A: 84 Rodney Street, Liverpool, L1 9AR
T: 0151 709 1980
F: 0151 709 2405
E: info@theorthodonticpractice.co.uk
W: www.theorthodonticpractice.co.uk

COVID-19 CORONA VIRUS

Practice Arrangements * Updated Thursday 28th May*

Further to the announcement made on Thursday 28th May, Dental Practices are expected to start opening on Monday 8th May, subject to careful risk assessment, infection control procedures and the availability of suitable Personal Protective Equipment.

PLEASE NOTE, THIS DOES NOT MEAN A RETURN TO “BUSINESS AS NORMAL”

After 3 months of Lockdown, one weeks notice is a very short time to prepare the Practice for new protocols that will be necessary to keep patients, staff and ourselves safe.

We will be working very hard over the next few days, training our staff, sourcing PPE, updating our Infection control protocols, performing Risk Assessments, liaising with our colleagues and consulting all the official guidance from NHS, Public Health England, CQC and our Specialist groups.

This is an unprecedented situation and it will take many weeks, if not months to return to any sense of normality.

We would respectfully ask for your continued patience and understanding as we do our best to return to work.

Further updates will be posted here explaining in greater detail what to expect when you come into the Practice for treatment.

We understand this can be a worrying time for us all. So, with this in mind, we have prepared this Q&A sheet to answer some common questions which may arise.

To all our Patients - 6th June 2020

We hope this letter finds you and your family in the best of health.

You will have seen in the media that dental practices can open from Monday 8th June and we want you to know that we are working hard to make this possible.

With no face to face clinical activity possible for the last 3 months, you will understand that there is a large backlog of patients for us to assess and we would ask for your continued patience as we deal with this.

We have received much in the way of official guidance concerning how we manage clinical activity and at the same time keep our staff and patients safe from the continued threat of Coronavirus. Your experience of visiting our Practice will be very different from what you remember, and whilst many things have changed, we want to reassure you that we remain committed to our high standards of treatment and to your safety.

We will begin seeing patients who have specific problems with their braces, appliances or wires on 8th June 2020 strictly by appointment and you will be telephoned to arrange a time to come to the Practice.

Whilst we have always maintained the highest standards of infection control, due to the nature of this virus, we are putting in place extra precautions and the following is to inform you of changes we need to implement to reduce the risk to you, your families and to our staff.

  1. You will be telephoned before your appointment and one of our staff will take you through a Covid-19 Screening Questionaire
  2. Entry to the practice is restricted. On arrival, please press the doorbell. If our reception area is full, you may be asked to remain outside until it is safe for you to enter. Please ensure that you are dressed appropriately for the weather conditions on the day.
  3. Only one chaperone to accompany the patient and only the patient will be allowed into the clinical surgery. We will send a treatment update with your child. If you have any reasons why you need to attend with your child in the surgery, please inform our reception staff. We respectfully request that no prams or buggies are brought into the practice at this time.
  4. Please do not arrive too early. We recommend no more than 5 minutes before your appointment is due.
  5. If you are late for appointments, we will have to rebook for another time. No exceptions will be made. If you believe that you are going to be late, please call the practice on 0151 709 1980
  6. For some procedures, our team may be wearing extra protective equipment such as special gowns, visors and special masks. Please do not be alarmed it is only because the procedure you are having may generate aerosol so extra protection is required.

Due to these guidelines, we will be seeing fewer patients per day so please be patient with us. We have a back-log of patients to see and will try to prioritise those in most need.

Unfortunately, the virus is still a threat. However, we have always followed the latest Infection Control Procedures and will continue to do so.

Best wishes from The Orthodontic Practice

Common Questions:

How do I contact you?

If you have an emergency, and have tried to solve the problem yourself without success, you can contact us on our usual practice number 0151 709 1980. We will be available by phone as described above. Our email address is info@theorthodonticpractice.co.uk but please be aware that it may take 24 hours to respond.

I have a brace/retainer problem. How can I solve this at home?

