Changes at Guinea Court Dental Surgery as a result of COVID-19

You may have heard that dental practices can open for routine care from Monday 8 June 2020.

I am delighted to confirm that Guinea Court Dental Surgery will be opening on that day, and all of us in the team here are so excited to welcome you back; however we just wanted to be clear that this will not be business as usual.

Part of this involves giving you an update on the steps we are taking.

First steps:

Following national guidelines we are prioritising treatment in the first few weeks of re-opening to patients who have had pain, swelling, trauma, broken teeth and lost crowns and bridges over the period that we have been closed and who develop these issues on a daily basis.

The treatments you are offered initially may be different to those you received before, depending on staff and equipment available. It will take some time before services return to those that you previously experienced as normal. Please be patient.

The whole country has been through a lot over the last few months, and all of us are looking forward to resuming our normal habits and routines. While many things have changed, one thing has remained the same: our commitment to your safety.

Infection control has always been a top priority for our practice.

You can rest assured that we’re experienced in keeping our practice spotlessly clean and our stringent decontamination processes have been in place for years.

We are now focusing on new, enhanced infection control protocols in order to operate a safe and efficient dental practice for all our patients, our staff and our wider community during and following the COVID-19 crisis.

You will notice some changes when it is time for your next appointment.

We have made these changes and revised our protocols to help protect you, our patients, and our team.

  • Book your appointment on line or over the phone. It may be that an initial short chat/video chat with the dentist will be carried out before booking in for an appointment time if there are different options available.
  • Tell us if you are shielding - we may recommend you postpone seeing us for a while unless you need to see us. If you do need to see us, we will take a few extra precautions including scheduling you in for certain times of the day.
  • Please bring as few items with you as possible to your appointment, so there are fewer objects/garments that could be carrying the virus. You will be asked to leave your coat and bag in the box provided.
  • With the exception of children under 16 and patients with carers, we ask that all patients should attend alone
  • A distance of at least 2 metres must be observed if another patient is present in the dental practice
  • Payment should be made by card where possible
  • If you show symptoms following appointment booking, you should contact the practice by phone. Do not attend the surgery.
  • Please do not arrive early to the practice. If necessary, you should wait outside the practice. Our entrance doors will be locked.
  • Please do not arrive without an appointment
  • Our practice will communicate with you to ask some screening questions. You’ll be asked those same questions again at your appointment.
  • We will help you understand what is expected of you when you attend the practice and how your appointment will be conducted.
  • Thoroughly brush your teeth
  • Ensure you are well hydrated
  • Use the bathroom before leaving home. Our facilities will be locked for now.
  • Wash your hands for 20 seconds before leaving your home

When at the practice, we will ask you to:

  • Arrive on time for your appointment
  • Please call reception when you arrive for your appointment to let us know you have arrived, and are outside the front or rear entrance. If there are other patients waiting, please maintain social distancing.
  • Remain in your vehicle in the car park if you have driven and after you have called us, until we call you into the practice.
  • Remove any gloves you may be wearing.
  • Make use of the hand sanitiser when you enter the practice. You will also find some in the reception area and other places in the practice for you to use as needed.
  • Allow us to take your temperature if required
  • Complete a verbal screening process questionnaire.

To ensure a safe environment, we have:

  • Managed appointments to allow for social distancing between patients. That might mean that you’re offered fewer options for scheduling your appointment.
  • Done our best to allow greater time between patients to reduce waiting times for you, as well as to reduce the number of patients in the reception area at any one time.
  • Installed Perspex panels or ‘germ-guards’ along the reception desk
  • Clear signage reminding you to respect social distancing recommendations
  • Managed appointments to allow for social distancing between patients
  • Set up a daily health screening checkpoint and log for the screening of all our staff entering the workplace
  • Minimised staff interaction
  • Equipped our clinical staff with additional PPE when in surgery
  • Ensured decontamination of communal areas prior to practice opening, at lunchtime and at the end of the day
  • Used phone consultations whenever possible
  • Removed books, magazines and children’s toys from the waiting room

COVID surcharge

In order to comply with the new guidelines and be able to implement all of the new policies and procedures, it is unfortunately necessary to charge a £30 COVID-related surcharge on certain procedures.

This is a contribution towards:

  • the cost of the enhanced PPE that we are required to wear in the surgery,
  • the investment in the additional infrastructure that we have implemented,
  • increased staff costs
  • Downtime in the surgeries after certain treatments to allow for additional deep cleaning

This surcharge will only apply when procedures are performed that generate aerosols, such as drilling or use of the ultrasonic scalers.

This does not apply to examinations, simple treatments not involving drilling or currently to hygienist visits as they are using only hand instruments.

We will endeavour to inform you whether this surcharge will apply when we contact you for your pre-treatment phone screening

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Latest Review from Re-opening

After two of my fillings falling out on lockdown day way back in March, I couldn’t wait to get my fillings replaced. Luckily for me I managed to get an appointment today.

I would like to thank Guinea Court so much for everything they have done to make my appointment possible. The systems they have in place are excellent. I felt extremely comfortable and safe in the environment and all staff were great. I have also discovered that only one third of dentists In England have managed to open today due to short notice and difficulty procuring PPE. That makes today even more special.

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We look forward to seeing you again and are happy to answer any questions you may have about the steps we are implementing to keep you, and every patient, safe in our practice.

You can telephone the practice on 01256 840141 or email us directly via the contact form on our website.

All the team at Guinea Court look forward to seeing you again very soon.