06 Aug A note to our valued patient family about the Coronavirus
The most recent guidance on dental care was by the Victorian Government on the 6th of August. This update increased restrictions to limit dental visits to only those requiring urgent care. Only patients requiring urgent care for discomfort or to avoid rapid detrimental changes in their dental or general health can be seen.
For patients who are attending eligible appointments
In these current times, the safety and wellbeing of our patients and team remains our highest priority. 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 Victorian government and the Australian Dental Association. The Smile Team has a COVIDsafe plan in place, and continues to seek the most up to minute information to keep ahead of the recommendations.
We have always taken pride in our high infection control regimen and will always utilise standards precautions along with A.H.P.R.A. 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
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
- Temperature checks will be carried out for all patients
- Additional hand sanitisers will be made available throughout the practice
- Patients will receive a 30 second pre treatment antiviral 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 restrictions significantly limit what and how dental treatment can be carried out.
The restrictions mean that only patients requiring urgent care for discomfort or to avoid rapid detrimental changes in their dental or general health can be seen.
In most instances, current symptoms or a high likelihood of developing symptoms/complications would warrant an examination to determine whether treatment can be undertaken under the current restrictions.
Cosmetic treatment, general examinations, and regular periodontal gum cleaning, are unfortunately on the list of treatments that cannot be carried out at this time.
What about my upcoming appointment for clean, filling, or crown etc. that was already booked?
Unfortunately we will have to postpone all routine treatment based upon the strict guidelines.
If you have an appointment that is affected by the restrictions, our team will contact you to reschedule your appointment well ahead of the original date.
For appointments that have been postponed, as we get closer to the restrictions being lifted, we will contact you to schedule and prioritise your appointment.
Is my dental appointment okay to defer? What happens if things get worse for me?
The Smile Team has always placed an emphasis on preventive treatment, including regular x-ray screenings to identify and manage teeth before complex issues develop. While the current restrictions are less than ideal for achieving good oral health, we understand and respect the need to adhere to the guidelines for the benefit of the community.
Typically it can take months or years before minor concerns become major concerns, by which time we would hope the restrictions will be eased. With recent regular appointments, patients should have a sense of confidence of knowing that they have been carefully assessed and have good stable dental health.
Our body is dynamic and undergoes enormous forces through daily eating, which means that surprises can happen. This is why The Smile Team will stay available to help patients requiring urgent care during this period.
What if I have a toothache?
The Smile Team will make ourselves available for patients who require assistance during this time. We are open 9am to 5pm 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 increased to the current level on the 6th of August 2020, having eased in May, and then elevated again in July. We, along with everyone hopes that the community quickly returns to a healthy normal beyond the pandemic, but it may be weeks or months before the current restrictions are lifted.