The first, unprecedented nationwide lockdown last March was a shock to us all. With so little known about the coronavirus and how it was spreading, everything bar the most essential services were forced to close, including dental practices. This left thousands of people unable to access vital dental treatment and the knock-on effects of this is still being felt today. In fact, the BDA (British Dental Association) estimates that 19 million appointments were ‘lost’ during and after the first lockdown.
As the impact of closing practices became clear, dentistry was designated an ‘essential service’. This meant that dental practices were considered safe, and able to keep their doors open during the 2nd and 3rd national lockdowns.
At Ringley Park we want to reassure our patients that we are operating according to the latest standard operating procedures (SOPs), as well as recently updated infection control guidance and that there is no reason to avoid the dentist if you are concerned or in pain, nor should you postpone routine appointments.
Maintaining a good standard of oral health is extremely important to your overall health and screening for oral diseases, including gum disease and oral cancer is vital. So, we want to encourage everyone to continue to attend for examinations, hygiene and treatment appointments as normal.
Remember that having regular dental check-ups means that any problems can be spotted earlier, making them easier to treat and goes a long way to preventing bigger issues in the future.
Don’t let fear get in the way
Quite understandably, some people may have reservations about visiting the dentist at the moment because they are vulnerable or elderly. At Ringley Park the safety of our patients and staff is paramount and we have put rigorous infection control and social distancing measures in place so we can continue to deliver safe, high quality care. Although this means there has to be some changes to the way that we operate, these are in place purely for your protection.
Of course, should you have any symptoms of COVID-19, or if you are self-isolating following contact with someone who has tested positive or through travel abroad, please do not attend the practice. Simply call us and we will re-arrange your appointment.
In addition to our own strict, high standards of hygiene, we continue to follow all the latest recommendations made by the UK government, Public Health England and the Office of Chief Dental Officer England, including leaving sufficient time between patients for any aerosol droplets produced during treatment, to settle, be cleaned and surfaces disinfected. You can find full details of our current COVID-19 protection measures on our website homepage.
A brighter future
The last 12 months have been a testing time for everyone, but the future is looking a lot more positive. The roll-out of the vaccination programme is well underway and we are achieving important milestones to bring the virus under control so we can return to something closer to normal life once more.
The team at Ringley Park would like to once again to thank all our patients for your continuing support, trust and patience and we continue to make your safety, security and comfort a top priority.
We are open as usual for both routine and emergency appointments. Please get in touch by calling 01737 240123 if you would like any further information about the health and safety measures we have in place or to discuss any aspect about your dental treatment with us. We will be happy to help.