For details on Coranavirus/Covid 19, please read the news section for latest updates on the practice.

Click here for changes in Dental Treatment due to Covid 19, and the revised patient journey
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Patient Journey

What We Are Aiming To Do As We Reopen:

  1. Make sure the practice is safe for our patients and staff
  2. Prioritise the most urgent problems
  3. Review treatment plans so that we can provide the treatment that is appropriate for you 

What We Have Done To Protect You (and Ourselves!)

What Will Happen Before We See You:

When You Attend For Your Appointment:

Important Points To Note:

Changes in Dental Treatment due to Covid 19, and the revised patient journey.

At last we have a date to re open for our patients, June 8th. There were rumours it would be the 15th but nothing confirmed, then suddenly on BBC news as a banner ran past, we saw the note that we could open again on the 8th June. No prewarning, no information and very little useful official guidance from our Chief Dental Officer for England Sara Hurley. The following morning I received an e mail at 9.03am, containing a 2 page letter from her on 'Resumption of dental services'. We have to comply with measures on PPE, risk assess everything and have infection prevention control protocols in place. We have to resume seeing patients taking account of urgency of needs, unmet needs of vulnerable groups and available capacity which will be much reduced initially and be a steep learning curve. This means simply that I cannot see the numbers I did, and that I will have priorities to see all patients with problems first and foremost. I intend to get the hygienists in later, probably beginning of July, so that we have time to slowly learn what we have to do, what protocols we need and identify any possible shortcomings and correct them, before we introduce more people into the practice. They will be limited to hand scaling and oral hygiene instruction to avoid aerosols, and initially at least, no polishing, until we get better evidence on whether it is safe to do so.

I have sourced, and am beginning to source even more PPE. We have enough to get started but it will be a few days before we can carry out any aerosol generating procedures(fillings, root fillings etc, the normal stuff I did all the time). We have to get the correct respirators, make sure they fit us well, know how to use them, and most importantly practice at taking them all off. This is called doffing and is potentially the most dangerous part for us. Our protocol will be that I will assess emergencies by phone, BEFORE you attend the practice, so I am aware of your needs and that we can do something constructive when you do attend. This means initially, everyone attending will need an exam so we are aware of the condition of your mouth, what you need doing, and try and get all the work done in as few appointments as possible, ideally one if practicable. This is because PPE is very expensive at the moment, hard to come by, and believe me it is very hot working in it. We cannot deal with people at the moment flitting in because a tooth is a bit sharp. To file it down. It would require the same PPE and expense to do that as 5 or 6 cavities, a root filling and tooth build up or similar. We will hopefully at some time get back to more normal, but not for the forseeable future, unless this virus is eradicated in the UK,(very unlikely), or a working vaccine is brought out.(I hope and pray we get one).

You can see a picture of me in some PPE, without gloves I know, but this was just to give you all an idea of what we, the clinical staff will look like for the forseeable future. We are going to have to work without airconditioning, as this can recirculate the virus if present, and at this time of year, that is going to make conditions really great, NOT! The aim of the patient journey will be to get you in, deal with things that need doing, and get you out again as quickly as we can reasonably do. This is for your safety as well as ours. I have purchased three devices called Radic8's, which will be available hopefully by the beginning of July. These are specialist air purifiers that will remove bacteria, volatile chemicals and viruses to purity of 99.9999% in a single pass through the machine. Without them, when we carry out any aerosol generating procedure(fillings etc), we will have to leave the surgery fallow for at least 30minutes before deep cleaning, so it could easily take an hour before a surgery is back in business, hence initial reluctance to start filling teeth until we know what we are doing. Hopefully these machines, one in each surgery and one at reception will keep us all safe, and massively reduce the down time for each room. I am also trying to get extractor fans fitted in each surgery as well, to suck the air, out, and it is another way to keep the viral count down, and all of us safe.

The patient journey will be very different. We will have to cancel all appointments and rebook them as certainly initially, every visit will take more time and the cleaning in between longer and more involved. We hope to get faster with time and protocols I am sure will change and adapt, but initially we will be seeing few patients a day, 10 may be the new normal for now, although hopefully we will get better and see more people. Please be patient! this is a new skill for the whole team and it is going to take time to get on top of it, and it is initially going to be a very stressful time for us. We are as frustrated at this as you are, but we just have to deal with this. I would like to thank all Denplan patients for hanging in there with us at this time. We will see you all, but it is going to take some time, and without you, this practice may not still exist.