Please be reassured that it is very rare to have a true emergency in orthodontics. If you have a bracket that has broken off or loose, we will fix it at your next appointment. If your brace is rubbing you can get either “igloo” or orthodontic wax from Amazon. The wax covering of a Baby-Bel or Edam cheese can make a good alternative to orthodontic wax if something feels scratchy. Just dry the area and press it over the site that is rubbing. If the wire is digging in, you can cut it with nail clippers. Cracked retainers should be worn until we can reopen. Please also refer to the Orthodontic Emergency Information here

If you have a problem with your retainer or part of your brace is causing pain or an inhalation risk, and you have tried the above measures, then contact us in the usual way on 0151 709 1980. And we will advise you how to solve your problem at home. A selfie sent to the practice e-mail may be helpful. Please note that a broken bracket is not an emergency and can wait until the practice re-opens. For severe dental emergencies outside normal hours, please contact NHS out of hours on 0161 476 9651. If you have had symptoms of the virus such as cough and/or fever and have a dental emergency, then please self-isolate and contact NHS 111 for advice.

What is a brace/retainer emergency?

If part of the brace is causing pain, or you are worried you may swallow or breathe it in, then please contact us. Another example would be a lost or broken retainer which no longer fits. If you are not sure, you can call us for advice. A broken/loose bracket which is still attached to the wire is not an emergency and can wait.

My appointment has been cancelled. When will I be seen?

We are in the process of contacting patients with existing appointments to inform them of the cancellation. Unfortunately, we cannot make another appointment at this stage. We will contact you as soon as we know the date we can re-open. Appointments will be sent out by post and prioritised according to clinical need. We thank you for your understanding in this matter.

Won’t this affect my brace treatment?

There will inevitably be a delay in the progress of your treatment. However, most appliances are safe and stable to leave for many months if a good standard of toothbrushing is well maintained. Our clinicians have checked the clinical notes progress of everyone affected to make sure.

What about the elastics I’m wearing?

You should continue wearing your elastics until the date of your original appointment. Then stop and keep safe any elastics you have left over. This puts the brace in “park mode”. If you have been told by the clinician to monitor the front bite and you notice it getting worse, then contact the practice for advice. It would be helpful if you took a selfie of the bite and emailed it to us too.

My brace is removable. Should I still wear it?

Yes. You should continue wearing your removable brace as instructed.

I’ve been told to turn the key of my removable brace. Should I still do this?

Yes. You should continue to do this, but stop the turns on the date of your cancelled appointment.

What about my retainers?

Keep wearing your retainers as you have been advised.

I’ve broken/lost my brace or retainer. What should I do?

You should call the practice for advice.

I was due to be seen for a first appointment. Will I go back on the waiting list?

No. Your appointment will simply be rearranged and prioritised accordingly.

I’ve had symptoms of the virus and am having brace/retainer problems. What should I do?

Self-isolate and call NHS 111

I’ve had teeth out but no brace fitted. What should I do?

Do not worry. There is usually no problem with the delay. If you notice the spaces closing up a lot (e.g. half of the original space) then contact us for advice. Selfies of the teeth emailed to us would be helpful for this.

I’m due to have teeth out at my dentist, should I still go?

We would advise not have teeth out for orthodontic reasons at this time. If a tooth is hurting and you were due to have this tooth out as part of your orthodontic treatment plan, then discuss this with your dentist.

My dentist won’t take my teeth out like you asked. What should I do?

You should take your dentist’s advice. We can always rearrange appointments to fit around this.

I was due to have my brace off. Do I have to wait?

Yes. We know this is very disappointing, but we feel this is in the best health interests of staff, patients and public alike. If you have special concerns, please e-mail the practice.

Is the practice dangerous?

No. We have very high standards of cross infection control. The decision has been taken to conform with the social isolation advice given by the government and public health advisors, together with the guidance issued by our Professional bodies.

Can I just turn up at the Practice for advice?

No. Please be aware that we have set out the above information specifically to avoid you making an unnecessary journey.

We appreciate that this is frustrating for everyone, but we are acting in good faith for the protection of us all. We are all in this together, so we ask that you continue to be patient, polite and respectful to us during this difficult time.

Best wishes and stay safe,

The Orthodontic Practice
March 2020

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