UPDATE – 23rd June 2020
I hope you are all well and looking after yourselves during this lockdown period. I am pleased to say that we have been back open for a week now and the ship seems to be back up and running. We have managed to see just over a hundred urgent / emergency patients who had not been able to access any dental care throughout this lockdown period and provide treatment and advice to get them out pain / set them on a path to return to good oral health.
As we are now beginning to complete this phase of treating the urgent and emergency patients, we are now asking all our patients with any dental problems / concerns to contact us to enable us to see you as soon as possible (at the moment we have same day availability) before we enter our next phase of rebooking outstanding treatments and more routine care such as dental check ups and routine hygiene appointments. If you do have any dental problems or concerns please contact us as soon as possible to be seen before we reopen the books for routine care as we anticipate a significant demand and booking upsurge once we enter this phase. This will ensure that we can see you now in a timely manner before problems get worse and so forth.
You are able to contact us via the following methods:-
- E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Ring us on (01372) 897197
- Whatsapp us on 07907722666 (business hours only)
- Use the Contact Us form on our website www.dentalelements.co.uk
To all our lovely Dental Elements and Endo Elements patients,
I can finally confirm that we have a reopening date. The practice is aiming for a reopening on Tuesday 16th June 2020.
As we finalise implementing our new protocols and equipment installations to deal with Covid-19, I cannot thank you and my staff enough for all your patience and understanding during this extremely difficult time for us all but I am very glad to say that we are getting ready to come back. It has been a desperately frustrating time knowing that we cannot help you all with your dental health – especially those with urgent matters / emergencies. Behind the scenes, the team here at Dental Elements have never really stopped working since we closed our doors to you all on the 21st March. In fact, in some respects, we have been working harder than ever. Because of this work by my wonderful team, we had already put in place most of the measures, training, extra equipment and precautions recommended by the governmental bodies when they finally decided to release their guidance for us to follow this Thursday 4th June 2020 (technically giving us one working day to prepare if we had done nothing and waited for their guidance!) .
Our priority to our patients and staff has always been and always will be that of safety. Therefore, we are all having / have had extensive training in our new protocols, additional PPE and all the measures taken to minimise the risk of Covid-19 and take absolutely no chances with patient and staff safety. One of the main reasons for the seemingly late return of dentists is the national shortage of PPE. I am pleased to say that we have managed to procure all the appropriate PPE to ensure safety of both staff and patients.
Because of this, at least in the very short term, the way you are used to seeing Dental Elements operate has changed significantly. Whilst our dentistry is exactly the same, the cross infection protocol because of Covid-19 has altered the implementation of it slightly. This is explained in a bit more detail with the two PDF attachments with this email and also via this Youtube video link here that the team made which you are welcome to watch:-
Due to the Covid-19 restrictions in place, we are only able to run a skeleton team initially because of the need to ensure social distancing of patients and team members as much as possible. There are also recommendations about the number of patients we can see for what are termed ‘Aerosol Generating Procedures’ (like preparing teeth for fillings, getting access to the root canal for emergency pain relief, or even using the water/air spray to dry a tooth). I want to take this opportunity now to reassure all our patients that Aerosols are not necessarily the huge problem that the press are making of it, but are just part of the bigger picture we now have to consider when we reopen, at least for a period of time over the next weeks and months. We will of course be taking all the precautions needed to ensure your safety as well as ours, and it is because of this initial change that we will not be able to see anywhere near the number of patients per day initially.
This is why we have still had to cancel the routine treatments that were booked in June. If you still have your existing routine appointment in place, then one of our team members will be in touch with you shortly to rearrange this. As we have been closed for 11 weeks now, we have a number of patients who require emergency treatment as a priority before we can reopen our books to more normal treatment just yet. We are hoping that as the R number falls further, the restrictions placed on us will be lifted still further, and that it will not be too long before we are back to a fairly normal service.
In the first few weeks, we will be prioritising patients with outstanding toothache, and urgent problems. We will then gradually be bringing more of our dentists back in, as recommendations allow, to start finishing outstanding treatments, before then reintroducing the more routine dental health check assessments. It is likely that one of the last things that we will be able to reintroduce is hygiene treatments with the ultrasonic instruments, but we shall be providing these by hand until then. We will also be doing our utmost to make sure you still get the appointments you are entitled to and need – especially to those who have kindly continued their Denplan membership payments throughout this period to help support us. In order to do this it is very likely that we will be increasing the surgery opening hours once we are able to in order to give you a larger choice of appointment times to see us.
Thank you to you our patients on behalf of myself and my team for your patience during this difficult time and for all your messages of support – it truly meant a lot. I would also like to thank my truly wonderful wonderful team for all the support they have given me throughout all this and especially to the oncall team of dentists and nurses who have remained at work with me all this time and put up with my incessant random emails / calls / Whatsapps at all hours of the day and night. Sandra, the Dental Elements practice manager (who is the true boss) and Sam, our lead clinical nurse, again I am forever indebted to you for your support and advice and also for putting up with my grumpiness. Last but definitely not least, thank you always to Mrs Lee and the kids for supporting me and the practice through thick and thin.
Best wishes, stay safe and see you soon!
Jon and the Dental Elements team