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Newbury, RG14 7LJ
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8 St Johns Road, Newbury, RG14 7LJ 01635 40311
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POST COVID-19 REOPENING POLICY

This policy has been created based on multiple updated sources from within the dental and medical professions and the government.

It outlines modifications to our normal procedures that we intend to employ once the practice can be reopened after the COVID-19 pandemic peak has subsided.

It is not known at this time whether these procedures are temporary or whether they will become a permanent feature of the way dental practices must be run to ensure patient and staff safety in the future.

The worldwide COVID-19 pandemic is still being evaluated and studied and policies and recommendations are likely to change in line with new scientific evidence over time.

We would like to thank all of our patients for their patience and forbearance during the period of temporary practice closure and for their understanding and cooperation whilst we implement new measures at the practice.

We will of course be providing dental care to all of our patients in the safest possible environment. We greatly appreciate your assistance with any new or modified procedures at the practice.

PROVISIONAL TIMETABLE

The practice will re-open for patients who require essential dental treatment on Wednesday 27th May 2020.

This will be extended to other patient groups as the lockdown restrictions are eased further.

The Briars team will prepare the practice for reopening and practising our updated procedures before patients return to the practice. We will initially be seeing:

When the lockdown restrictions are further lifted we will be able to see:

PATIENT COMMUNICATION BEFORE REOPENING

We will be contacting patients and confirming appointments ahead of their scheduled time.

We will request that all patients who are attending the Briars update their standard medical and dental history forms beforehand. These forms will now be in electronic format and we will no longer be using paper forms.

The assessment forms include a new section which will allow us to assess your level of risk for coronavirus infection before you attend the surgery.

NEW MEASURES TO REDUCE THE RISK OF COVID-19 TRANSMISSION

Our normal cross-infection control protocols at The Briars against all previously known pathogens are already woven into all clinical activity carried out at the practice.

It should be remembered that a dental practice is already a very clean environment compared to public areas and there is no evidence of COVID-19 transmission occurring in increased rates in dentists or their staff.

We have collectively evaluated all of the updated guidance and observed what measures have been put in place in other countries. We feel that the measures which are outlined in this policy will reduce risk to the minimum level at the practice.

Please be assured that all of our clinical staff will also be complying with our updated procedures to reduce the risk of cross-infection in both directions.

BEFORE ATTENDING AT THE PRACTICE

We will carry out a pre-attendance assessment via your completed Medical History/Assessment forms at least three days before your appointment and, if necessary, a follow-up telephone conversation to assess relative coronavirus infection risk. Our staff will contact you to remind you of this if we have not received your completed forms. If you have any difficulties with completing the forms we can help you with this over the phone. A dentist may also carry out a video consultation with you to assess your dental problem prior to your visit so that a treatment plan and cost estimate can be sent to you.

If we feel that you are at risk of having possibly been infected, even if you are asymptomatic, we will respectfully request for you to delay booking any appointments with us for at least one month. If we do not receive the completed questionnaire in time and we are unable to contact you, we may need to cancel your appointment. You may be charged for the appointment if we are unable to fill it at short notice as per our normal terms and conditions.

We recommend that patients in the high-risk groups for developing complications from coronavirus delay non-essential dental treatment for as long as possible until the trend of the pandemic becomes clear. If you are in a high risk group and do require treatment we will schedule your appointment at the beginning of the day. To find out whether you are in a high or very high-risk group please see the link here.

The Briars Dental Centre will be operating contactless payment systems going forwards, and we will request that payment is made online or over the phone for your appointment prior to you attending if you do not have a means of making contactless payment at the time of your visit. This reduces the requirement for unnecessary contact or use of pin entries on card terminals at reception.

When travelling to the practice, we would recommend that you limit close contact with other members of the public as far as possible. We will meet all patients outside the building and bring them straight into the surgery. One adult is able to attend with a child; please do not bring additional family members with you unless they are happy to wait in the car or outside the building.

ARRIVING AT THE PRACTICE

When you attend the practice, we will welcome you, and ask for you to hang your coat or jacket in the porch entrance to the practice. The front door will remain locked, however, we cannot accept liability for personal items so please limit what you bring into the building.

We will take your temperature with a no-touch thermometer. If your temperature is above 37.8°C, you will be unable to enter the practice and will be asked to return home and self-isolate as per current government guidelines.

We intend to eliminate waiting inside the practice and at reception. Accordingly, appointments will be staggered so that patients do not arrive or leave at the same time as other patients as far as we are able to manage.

