30 Mar 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 of 27th March 2020. This most recent update limits the range of treatment that can be carried out for patients at this time. Accordingly, The Smile Team will meet these guidelines, which represents a significant reduction of treatment solutions. This importantly is to help limit the further spread of the virus, and protect the health of all patients and the community.
The Smile Team remains available to help patients with;
- Significant dental pain for pain relief
- Significantly damaged upper front teeth from trauma
- Traumatised soft tissue eg. painful ulcers
- Patients with compromised general health where further dental concerns may affect their general health
- Teeth with high risk of rapid decay progression
- A referral from a medical practitioner for medically necessary dental care
For patients who are attending eligible appointments;
The Smile Team has always taken pride in our high infection control regimen and will always utilize 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. All patients will receive a pretreatment mouthrinse to match the most up to date Australian Dental Association guidelines. Additional hand sanitizers have been placed for patient use throughout the practice.
As a part of the additional precautions, we may 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 significant restrictions mean that only patients with toothaches can be seen. Where an appointment is made to address the toothache, even the type of treatment that can be carried out is limited by the government guidelines. Under these restrictions, it is likely that most teeth can only be restored via interim restorations rather than permanent restorations. General examinations, cleaning, even chipped or broken but non painful teeth, and general fillings 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 in the next few weeks, our team will contact you to postpone your appointment prior to the date. Before contacting you, if you had an appointment booked with a dentist for treatment, your dentist will have already checked to see if the procedure can be carried out under current government restrictions.
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 the need to adhere to the guidelines .
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.
The body is dynamic, and we understand that surprises can happen. This is why The Smile Team will stay available to help patients with painful emergencies 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 email@example.com via email.
How long will the restrictions on dental treatment last?
The dental restrictions have increased to the current level over the past few weeks and may be increased further by the government to an even higher level that will limit a standard dental practice seeing patients at all. 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.