543 Dental Centre acted as an Urgent Dental Centre (UDC) during the COVID-19 lockdown and therefore our staff and premises are well used to the practical infection control measures necessary to ensure patient safety.

Before resuming dental services for our patients, we conducted a full risk assessment of the practice, in order to safeguard the well-being of our patients and staff.

We do not want patients to be anxious when they attend 543 Dental Centre and although there have been some changes over recent months to the way in which we operate, these are in place to protect your safety and we very much appreciate your co-operation.

New Safety Procedures

We have put in place a whole series of safety measures for your protection, these include:

  • New ‘one-way’ system
  • Hand sanitiser at every entry and exit point
  • Floor markings to indicate 2m distance
  • Perspex screen at reception
  • PPE for all clinical staff
  • New ventilation systems in every surgery
  • Virtual remote consultations as appropriate
  • Card payments wherever possible

In accordance with the latest FGDP (Faculty of General Dental Practitioners) guidance, we are limiting the number of patients in the practice at any one time and have put in place specific arrival and departure procedures, which are detailed below.

In line with updated professional guidelines, we have now installed new state-of-the-art ventilation systems in each of our surgeries to control and expel the risk of airborne disease transmission, which includes COVID-19. These enable approximately 10 clean air changes per hour in the surgery, allowing the ‘fallow time’ between patients to be significantly reduced. All surgeries are thoroughly cleaned and sanitised between patients.

What you need to know

Before you arrive

We continue to see patients according to need in the following order of priority; patients in pain, vulnerable patients and patients who are in the middle of treatment (see ‘In the surgery’ below). We will be gradually reintroducing elective treatments and more information will be available on this website when these treatments are available.

If you do not have an appointment, please do not attend the practice. If you are in pain, please call the practice on 01482 565488.  Our reception team is very busy so please be patient.

Before attending, you will receive a call from a member of our reception team who will go through your medical history and if appropriate, gain your consent to complete NHS forms. You will also be screened for COVID-19 symptoms, this screening process is vital to protect the welfare of all so once again please be as co-operative as possible. If you are displaying any symptoms of COVID-19 you must not attend for your appointment, please phone to let us know.

Patients will be asked to pay for treatment prior to coming in the practice by telephone. Where this is not available, contactless payment is requested on arrival.

Symptoms of COVID-19

  • High temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back.
  • New, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours. (If you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual).
  • Loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you have noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things taste or smell different from normal.

With the exception of children or adults in need of support we request that patients attend the practice alone.

When you arrive

There is new signage, within and outside 543 Dental Centre to help patients arriving at the practice.

We are asking patients to arrive at the practice no more than 5 minutes before their appointment time. If possible, we would appreciate you waiting in your car in the car park. If you have arrived on foot or by public transport there will be chairs available in the car park.

We have introduced a one-way system to reduce the chance of patients crossing each other paths and you will be asked to wear a mask and gloves, which will be supplied if necessary.

Please use the toilet at home before attending the practice to avoid communal use. Liquid soap, paper towels and alcohol hand rub will be available.

The reception desk has had a Perspex screen erected and receptionists will be wearing face masks. If you are asked to complete any forms, you will be given a pen which will then be disposed of. You will be called when your dentist is ready to see you.

In the surgery

The surgery will be fully decontaminated between patients, so you can be sure that all processes have been applied before you enter the surgery. The clinical team will be wearing full PPE and you will be asked to wear glasses (as usual).

All surgeries now have new state-of-the-art ventilation systems installed to control and expel the risk of airborne disease transmission. These special ventilators enable approximately 10 air changes per hour in the surgery, expelling old stale air with fresh, new clean air each time.

We are currently treating patients in 3 main groups:

  • Patients in pain – our first job is to reduce or eliminate dental pain. There may be some procedures that we are not able to perform currently, but we will do our utmost to provide treatment that enables you to continue pain-free until a more permanent solution can be provided.
  • Vulnerable patients – patients who have been identified as vulnerable due to health, disability or shielding, should phone the practice to arrange an appointment on 01482 565488. Patients in this group will be seen as quickly as possible and where able we will keep them separate from others. Please note, accompanying escorts will not be allowed into the surgery.
  • Patients mid-treatment – if you are in the middle of a course of treatment which has been delayed due to the COVID-19 lockdown we will contact you as soon as possible to complete your treatment. If we are unable to complete treatment as initially recommended, we will provide an interim solution until such time that treatment can be completed as per the original treatment plan.

Leaving the practice

Once you have seen the dentist, you will be escorted back to the exit or car park. Further appointments, if necessary, can be arranged at this point. Patients will be asked to pay for treatment prior to coming in the practice by telephone, where this is not available, contactless payment is requested. Our payment terminals are disinfected after each transaction.

Exit from the practice is via the usual route, with an additional exit into the car park at the rear. Hand sanitiser is available at these points and we encourage patients to use this as you leave.

All patients will be expected to contact us if they develop any COVID-19 symptoms within 14 days of their appointment.

Hygiene appointments

We are not currently offering hygiene appointments at the practice but will re-introduce these as soon as is practicable. All patients should continue to follow a regular oral hygiene routine at home to protect the health of your teeth and gums.

543 Dencare

Patients on the 543 Dencare payment plan will be contacted directly regarding any examinations or hygiene appointments that have been missed during the closure of 543 Dental Centre.

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