When using the restrooms, please do your best to ensure that you leave the facilities as you would expect to find them and wash your hand thoroughly. The restrooms will be regularly disinfected between patients.

If you are well, we will direct you straight to the surgery and request that you do the following before or during your appointment:

PRACTICE PROCEDURES

The Briars team have spent time critically looking at every aspect of the practice with a view to removing all non-essential items that can potentially be the cause of infection.

You will find that the practice may appear to be quite bare when you attend.

We regret that during this interim period, we will not be providing our normal tea and coffee services in the interests of reducing all opportunities for cross-infection to a minimum.

All clinical and common areas including door handles and surfaces will be regularly disinfected in addition to our normal surface cleaning protocols between patients.

The Briars will be providing a buffer period between patients to allow additional time for additional decontamination procedures, allow for any treatment overruns and allow preparation time for the next patient so that they do not need to wait in the reception area.

All future appointments will be made and confirmed by email or telephone to limit your time spent at reception.

DENTAL PROCEDURES

All dental staff will be using personal protective equipment in line with current recommendations and evidence.

We apologise in advance for the necessary reduction in social interaction that this will necessitate. Whilst our masks may make us appear impersonal and distant, please be assured we are still the same friendly team underneath it all!

We are especially mindful that many dental treatments are aerosol-generating procedures (AGP’s). It is difficult for us to carry out some dental procedures without generation of some level of aerosol. Aerosol suspended in the air is a theoretical source of infection which we obviously wish to keep to a minimum. Currently, the dental literature suggests:

We therefore feel that our normal dental procedures can be carried out with minimal risk by the use of high-volume suction, rubber dam, surgical and FFP2 masks and, in aerosol generating procedures FFP3 masks as appropriate.

Despite the financial impact of the coronavirus, The Briars will not be increasing its normal fees unless absolutely necessary. However, the time taken to carry out treatment sessions may need to be extended which will be included into the fees for your procedure.

SUMMARY

The vast majority of our patients are otherwise healthy without coronavirus infection and we are confident that we are able to provide dental care for these patients in as normal an environment as possible while bearing in mind our responsibilities to mitigate risks of infection spread as far as is practically possible.

This policy will be constantly reviewed and updated as necessitated by circumstances over time.

If you have any questions regarding this policy or about your dental care at The Briars Dental Centre please do not hesitate to contact us on enquiries@briarsdentalcentre.com.

With Kind Regards,
The Briars

patient Testimonials

I would like to thank Vicki and Laura for fixing my broken tooth and filling yesterday. They were exceptionally kind in making me feel relaxed under such difficult circumstances. Best wishes,Lyndie

Very comfortable and safe experience my recent visit to you was. Thank you for all your care. E. Fenston

I would like to thank you for your efforts to provide a safe environment for dentistry. I would like to commend them for their courtesy and professionalism in this new situation. I felt very safe and I hope that they did too. S. Kerr

The new reception procedure was straightforward with no hassle and to all intents and purposes almost ‘normal’. Marcus

The staff were very friendly and helpful, explaining everything clearly. I felt like the treatment was completely tailored to me and they knew what would be suitable for my skin type more than I did. G. Chaloner

I undertook Invisalign treatment with Dr Holden. It was the best thing I have ever done, Pain free, straight forward and most importantly invisible. Vicki

My time in the dental chair was totally painless, Nick and his lovely nurse Kasia made me feel at ease (so much so I managed to doze off for a short time) Mr Preston

I just wanted to say that the implant has been really good – actually bliss – the bridge was my bête noir. I couldn’t been more grateful for the care and outcome of your treatment. Anonymous

Thank you to the Briars for giving me the perfect smile for my wedding! I highly recommend the practice! Mrs Hawkins

A short note to send my sincere thanks to Nick French for helping me overcome my 30 plus year fear of dentistry! Karen

I just wanted to say thank you for doing such a grand job with my fillings yesterday! Julia

Thank you for fitting the Somnowell Snore Guard and how professional the services was right form the first assessment... Karl

Thank you for doing a super job on my filling – looks so much better :) Kate

Thank you for being kind and dealing with my terror and silly behaviour of not having been to a dentist in so long. Margaret

Thanks for my lovely new tooth, now I can feel my mouth again, it feels great!

Just a brief note to say how much I appreciate the fact that you fitted me into your busy schedule yesterday... David

I just wanted to let you know how pleased I am with all the the work you have done with my teeth and mouth generally. David

Keep up the good work and hope we meet again sometime. Pearl

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