By SANAA KADER
Where are we now?
As a dentist practising from Leeds, my day to day job can be summarised as a problem solver, with much of my work dealing with patients in severe pain, who are in dire need of dental intervention.
So, I am used to adapting to emergency situations, however with Covid-19 life has somewhat been more than challenging.
As per reports the coronavirus was first detected in the UK on 31 January 2020 and since 23 March the UK government forced a lockdown so that they could deal with the pandemic.
We took instructions from the Chief Dental Officer who informed us to cease any face to face treatment from 25 March, and only conduct telephone triage, and offer advice, analgesics or painkillers, and antibiotics if it was necessary.
This was a huge challenge for the dental profession, especially as it made us helpless in helping our patients who really needed dental treatment and but all I could do was prescribe painkillers instead. It was heart-breaking not being able to help and seeing our patients struggle.
Thankfully on June 8, we were able to re-open our practices and are now able to see patients with dental emergencies, and help them, as well as continuing with the telephone and video appointments which we had started in March.
We are all continuing to work to our previously already high standards of cross infection control, but have also added additional measure, some of which you may see on your next visit to the dentist, including but not limited to:
- Perspex screens at the reception
- Contactless and card payments only
- Contactless temperature checks upon arrival
- Hand sanitisation upon arrival
- Enhanced PPE to include full face visors, respirator masks which are fit tested, full sleeve gowns and plastic aprons, shoe and head covers.
- Social distancing in waiting room, or even being asked to wait in the car beforehand
- All paperwork sent out beforehand to you via e-mail to complete before the appointment
- Use of a runner nurse, to allow the flow of non-treatment areas to treatment areas in the practice to be run effectively
- Telephone triage before the appointment itself asking you about any Covid-19 symptoms
As you can see, a dental practice is probably one of the safest places you can visit at the moment, due to all the enhanced precautions we are taking, on top of everything we were already doing before COVID!
Until the risk of COVID19 is not announced to be lower by the government, you may find that it is difficult to get an appointment with your dentist unless you are experiencing severe pain or have an essential issue with your dental health.
Once we get the go ahead from the government and the Chief Dental Officer, we will be able to resume routine dentistry and treat all our patients who are waiting for treatments to be completed, or who need to see a dentist for other issues.
In the meantime, we would recommend all to maintain good dental habits at home. It is important to brush your teeth twice daily for a minimum of two minutes with a toothpaste that contains fluoride.
During lockdown it’s so easy to snack more often but it is best to avoid sugary snacks between meals, as this can increase the chances of tooth decay.
More useful tips can be found by visiting our blog at: https://indigodental.co.uk/dentist-leeds/managing-dental-problems-during-the-covid-19-pandemic/
If you can’t find what you are looking for and would like to discuss your dental concerns with us, please call on 01132632960, or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
In the meantime, stay safe and keep smiling.