Are you looking for a dentist in Leeds that prioritises safety?
The Coronavirus Covid-19 worldwide pandemic made people think about all aspects of their daily life. New phrases entered our lives such as ‘social distancing’ and ‘Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)’. What does that mean for patients and staff safety at Far Headingley Dental Care?
Firstly, even before Covid-19, UK dentistry was arguably the safest in the world, with high levels of regulation. All dental practices have to register with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and are regularly inspected. The HTM-01-05 cross infection control protocols published by The Department of Health provide a robust framework. FHDC are proud to have adopted these principles and invested in Best Practice sterilisation facilities standards. Not all practices are equal and FHDC is fortunate to have the space and resources to manage cross infection control at the highest standards.
All of the clinical staff at Far Headingley Dental Care are registered with their professional body, the General Dental Council. To maintain GDC registration clinicians have to adhere to a high set of standards and also commit to continuing professional development (CPD).
How has FHDC responded to Covid-19
Whilst the standards for UK dentistry were already very high, these changed during the Red & Amber phases of Government Coronavirus management. All dental practices were instructed to close and new Urgent Dental Centres were initially set up to deal with managing the most serious dental emergencies during ‘lock-down’. Whilst we were unable to see patients during this period, the FHDC team was hard at work behind the scenes. The management team kept informed of the new standard operating procedures that were being developed for the urgent dental centres and started to plan for the changes that were anticipated once general dental practices would be allowed to open again. We were very pleased to be ready to open on the first day we were allowed to, Monday 8 June 2020.
How has FHDC enhanced its safety?
- Team training & development
- New social distancing measures
- New standard operating processes
- Reduced patient numbers
- Enhanced cross infection control processes
- Increased specification PPE
- HEPA air filters in surgery
- Fogger disinfectant machines
- New IT to enable contactless form filling
Am I safe to visit the dentist?
Our dental practice was already highly skilled in infection control with established protocols that are regularly checked & audited. We have now enhanced these protocols and made some key changes. At FHDC we believe we are a very safe practice. We have reviewed the guidelines and we have invested and acted accordingly to further enhance safety at our dental practice. You may notice new equipment in surgeries such as our new HEPA air filters. These are not a prescribed requirement, but an example of how FHDC has gone beyond the new guidelines.
How will this change my dental experience?
We will make sure that all our patients are updated and informed before they are due to attend an appointment. This will include completing ‘paperwork’ such as medical history and consent forms online and helping everyone to understand the new social distancing measures within the practice. These measure include floor markings and wearing a face covering when within the practice. We will also be taking the temperature of everyone who enters the practice and asking Covid-19 screening questions.
You may notice that the clinical team are wearing different PPE including visors and respirator face masks depending on the type of appointment you are attending for. This higher specification PPE is required during aerosol generating treatment. Whilst these may look a little daunting, it is still the same friendly FHDC team behind them. If you have any questions or concerns please just ask and we will be happy to help.
Are there any specific treatments that have changed?
The key change is the management of aerosol which is produced if we use our high speed dental handpieces and air/water spray during some of our treatments. These treatments are described as Aerosol Generating Processes or AGP’s.
Treatments that produce an aerosol will be scheduled in specific treatment sessions where the dentist and dental nurse will be wearing enhanced PPE. This includes a high quality filtering face masks which may limit how much we can talk with you during and after the procedure.
You will be asked to use a mouth rinse before we start the treatment procedure.
We will be using ‘Rubber Dams’ for these AGP’s. This is a protective thin rubber sheet with a hole that our dentists position over a tooth during treatment. The hole allows the dentist to isolate the treatment area and increase the level of protection. This prevents saliva interfering with the dental work and reduces the risk of contamination.
After all AGP treatments we will be ‘fallowing’ the treatment room. This means leaving it empty to allow the aerosol to settle and then we will be carrying out rigorous cleaning – this will inevitably slow things down and mean that we cannot see as many patients as we would normally be able to.
In time we hope that these stringent measure will be relaxed and we can return to dentistry as normal. In the meantime please rest assured that safety is always the number one priority at FHDC.
Get in touch
To discuss how Far Headingley Dental Care can help you with your dental needs please complete the enquiry form on this page or call our practice in Leeds on 0113 275 1323 during normal office hours.