own individual risks and benefits of attending for a face to face appointment. If you would like to proceed with an appointment, please respond by email to confirm that you have read, understood and consent to treatment at this time.Once your email has been received, we will be able to offer you an appointment.

Yours Sincerely,

Jodie Blyth -Registered Dental Hygienist at ML Crowe