Specialist Dental Services remain open for face-to-face appointments and procedures
Due to COVID restrictions we also offer telephone and online video consultations
Our planning and preparations mean we are ready to welcome you at SDS with enhanced safety measures in place.
What have we been up to during the last year?
The team at Specialist Dental Services have been very active during the COVID period, and most of our clinicians have been working at several NHS hospitals during this period. Our clinicians have also been busy authoring national guidelines related to dentistry, conducting essential research, and getting hands-on with the manufacturing of PPE for our NHS frontline staff during the COVID-19 lockdown.
- Professor Shakeel Shahdad has been leading the design and production of appropriate visors that have been manufactured by 3D printing and injection moulding. Tens of thousands have already been distributed to numerous NHS hospitals across the country including The Nightingale Hospital in London, GP surgeries and care homes. You can see how it looks on the Evening Standard and the Dentistry.co.uk. He has also been busy conducting research on COVID related safety measures in dentistry
- Professor Paul Coulthard has been assessing the risk of COVID-19 related to dentistry, keeping in (a safe distance) touch with our colleagues internationally, including Wuhan. He has published national guidelines, through his role as President of the British Society of Oral Surgery, advising the best way to approach dentistry during these times. These publications can be accessed on The Lancet and the British Dental Journal. As Dean of the Dental School at Queen Marys University of London & Royal London Hospital, Paul is very active in managing the response and the safety of the patients and students involved.
- Dr Charlotte Stilwell in her role as President-elect of the ITI International Team for Implantology has been leading an international COVID-19 information resource for dental professionals
We are extremely proud of the contributions made by the team during this challenging period.
What have we been preparing for you?
We are fortunate to have members in our team who are at the forefront of leading the national guidelines, ensuring you are safe too. Our policy has been formulated based on national and international recommendations and guidelines, most notably from Switzerland, Germany, Denmark, and China. This experience leaves us in a strong position to generate a policy for SDS and be prepared to see patients immediately after the restriction on dentistry outside hospitals is relaxed by the government.
What measures is SDS taking to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission?
We have always maintained very high standards of cross-infection control in our practice which have been inspected and approved by the Healthcare Regulator - Care Quality Commission (CQC). Nevertheless, we have further augmented these in light of the guidance related to COVID-19. Some of these changes will be clearly visible and will seem very familiar to what we are all becoming accustomed to.
We have conducted research, implemented changes and procured the necessary equipment, instruments and materials to keep our patients and staff safe while providing effective and highest quality treatment to our patients.
All patients will be requested to update their medical history form. This is an obligatory requirement, and we would kindly request your full cooperation. Before your appointment at SDS, the clinician may call you and carry out a telephone consultation to ascertain your clinical need, and this will allow us to prepare the clinic in advance.
Appointments will be staggered with 30min gap between patients to allow sufficient time for additional COVID-19 disinfection measures between patients.
On the day of your appointment, you should not wear any hand or arm jewellery. We recommend that you wear a face mask for your travel to the practice. Remember to only handle the mask by its ties or ear loops and avoid touching the front of the mask itself. You should consider carrying some drinking water with you. Regretfully, during this period, we will not be offering any refreshments to our patients. We would also highly recommend that you visit the practice alone unless accompanying a child or, a dependent patient.
On your arrival, please keep the face mask on and use hand sanitiser available immediately as you enter our front door. The reception staff will measure your body temperature using an infra-red contactless thermometer. If your temperature is above 37.8oC, you will be sadly asked to return home immediately and self-isolate as per the Public Health England guidance.
If your temperature is normal you will be seated in our large waiting room. To maintain social distancing, we will be limiting the number of chairs for seating purposes.
In the clinic, you will find us waiting for you and the clinical staff will be wearing extra personal protection equipment (PPE) during your appointment. Therefore, we may not be able to greet you as warmly as we would have done in the past, but underneath the facade we are still the same caring and bubbly team. The level of PPE will depend upon the treatment you require and another reason why pre-appointment telephone consultation is necessary. You will be asked to wash your hands with warm soapy water before being seated in the dental chair.
To maintain the highest possible standards of safety for our patients and staff, we have imported special suction devices which remove the extra-oral aerosol generated during dental procedures. This will significantly enhance our ability to eliminate the high-risk aerosol, which is the biggest threat of COVID-19 transmission in dental practices. In combination with the appropriate fluid repellent gowns, high filtration masks, and face visors specially designed by Prof. Shahdad, we are confident to deliver dentistry for you in a very safe environment.
After completion of treatment, we will make your future appointment in the surgery so that you can avoid having to go to the office. We will request that you complete any outstanding balances over the phone after your appointment. Invoices and receipts will be emailed to you as we endeavour to remain paper-free during this period.
Every surgery will be thoroughly disinfected and left vacant for 30 minutes before the next patient. All common areas, including door handles and surfaces, will also be disinfected between patients. As a result of all these measures, it will take longer to complete treatment sessions in comparison to your previous experience. However, it is imperative to ensure that everyone is kept safe while at SDS.
We enjoy what we do, and we love hearing about how things are with you. Unfortunately, during this time, we may not be able to interact as freely like before. So, we want to apologise beforehand for the reduction in social interaction that this pandemic will necessitate. Please be assured that our duty of care and safety to you is our priority. And remember we are still your friendly team, the same ones as before, we wouldn’t change that at all, so we will always be smiling behind our costumes.
In case you have any questions about this policy, kindly do not hesitate to contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
We look forward to seeing you very soon
Best wishes from,
The SDS team