As a dental practice, we are regulated by the Care Quality Commission, which can assess us on the extent to which we are providing an appropriate level of safety within the context of this guidance. You can find the regulator's statement online here.
Similar public health measures are still in place for hospitals and GP practices, too. Every dental practice is working extremely hard to provide care to our patients within the restrictions and guidance.
Under the Government's guidance "Health and care settings will continue to maintain appropriate infection prevention and control processes as necessary and this will be continually reviewed. Guidance will be updated based on the latest clinical evidence this summer." You can find this online by visiting this link.
In line with the Government’s guidance, England’s Chief Dental Office Sara Hurley has informed us that the infection prevention control measures in dentistry should continue to be followed until further notices. These are important measures from Public Health England aimed at limiting the spread of the virus in dental settings. We’re also continuing to follow NHS dentry’s standard operating procedure which helps us make this guidance work.
This means three things for patients:
- If you need to come into the surgery for an appointment, please remember that social distancing remains in place in the dental practice and to wear a face covering upon entering the building.
- We will continue to have restrictions on leaving time between patients to ventilate rooms if we perform an aerosol generating procedure. An aerosol generating procedure (AGP) is a medical procedure that can result in the release of airborne particles (aerosols) from the respiratory tract when treating someone who is suspected or known to be suffering from an infectious agent transmitted wholly or partly by the airborne or droplet route. In dentistry, for example, this means the use of something like a high speed drill. This impacts how many patients we can fit into a working day.
- We are also following the Chief Dental Officer’s advice that we should prioritise patients for treatment based on urgency and priority groups, such as those more at risk of dental disease or children.
Similar public health measures are still in place for hospitals and GP practices, too.
Every dental practice is working extremely hard to provide care to our patients within the restrictions and guidance to ensure it’s safe to visit the dentist.
We hope that this helps clarify why these measures are in place for every NHS dental practice.
Please do give us a call if you think you need to see us. We’re open for patients.