Extra precautionary measures against COVID-19 at American Smile
Here at American Smile, infection control is and always has been a fundamental tenet of our dental practice.
For the last couple of weeks, we have been treating our registered patients with urgent concerns. We have established protocols, risk assessments, acquired extra personal protection equipment (PPE) and have updated infection prevention protocols in line with latest available COVID-19 guidance and standard operating procedures.
Since the outset of this pandemic, some of our clinicians have been working in the at Eastman Dental Hospital and University College London Hospital. Their experience has helped us to formulate policies that ensure safety of our patients and staff.
The following protocols have been adopted to ensure the highest standard in dental care and patient safety during this pandemic:
Two surgeries dedicated for each clinician to work between, thus allowing adequate time for any potential aerosol to dissipate following a procedure.
The layout of the practice lends itself to social distancing – we have 6 waiting areas at Chelsea practice. Your family will have the whole waiting room to themselves during your visit.
Installation of Radic8 air purifiers with patented Viruskiller technology throughout the practice to capture and destroy airborne particles. Test results show a 99.9999% kill rate on respiratory viruses, including Coronavirus, on a single air exchange.
We use Isolite suction systems in our surgeries – they reduce aerosol production by 70%.
FFP3 masks and appropriate gowns for all operative dentistry procedures, regardless of the (potential) aerosol generation of the procedure.
Contactless administration to ensure a smooth patient journey.
Enhanced cleaning protocols implemented.
We are delighted to inform you that after this challenging period we are now making arrangements to return to business and committed to your dental health. We hope that you and your family have been safe and healthy. For the patients who have dealt with dental emergencies, we can’t imagine how hard that might have been. Thank you for being understanding. We tried to deliver the best possible care to those of you who were in touch.
This is an unprecedented time for all of us and with dental environments being high risk of spreading infection we are currently putting in place strict protocols following local and national regulatory bodies to deal with this most appropriately and safely.
At this stage, we are very restricted in the kind of treatments and appointments we can provide hence, as I am sure you would agree, treating genuine emergencies will be prioritised.
Please check if any of these concerns are relevant for you:
Recent dental trauma/pain. Please let us know by calling 0203 973 9266 or emailing email@example.com. Our clinical team will contact you back for further details. Those who have registered their concerns already would be contacted during the next few days.
Opened courses of treatment. All patients who could not have all treatment done because of the lockdown will be contacted by our reception team and offered the earliest available appointments slots.
Active orthodontic treatment. All patients who are currently wearing any appliances or awaiting the start of the treatment will be contacted by our Treatment Coordinator. She will assist you with the rescheduling of all delayed appointments.
Routine examination, check-up, hygiene. All appointments will be booked as soon as safety measures and new protocols are in place.
As social distancing is still very much applicable, we would like to take this opportunity to brief you on some of the changes that might affect your appointments:
- We request that you attend alone.
- Do not bring additional family members/siblings unless necessary.
- If certain aerosol-generating procedures (AGPS) ie, using the drill (for procedures such as fillings, pulp treatments), machine cleaning, and laughing gas sedation are to be avoided, the dentist will discuss alternative treatment plans with you.
- Limitations on the number of appointments available to allow social distancing between patients.
- Longer appointments will be offered to complete as many treatments as possible during one visit.
- Patients with any health underlying conditions will be offered special appointment slots, like early morning or late afternoon to eliminate the risks of contamination.
- Routine screening will be carried out including forms to be filled in online before you attend, you will be re-questioned on arrival, and your temperature may be taken.
- You may be asked to wear a mask and shoe cover during your child’s appointment that will be provided by us.
- You may see that our waiting rooms will no longer offer magazines, children’s toys, and so forth since those items are difficult to clean and disinfect.
- We will do 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.
- It would be beneficial to prepare yourself in advance that the dental team may not look “normal” as they will have PPE on.
We hope to return to normal working conditions at the earliest and will keep you updated along the way.
Thank you for being our patient, we appreciate your loyalty and understanding!
We have been closely monitoring the rapidly evolving situation with coronavirus (COVID-19). In light of recent updates, we are taking a series of extra precautionary measures to ensure that you can continue to receive happy, safe services:
If you have travelled abroad in the last 14 days or been in close contact with someone with confirmed coronavirus please check the gov.uk website for the latest COVID-19 travel advice, you may need to call NHS 111 for further advice before making or attending your appointment.
Stay at home if you have either:
- a high temperature – you feel hot to touch on your chest or back
- a new, continuous cough – this means you’ve started coughing repeatedly
To find out what to do if you think you have symptoms, please visit Coronavirus symptom checker.
For up to date information about Coronavirus (COVID-19) visit the UK Department of Health and Social Care.
The NHS is well prepared for outbreaks of new infectious diseases and has put in place measures to ensure the safety of all patients and NHS staff while also ensuring services are available to the public as normal. Check online at gov.uk and at nhs.uk for advice on your travel and contact history and the latest COVID-19 information before attending the dental practice.
What we did:
- New COVID-19 practice policy is implemented and all clinicians follow The Public Health England guidance on COVID-19 precocious
- A new telephone script is implemented to screen for potential symptoms/concerns before the appointment
- A notice board is at the reception states the information on COVID-19. All patients can read/screen symptoms before the appointment
- Hand sanitisers are available for you at any time
- All commonly used areas are wiped with disinfectant thoroughly at least twice a day. These include all door handles around the reception, lift buttons, card machines, etc.
- All non-essentials (e.g magazines) are removed from the waiting areas to reduce the cross-contamination risk
- We provide masks for the patients who request a face mask
- Our hours of operation are reduced to avoid the rush hour – to maintain the safety of our patients and our staff
What can you do?
Of course, you – our fantastic patients – can help enormously. We don’t want to preach about maintaining good personal hygiene, everyone has heard enough of that already! However, other small things can really help too.
- Wash hands thoroughly immediately when you come to the clinic and after your appointment;
- If you’ve been exposed to someone you know to have COVID-19 symptoms, be cautious and self-isolate for the recommended period
- Look after your immune system by eating and drinking sensibly during this outbreak
We will ensure that our clinics are places in which you can continue to safely have your dental treatment.
Friends, family and community spirit are critical at times like this. As we rise to this challenge, we thank you for your understanding and support!