The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in large parts of everyday life being altered or put on hold indefinitely as lockdown, social distancing and other measures remain in place to try and slow the spread of the virus. Going to the dentist is one area that, although now allowable, requires patients and staff to adopt a host of stringent new rules to keep everyone as safe as possible.
There are rules which orthodontists such as Jonathan Alexander-Abt must follow to be allowed to treat patients, and there are rules which patients must follow if they are to be allowed access to their dental clinic.
The British Orthodontic Society has provided a set of guidelines for patients and dental staff. The PDF attachment introduces the British Orthodontist Society.
After several months of enforced closure, many people will find that their first dental appointment upon reopening will be for triage. A definition of triage can be seen in the embedded short video.
Once a patient has been assessed, the dental clinic will be able to review their case and formulate a new treatment plan in line with the needs of the patient and current guidelines.
Patient Hygiene Measures
Patients visiting the dentist will be able to do so by appointment only and may be asked to come alone, or to wait outside until their dentist is ready for them. Where waiting room facilities are available they will be socially distanced, so seating will be limited. Patients will be asked to apply hand sanitiser prior to entering the building/clinic to help prevent the spread of the virus.
Dentist Hygiene Measures
Dentists and other members of dental staff will also have various health and hygiene measures they must follow. These measures may include wearing additional PPE such as visors, gowns, eye protection and masks. Patients may also experience longer waiting times as additional cleaning and sanitation will be required between each appointment.
Arriving on Time
It is more important now than ever before to arrive on time for a dental appointment. Without proper waiting areas and with appointments spaced out to leave time for sanitation, anyone who turns up late may find they cannot attend their appointment and will have to re-book for another day.
The infographic attachment contains the latest government guidelines on keeping as safe as possible when out in public.