Below is a full list of implementations we have in place, and upon notification from our immunosuppressed patients we would follow these implementations to the strictest protocol, use of PAPR hoods and book at the beginning of the sessions when no other patients would be present in our waiting area prior to your appointment. Please do discuss any needs with our friendly Reception Team.
Immunosuppression means you have a weakened immune system due to a particular health condition or because you are on medication or treatment that suppresses your immune system.
COVID-Safe Dental Practice Environment: Negative Air Pressure, PAPR Hoods, FFP3 Masks, and High-Level Disinfection
The COVID-19 pandemic has transformed the dental industry, with practices implementing a number of measures to create a safe environment for patients and staff. Some of the key elements we have implemented to exceed the level required during the height of the pandemic include negative air pressure, PAPR hoods and FFP3 masks, and high-level disinfection of instruments and cleaning between patients.
Negative Air Pressure
Although this was not a requirement, and practices were informed to leave fallow time (a time where a room was not in use) and a mist of discinfectant to spray within the room between patients, we had gone one step further to ensure the highest level of safety, and had renovated and installed a Negative air pressure system. Negative air pressure is a ventilation system that creates a pressure differential between the dental surgery room and the surrounding area. This helps to prevent the spread of airborne contaminants, including the COVID-19 virus. Negative air pressure systems are typically used in hospital operating theatres, and we have used to ensure a high turnover of air within the room that is always on and benefits most between patients and when performing aerosol-generating procedures, such as drilling and filling teeth.
PAPR Hoods and FFP3 Masks
PAPR hoods and FFP3 masks are two types of personal protective equipment (PPE) that can be used to protect dental staff from the COVID-19 virus. PAPR hoods are powered air-purifying respirators that provide a constant supply of filtered air to the wearer. FFP3 masks are filtering masks that protect the wearer from inhaling airborne particles.
High-Level Disinfection of Instruments and Cleaning Between Patients
Dental practices have always followed strict infection control procedures, but these procedures have been further enhanced in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. All dental instruments are subjected to high-level disinfection after each use. This involves cleaning the instruments and then sterilizing them in an autoclave. Dental surgery rooms are also thoroughly cleaned and disinfected between patients.
In addition to the above measures, COVID-safe dental practices may also implement the following:
- Patient screening: Patients are screened for COVID-19 symptoms before entering the dental practice, and are sent a collection of forms to fill in prior to their appointment.
- Social distancing: We may close the waiting area, or book at the beginning of the clinical day at a time when other patients are not present.
By implementing these measures, dental practices can create a safe environment for patients and staff.
Here are some additional tips for staying safe at your next dental appointment:
- Wear a mask: Continue to wear a mask in the dental practice, even if it is not required by the practice.
- Ask questions: Feel free to ask your dentist or dental hygienist about their COVID safety protocols or reception prior to your appointment.
- Reschedule your appointment if you are sick: If you are experiencing any cold or flu symptoms, reschedule your dental appointment for a later date.