At 543 Dental Centre, we’ve been working hard to meet the challenge of safely caring for our patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the greatest barriers to us seeing more patients has been the need for ‘fallow time’ between appointments, meaning our capacity to see patients has been running at around 20% of our normal rate.
Dentistry involves many procedures that generate aerosols – known as AGPs (aerosol generating procedures). COVID-19 regulations stress the importance of reducing aerosols wherever possible, so we can minimise the risk of any infectious micro-organisms – that’s why fallow time is so important.
What is ‘fallow time’?
After an AGP our clinical team has followed official guidance to wait an hour so that any infectious droplets can settle on surfaces, before we re-enter and disinfect the surgery – this is referred to as fallow time. This prolonged procedure has led to unfortunate delays for many of our patients who are still waiting for dental and oral hygiene care.
Now the good news!
No one wants to wait any longer than necessary for dental treatment, especially if you’re in pain or discomfort. We’ve looked long and hard at measures to further protect our patients and staff members, not just for COVID-19, but from any harmful infectious agents.
In line with updated professional guidelines[i], we’re delighted to announce that 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, and in turn, significantly reduce the amount the fallow time between patients.
Put simply – these special ventilators enable approximately 12 air changes per hour in the surgery, expelling old stale air with fresh, new clean air each time. This allows the fallow time between AGPs to be reduced to just 20 minutes with 10 minutes for cleaning and disinfection. The greater the number of air changes per hour, the sooner any aerosol will be cleared – and the sooner we can see our patients!
At 543 Dental Centre, scrupulous infection control measures remain a top priority, and our new ventilation system is just one of the many new measures we have in place to make our patients feel safe when they visit us for dental treatment.
For more information about how 543 Dental Centre is working within professional guidelines to ensure our patients’ safety, and what to expect when you come to see us, please click here.
Remember – PLEASE DO NOT ATTEND THE PRACTICE WITHOUT AN APPOINTMENT!
[i] Standard Operating Procedures Transition to Recovery, Office of the Chief Dental Officer, August 2020 v3.