Emergency dentist in London after Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak
How to get an emergency dental appointment after Covid outbreak in London
Visiting an emergency dentist in London already comes with anxieties. But with the COVID-19 pandemic, patients have added worry about the risks of contracting the novel coronavirus. It is important for those in need of emergency dental care to understand that emergency procedures are available. Emergency dental clinics in London are fully aware of the latest advice issued by Public Health England and have adapted to provide a safe environment for staff and patients. And the adoption of new procedures and protocols continues to change as new information becomes available.
What new measures are being taken?
Even before the pandemic, dental practices were already providing safe care with procedures for decontamination and disinfection. Now clinics use universal procedures, assuming all patients may have COVID-19. This way they can minimize risk and reduce transmission.
What are the new disinfection measures?
Emergency dental clinics operate with the highest level of cross infection control. Most surfaces were already being regularly cleaned with disinfectants. But now, even more care is taken. All routinely touched surfaces are cleaned with disinfectants effective against COVID-19. And surfaces patients may inadvertently touch will also get additional attention. Things like toys and magazines have likely been removed from the waiting room.
What are the scheduling restrictions?
Emergency dental practices will have scheduling restraints because of the pandemic. They will likely spread out appointment times so they can restrict the number of patients in the clinic at a time. They will also leave more time between appointments or may implement fallow periods between patients so they can properly disinfect the rooms. The extent of the fallow period depends upon the procedure and mitigating factors. They may also limit the range of treatments they offer, making sure necessary dental care is the priority while non-urgent and elective treatments take a back seat at this time.
What do patients need to do?
Patients will be screened prior to their appointment. They will have to answer questions about experiencing any symptoms or if they have recently come in contact with anyone who has. Sometimes clinics will provide forms for patients to fill out online prior to their appointment time. Some clinics will also perform a temperature scan upon arrival. This helps ensure the clinic has minimum exposure. And if patients are potentially COVID-19 positive, they can still receive emergency care from clinics set up for such cases. Sanitizing alcohol gel will be available on entry so patients can disinfect their hands. In some cases, masks may be provided if patients are required to stay in the waiting room.
What are the social distancing rules?
To minimize contact with other patients there is often a “one in, one out” system to help maintain social distance in higher traffic areas. Ideally, patients should try to attend appointments on their own, unless they require a justifiable chaperone. Patients may also be required to wait in their vehicles until the practitioner is ready to see them. And to the minimize time in the clinic and reduce touched surfaces, practitioners appreciate patients using the toilet prior to visiting the practice.
What about air purification?
Ventilation is an important factor in reducing the transmission of COVID-19. Many emergency dental practices are using air purifiers to filter or reduce airborne pathogens. They help scrub the air to help keep staff and patients safe.
What has changed for dental staff?
Again, precautions were already in place, but dental clinics are being more cautious and more stringent. Most staff will undergo a health screening before being allowed on the premises and they will be sent home or required to stay home should symptoms arise. Most of the staff will also be using a higher level of personal protective equipment (PPE) dependent upon their role. PPE might include impervious gowns, goggles, shoe covers, gloves, respirators, and face screens. They may look like they are prepping for oral surgery, but these extra precautions will make for a safer environment. There may also be barriers in place, especially around office staff, to keep contact to a minimum.
How safe it is to go to the dentist now?
Yes, things have changed. But patients should not be worried about getting emergency dental care in London. In fact, now may be the safest time to get dental care because of the added precautions in place. Dental emergencies include toothaches, lost fillings, crowns, or bridges, a chipped tooth, or a knocked out tooth. If a patient is in pain, bleeding, swelling, or has had an accident they should not put off treatment. These patients need to seek urgent dental care and should contact an emergency dentist in London right away.