We hope this message finds you and your family well. Following the compulsory closure of all dental practices in the country due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we wanted to inform you of the latest changes that are taking place. Prior to this week, we have only been allowed to triage patients over the phone, provide advice, antibiotics, analgesics and refer patients to a centralised hub for emergency treatment. This was the case for NHS, private and dental plan patients across the country and we are thankful for all the understanding and support you have shown during this difficult and challenging time. We have kept a list of all the patients needing treatment and will be in contact when the regulations allow us to carry out the required work.
After the First Minister’s announcement late last week, regarding phase 2, we have now reopened the practice this week. There are strict guidelines and regulations in place, which will still limit us in what services we are allowed to perform, how, when and to whom.
Part of these guidelines are to limit unnecessary contact, so please call before hand and do not attended the practice without a prearranged appointment. One of our team will talk you through the new, temporary procedures before your appointment. They will also be able to advise you of exactly what services we can and can not offer you at any stage of these restrictions.
These differences are summarised below:
NHS Patients: Although the practice is now open again, we still won’t be allowed to perform any Aerosol Generating Procedures (AGPs) such as drilling a tooth or carrying out a surgical extraction. We will continue to phone triage, give antibiotics and advice, but can now also place temporary fillings and carry out other limited non-AGP emergency care. For any emergency treatment that is an AGP such as fillings, root treatment, surgical extractions, you will still need to be referred to a centralised hub in Glasgow. These same guidelines limited us to a maximum of 10 patients a day. These restriction have been placed on NHS dentistry by the Health Board.
In phase 3, we still will not be allowed to carry out any AGPs and will still need to refer you to the Hubs for treatment. Although we will be allowed to do routine check ups, we will not be able to carry out any treatment required that is a AGP until a later phase. Despite these limitations, paradoxically, you can have these treatments done privately or as a dental plan patient (see below).
Private Patients: With different regulations covering private dentistry, we are able to carry out emergency AGPs and all treatment in phase 3. This treatment will involve additional procedures and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). We might look a little different under all this PPE. For transparency, these additional costs will appear as a temporary £35 surcharge on top of the cost of the treatment. This is to cover the cost of this additional PPE and required procedures. Once these are no longer required, the extra charge will no longer apply. We will, as always, provide a clear estimate of treatment planned and any additional costs before hand.
In phase 3, seeing Annette the hygienist will not require this surcharge
Dental Plan Patients: Same as the private patients above. Surcharge waived for Denplan and Comprehensive Care plan patients.
As before, further changes to the regulations and guidelines will continue to be shared on our website, google and facebook pages. We will also send out further periodic emails summarising these important changes that might affect you and your dental care during this time.
Finally, significant changes are planned for NHS dentistry in Scotland following COVID-19. We have not been told what these changes will be, but we will continue to provide NHS dentistry as a practice to our current patients as much as we possibly can. We are however currently not accepting or registering new NHS patients at this time. Private and Denplan patients should be unaffected by these future changes.
For all new and existing patients, from the 13th of July, we will also be offering the option of a new independent, practice based dental plan. This affordable, flexible option allows you to build and modify your own dental care package to suit your needs. Details can be found by clicking here should this be of interest to you.
If you have any queries regarding this update or anything else, please contact us via telephone or email, but please be aware that we are experiencing a high volume of calls and emails. We will of course endeavour to get back to you as soon as possible, but it might take a little longer than usual.
On behalf of the Mount Florida Dental team, thank you again for your support and understanding,