11 May A note to our valued patient family about the Coronavirus
In these current times, the safety and well-being of our patients and team remains our highest priority. As the Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to affect our communities, we want to share the immediate steps we’ve taken to help keep our patients and team members safe and healthy for your dental appointments.
From the early onset, The Smile Team proactively undertook initiatives, including the screening of all patients since the 1st of February. We are closely following guidelines from the Department of Health, the W.H.O., and other local and national health organizations. We continue to receive the most up to minute information and are careful to keep ahead of the recommendations.
The most recent update provided directly to all dental practices on acceptable treatments during the current stage of the epidemic by Australia’s Chief Medical Officer was on the 11th of May 2020. This most recent update further eases restrictions on dental care. All dental care can now be provided to patients who do not have symptoms of the Coronavirus nor have come in contact with a person diagnosed with having the Coronavirus.
For your appointment
The Smile Team has always taken pride in our high infection control regimen and will always utilize standards precautions along with Dental Board of Australia sterilization protocols to protect each patient. Keeping patients safe is something we’re very familiar with. We use barriers to cover direct contact surfaces which are changed between each patient and disinfect all surfaces between each and every patient. All clinical team members wash their hands or use sanitizer before and after every patient we see. In addition to these normal procedures, we are carrying out enhanced deep cleaning and disinfecting our waiting room throughout the day.
A summary of additional steps taken by The Smile Team during this time
Prior to appointment
- A questionnaire is provided for all patients to make sure that patients who are attending do not have signs of COVID-19
- Patients are encouraged to attend with only themselves and a carer if required, and for siblings to stay at home
- Unnecessary items have been removed from the patient lounge including toys and magazines
- Seating has been adjusted to ensure social distancing of at least 1.5 meters between seats where possible
- Surfaces are regularly wiped down, including door handles, desks, phones, computer surfaces
- Patients are encouraged to wait in cars, and to call the practice upon arrival
- Additional hand sanitisers will be made available throughout the practice
- Patients will receive a 30 second pre treatment mouth rinse
- A rubber raincoat around the teeth requiring treatment will be used alongside standard high speed suction to minimise water spray
- Treatment alternatives to minimise aerosol creation will be used where possible
As a part of the additional precautions, we will not shake hands with you or high five your kids like we have in the past, even though we really want to. We also remind everyone that if you are experiencing symptoms of illness, or have in the past week or two, to please call and reschedule your appointment to prevent spreading illness to others. For additional information please visit; https://www.health.gov.au/
Thank you for being a valued part of our The Smile Team community, and for giving us the opportunity to assist with your dental and general health. We remain dedicated and committed to the safety and well-being of you and your loved ones.
The Smile Team
Frequently Asked Questions
What does this mean?
The further easing of restrictions means that all dental care can be provided to patients who do not have symptoms of the Coronavirus nor have come in contact with a person diagnosed with having the Coronavirus.
Even with the lifting of restrictions, additional steps will be taken by The Smile Team before and during your visit to protect your health. Some of these steps may be noticeable to you, while others will be in the background.
I have already had an appointment cancelled that was already booked. What should I do?
Our team will contact you to schedule and prioritise your appointment.
We are thankful for your patience as we work through the past few weeks of cancelled appointments due to the previous higher level of restrictions.
If you feel that the urgency of your treatment has changed, and more urgent care is required, please call or email our team so that we can assist.
I have had an upcoming appointment for clean, filling, or crown etc. that was already booked. What should I do?
The easing of restrictions means that a wide range of dental care can be carried out. If you have an existing upcoming appointment, it will be kept unchanged.
Is my dental appointment okay to defer?
Maintaining regular preventive care appointments is ideal for sustaining good oral and general health. The Smile Team has always placed an emphasis on preventive treatment, to identify and manage teeth before complex issues develop.
Where treatment is required, The Smile Team takes pride in only recommending treatment that we would carry out for ourselves and our own families. Building this trusting relationship in a family orientated environment is an important core value of our practice, and a reason why there are many patients who have been with The Smile Team since our opening in the early 1990’s. While it typically can take months or years before minor concerns become major concerns, and often silently, treating problems before they are complex and destructive is ideal.
What if I have a toothache?
The Smile Team will make always ourselves available for patients who require assistance. We are open 9am to 5:30pm via phone on 98598517, and available to reach on firstname.lastname@example.org via email.
How long will the restrictions on dental treatment last?
The dental restrictions have further decreased to the current level on the 11th of May, but were higher previously. At a previously higher level of restrictions, only emergency patients in pain could be treated.
We, along with everyone hope that the community quickly returns to a healthy normal beyond the pandemic.