Apologies, for some reason a technical glitch meant that our newsletter did not upload to our blog. It was available on Facebook and probably Instagram too. So although it was to inform you about how what to do during Lockdown 2 (and I know that has now passed) we believe that the points are still valid, we still do not agree that you should put off seeing us, especially if you have a problem as it could worsen, and as positive as we are remaining, there is always the chance of another lockdown and we will remain here, and open, ready to see you.
Lockdown No.2 (3,4,5...you get the picture)
Once again we are all digesting the latest government announcement that we will be entering a second lockdown in just a few days. After the last national lockdown many of you may be wondering what that means for you, your dental appointments and the team at South Lane Dental. Will South Lane Dental be closing? No. We have listened very carefully to the message from the Government; and the Prime Minister said that it is important that people continue to seek and obtain medical treatment. Jo Churchill MP, the Minister for Dentistry has also confirmed that all aspects of primary care, including dentistry, will continue. So we will be staying open for our patients and continuing with routine, scheduled and emergency appointments. This is excellent news, for us and you - some patients had some really painful problems during the last lockdown, and we hated that we were not able to see you and treat you at that time. This time will be different. Is it safe? Yes. Absolutely yes. If you’ve been to see us since we re-opened in June, you will have seen some of the many things we have in place to keep our patients, and our staff, safe. Of course, many of these have been our standard practice for years, ranging from PPE to the best clinical practices. The “high volume aspiration” - through the suction tube that the nurse places in your mouth - eliminates approximately 95% of the splatter and aerosol which can carry infection. We have always kept you safe. To read more about the changes we have made to keep you and our staff safe, read to the end.
Should I just put off that appointment for a month? In short, no. We firmly believe that all the work we have done, in consultation with specialist advisers and working alongside other dental practices aiming for the very highest standards, means that you are safe attending South Lane Dental for appointments. In fact many patients have told us how safe they have felt when they’ve been to see us in recent months.
If you feel that you have a particular vulnerability which means that you will have to restrict your movements even more than the Government is asking for, please tell us. We are very aware and open to speaking with you about your concerns. We have, in our experience over the last few months, been able to put people’s concerns to rest. In the situation where you don’t wish to attend, but feel you would like to have a virtual consultation with a dentist then please just let us know and we will schedule a video call if possible.
Otherwise, please make that appointment; and unless we ask you not to (if you are displaying symptoms or have been advised to self-isolate): do come and see us. We believe that the best way to obtain and maintain a healthy mouth (and body) is prevention; and our practice believes that regular hygiene and dental appointments are if the upmost importance.
Any More News from South Lane Dental? Thank you for asking, just a few things we can mention...
There are new members of the South Lane team, including Pedro Neto - Dental surgeon placing implants in-house at South Lane Dental. Heather has joined the nursing team and Summer has passed her Nursing diploma and is now a qualified Dental Nurse.
There are refurbished surgeries with and we have invested in cutting-edge digital scanning equipment that is transforming the way we do things and the range of services we can offer. It is called Trios, and it allows us to scan your teeth in astonishing detail and send the information digitally to our dental laboratories in seconds. (Goodbye to impressions, hello to the new world!)
We offer simple orthodontics such as Inman Aligner and Clear Aligner; it’s a great time to have orthodontics … we are all wearing masks (except on those Zoom/MS Teams meetings!). Imagine what your friends, family and colleagues will say once the mask-wearing days are gone?
We are also able to offer offer 6 or 10 month 0% interest tailored finance packages*
What extra measures have been put in place due to Covid-19?
We have changed the way we manage our appointments diary, to reduce the number of people in the practice and enforce social distancing.
We are operating a locked door system and have closed our patient lounges.
We have introduced pre-appointment Covid screening, both in the days before an appointment and prior to treatment commencing.
We use enhanced PPE for any procedure which might create “aerosols” - including surgical gowns, caps, visors double masks (FFP3 and Fluid Resistant Surgical masks) As a result we look a bit like aliens, but it is still us underneath!
We have “fallow time” - a fixed period after any appointment when aerosols were created, when the surgery sits empty to allow any aerosols to clear. (That is why we all have to leave the room together after you have a filling, for example.)
We have invested in specialised (Dentair & IQ Air) air purifiers - for every surgery and at reception. These constantly monitor and report on the air quality in each room, and are capable of scrubbing all the air in each surgery at least 10 times per hour. You may wonder what this involves. There is a three-fold process going on here: a HEPA filter, a carbon filter and a UVC light. The filters scrub the air of particles down to the size of 0.1µm (respiratory droplets are typically 50-100x bigger than that). Then the UVC light effectively inactivates any smaller viral particles that may have survived.
Windows are kept open throughout the day to help with necessary 'air-changes' (apologies if it is cold, we are doing our best to keep the practice warm yet ventilated!)
We have “fogging” machines, which help to disinfect the air and surfaces in all areas of the practice. This is a method used throughout industries worldwide (you may have noticed air crew using sprays in the cabin when you land in different countries; that is a portable version of the same sort of thing).
There’s a lot of other work which you will not have seen. All our staff are subject to Covid risk assessments; we carefully practice social distancing, even “behind the scenes”; and we always wear masks when in the practice (except when we are actually drinking that occasional cup of coffee!).
A message from Nigel & Lyndsey Pepperman "We are so incredibly proud of the staff at South Lane Dental. They have gone above and beyond, and have not faltered in their passion for their job and the relationship that they have with our patients. We can assure you that we will always do our very best for you."
Last, but not least, the Team@South Lane Dental want to thank all of our patients for their continued loyalty and support. We know things aren't as relaxed as normal; we can't invite you in for a natter and a coffee, we hate leaving you out in the cold when we aren't ready for you, or sending you back to the car. We can honestly say we cannot wait to be able to have a patient lounge full of patients and the sound of chatting and laughter. We have been so lucky to have welcomed new patients since the previous lockdown, many on recommendation from our amazing patients. So, Thank you.