When we contact you, and initially it will be patients on the emergency list who have had problems, we will book you in for an exam, and ask a lot of health questions and tell you what you need to do. You will be phoned again, the day before your appointment, to check your health is still good. If you are running a temperature,if you have a fever, a cough that is persistent, general malaise and aches, loss of smell and taste, we will not be able to see you, but will book you back 14 days later and check again. If you don't subsequently get ill, or get ill and recover, that will be fine. If you have family members in the same household who also need appointments, we would like to get you all in, one at a time, as we wouldn't have to deep clean between each of you, saving time,and as you all live together, you share the same bugs.(assuming you are all healthy).

We would ask you to be on time but not very early, 5-10 minutes will be fine. Please bear with us if running late, we will try very hard not to be, but it is very hard to predict what will happen when we work. Please don't cancel appointments with little notice or fail them. Appointments are very precious and are in short supply, and we don't want to waste them. You will not be allowed in most cases to enter the building beforehand, and will ask you to wait in your car or the car park. Please go to the toilet before coming as the toilet for patients will be out of use for all but the most urgent needs. If used, it will have to lay fallow for a period and be deep cleaned. Easier not to use it if possible.

Let reception know you are here by phone and which car you are in. Knock loudly if necessary and wait, if you cannot get through, and we can talk to you through the door. When we are ready, we will call you in, one at a time. The only exception to this will be with children, where one adult can come into the surgery with them. Unfortunately a mother coming alone with several children, cannot bring them all in, and ideally another Adult will need to stay with them outside until it is their turn, or an older responsible child.

When you come in, you will have a forehead temperature check,(please don't wear lots of face makeup as this can interfere with the readings),then be asked to use handrub on your hands and be watched whilst doing so, then brought in to the surgery. We will open and close all doors for you and ask you just to sit straight in the chair. We will still check your medical history and update records and get you to sign the clinipad. They will have disposable covers on for cross infection purposes and so will be safe. You will be asked to rinse your mouth with a solution to kill viruses in your mouth for 30 seconds, then we can start. Please bring in as little as possible, no excess bags, shopping, coats etc. Shop after the appointment not before! Ideally bring in nothing but yourself, and leave everything else outside in the car.

We will try and use rubber dam technique on most if not all people, to reduce the risk of aerosol when we carry out fillings by over 90%. I am aware this may not be possible on everyone but we need to when we can.

When we have finished, you will be going straight out of the backdoor, again held open for you and going home, or waiting in the car park for the next one of your family to be treated. Payment will be taken either briefly at reception before the appointment, preferably by card. If by cheque, prewritten and signed and we will fill in the correct amount for you. If by cash, in a bag and the exact correct amount please. We expect most people to pay on the phone as soon as possible before or after the appointment by credit or debit card. I am in the process of getting card holder not present authority, so that we can take money in this way. Let us know when you expect to be available to pay, so that we can phone directly you are free. We can also book further appointments over the phone at the same time to save you being in the building longer than necessary. Future appointments may be more difficult to manage, as we won't know what will be happening in 6 months time, so we may book a short holding one, ie a short exam appointment, to avoid you falling out of the system. When things change, we know to contact you, and then make more appropriate appointments. If you want to buy any sundries ie whitening gel, toothbrushes etc, let us know ideally the day before, so that we can get them ready for you to take with you when you leave. Also major changes in your medical history or drug history, let us know by e mail the day before or earlier, so we can amend your records accordingly before the appointment. A photo copy or snapshot of your current prescription on a smart phone, and e mailed in would be a good idea. Send it to and I can access it from home remotely and add it in to your notes, the earlier this can be done, the better. Thank you for reading this and for your patience at this very difficult time. We look forward to seeing you when you feel able to attend and we can get you in safely

(c) All Rights Reserved Knights Dental Surgery 2014 | 2 Central Avenue, North Bersted, Bognor Regis, West Sussex, PO21 5HG | Tel: 01243 825888