A PERSONAL MESSAGE DURING COVID-19 FOR ALL OUR PATIENTS
Hello to all of our lovely patients,
We hope you and your families are all staying safe and well in these unprecedented times.
We wanted to update you on our current situation at our practice – Braintree Dental Studio.
As you are aware, stringent measures have been put in place to prevent sustained transmission of COVID-19. As part of this, the provision of all routine, non-urgent care including orthodontics has been stopped until further notice following government guidance from England’s Chief Dental Officer and Public Health England.
We promise this does not stop our duty of care to our patients. Recently BBC News has released an article about dental practices being forced to close their doors during the COVID-19 outbreak. I’m sure you were as shocked as we were. There is the impression that patients are left to manage their dental pain by themselves. This is not the case with us!
It is our aim to diagnose the pain as best as possible with the limited information given following a telephone or video consultation. We then give advice, pain relief and antibiotics where indicated.
We are as frustrated about the current situation as our patients who are suffering in pain. We avoid prescribing antibiotics as much as possible and prefer to treat the condition actively. But the reality is, we cannot see patients face to face due to the great risk of transmission of COVID-19 and the reduced availability of the correct PPE (Personal Protective Equipment): fit-tested FFP3 (filtered facepiece) masks. Thus, we have stopped all aerosol-generating procedures as the use of suction, sprays and drills in the mouth create the ideal environment for the spread of the coronavirus.
Since the guidance has been imposed we have set up a telephone triage service during our normal NHS opening hours. We are finding that some practices in the area are not providing a telephone triage service. However, we are taking calls from all patients regardless if they are registered with us or not. We have given NHS 111 our number as a point of contact to reduce the strain on them and the wider NHS, which is doing an outstanding job. We believe no patient should be managing pain by themselves and feel as if they cannot receive professional advice. We have worked with our neighbouring Tesco Pharmacy to develop a system where they can receive our prescriptions electronically and patients can collect them instantly.
In emergency situations, where treatment is absolutely necessary and cannot be delayed, we are referring patients to Urgent Dental Centres where treatment can be carried out. These urgent dental centres have the appropriate PPE and can carry out aerosol-generating procedures. Our dentists and dental nurses have volunteered to work in these Urgent Dental Centres and Nightingale Hospital and are starting this week. We are SO PROUD of our team!
There have been reports of the public carrying out their own DIY dentistry on themselves and their children, with many asking how to remove their kid’s teeth. We urge you to not carry out any treatment on yourself as this could be detrimental if complications arise and you need to attend hospital. Instead, please call us immediately for professional advice.
You may be aware that The Sunday Times has shown that millions of patients face being left without a dentist as one in five practices is on the brink of collapse this month due to the lack of urgent financial support for small healthcare businesses. The costs associated with a good healthcare facility are incredibly high and outstrip most other businesses. We have been forced to furlough some of our staff and there is no predictable outcome for any of us at this stage. We are formulating plans tirelessly, led by our principal Dr Anup Ladva, so we can stay open and do what we love – look after all our patients and provide them with our Braintree Dental Studio experience.
It is inevitable when lockdown starts to relax we will have to maintain some form of social distancing, probably indefinitely until a vaccine is available. The coronavirus will have a massive impact on the way we continue to practice dentistry but only time will tell.
There will be some exciting offers for treatments including our Invisalign and Implant Essentials treatment range – so watch this space!
These are difficult times for everyone and we need to hear your reviews so you can help other people looking for good quality dental care. Google reviews work best and I would be immensely grateful if you could help others out there. Its easy….. Click this link and away we go!! https://g.page/essexdentist/review
You can share your past experiences with us or how we’ve helped in COVID-19. So please show us some love.
Please do not hesitate to contact us – we will always be here for you. We appreciate all your continued support and our utmost priority is the safety of our patients and their loved ones.
Please keep up to date with the latest news on our social media:
Facebook: Braintree Dental Studio or @essexdentist
Please rest assured we are doing everything to still be here when this all goes away in whatever form needed.
As a final note, nobody is going to close us down or bring us to collapse not even Carol Baskin!
Best wishes & Stay Safe, Stay Home and Stay Smiling!
Dr Kunal Shah and All the Team at Braintree Dental Studio