IMPORTANT INFORMATION updated 25.3 20
Hello and I hope you are all well.
We are living through some pretty turbulent times and the country is facing a public health crisis the like of which is unprecedented.
Peoples health is the priority and we all have a role to play in helping limit and control the spread of this disease.
Before continuing I also want to pay tribute to my team for their efforts and understanding at this very difficult time.
I’d strongly urge everyone to follow advice the advice we are all being issued with.
The measures like social distancing, isolating, shielding…….like washing your hands frequently and thoroughly……. and Like catch it, kill it, bin it…….
Following this advice isn’t about whether we take our chances…its about whether one person taking their chances…has big implications for multiples more down the line.
At the practice, we have been issued far-reaching guidance.
✳️As a result of ‘lock down’ all dentists have now ceased all but EMERGENCY dental treatment. We would like to take the opportunity to remind our patients what constitutes a true emergency:
✅Dental trauma (e.g. knocked a tooth out)
✅ Significant dental/facial swelling that is worsening
✅ Uncontrollable bleeding from the mouth
✅ Severe dental pain that cannot be managed by painkillers
Examples of dental problems that will NOT result in an emergency appointment include:
❌ Dental pain that can be relieved with painkillers
❌ Crowns/bridges out
❌ Broken fillings
❌ Broken teeth
❌ Bleeding gums
❌ Orthodontic problems, e.g. brackets off
We have also been issued with new guidance from The Health and Social Care health board and the British Dental Association advising us to minimise patient contact as much as possible and also to stop using the dental drill completely. As such, we have changed our practice protocol as follows:
1️⃣ Do NOT approach the practice without prior appointment. The practice door will now be locked with only 1 patient allowed in the premises at any time. If you need an emergency appointment you must first PHONE THE PRACTICE.
2️⃣ If you call for an emergency appointment you will be triaged by one of the dentists. If your problem is not a true emergency you will be given advice on how best to manage this at home. You will not be issued an appointment so please do not attend the practice. If your situation worsens you will of course be able to phone the practice again for further advice.
3️⃣ If your dental problem is severe pain that cannot be managed by painkillers you will likely be given 2 options:
– Attend an appointment for EXTRACTION of problem tooth
– Receive a prescription for ANTIBIOTICS for you to collect at a local pharmacy. Please note you should not attend the practice in this scenario.
4️⃣ We are no longer allowed to start any root canal treatments to relieve dental pain as we are not allowed to use the dental drill. If you elect for antibiotics and your pain is no better after 5 days you should phone the practice again, at which point you will be given the choice of attending for extraction of the tooth or being referred on to a suitable central community based/hospital site for further treatment (we are awaiting further details on this by the health board)
In efforts to comply with government guidance regarding lock down, the practice will only be open for emergencies that need to be seen. If you think you need to see a dentist urgently then it’s best to phone the surgery between 8.30am and 1pm. The out of hours dentist at Belfast City Hospital is only available for outside of normal working hours ie. evenings and weekends and will be subject to the same limitations that we as a practice are in terms of the treatment we can provide at this time.
‼️We wish to take the opportunity to AGAIN remind patients that they should NOT attend the practice if they have a fever, cough or have been in contact with any one that has exhibited symptoms of coronavirus. If you do fall into this category we will organise for you to be seen by the planned referral system situated in a suitable hospital site as above.
We will endeavour to keep everyone updated on this constantly changing situation and would ask patients to keep checking the Facebook page for the latest updates.
Many thanks for your cooperation at this difficult time.
Please contact the practice if we can be of further help.
Kind regards at this difficult time
Dr Stephen Hendry BDS