Treatment Sessions

The Covid-19 virus affects the upper respiratory tract and is spread by the viral droplets. Dental procedures that cause an aerosol to be produced are therefore more likely to cause a spread of the virus, and so extra precautions must be in place to limit that risk of spread of the virus.

Dental procedures are divided into those that generate an aerosol [AGPs], and those that do not [non-AGPs].

Examples of Non-AGPs

  • Routine examinations, and scaling, x-rays, denture production, temporary dressings, straightforward extractions.
     

Examples of AGPs

  • Procedures where the high speed turbine drill is used, e.g. filings, crown and bridge preparation, root canal treatment.
  • Procedures using the Airscaler, cavitron scaler , hygiene work – any scaling and polishing where “machines” are used to clean the teeth.
  • Surgical extractions.

 

Regarding Personal Protective Equipment [PPE] and decontamination, the level of PPE required for non-AGPs is higher than that which you will have been used to previously. The dentists and nurses will wear mask and visors, and disposable aprons, as well as the usual gloves. This will be the case for the simplest of procedures. The surgery will be deconaminated before re-use.

With AGP procedures, the dentist and nurse will be wearing respirator type mask as well as their visors, plus a surgical gown, covering their arms, and head coverings - again disposable after use. Once treatment is completed, that surgery will have to remain unused for the next hour, prior to decontamination - a period called fallow time.

The new regime in dental practices involves dividing surgery times into sessions where non-AGPS are provided, and sessions where AGPs are provided. As the AGPs require the surgeries to be left unused for the hour, in future only one dentist will be on site at any one time. Lisa House and John O’Brien will share the week between them – see the opening hours page for more details. 

However, as from September 8th 2020, both John O'Brien and Lisa House will be both be present seeing patients on Wednesday and Thursday mornings, just providing non-AGP treatments. By increasing our hours, we will hopefully be able to get through the backlog of appointments  cancelled duing the lockdown. However, on these mornings AGP procedures will not be possible, as we will not have a vacant surgery available to use, during those fallow periods.

If the treatment you are prescribed involves an AGP, a special session will be booked for you to complete this, and any and all treatment required will be completed in one session, as far as is possible. The reception staff will indicate at what days and times AGP sessions will be available. The surgery will be booked for an hour for that procedure, and the dentist will use alternating surgeries to ensure a full hour between treatments.

In order to do this, we have had to cut down the times when the surgeries are available, in order to ensure your safety and that of the staff.

There is a cost implication to this, and unfortunately, treatment will be more expensive in the future. The extra cost covers the extended time the surgery is occupied for all treatments and the decontamination afterwards, plus the extra PPE required, as well as the loss of the surgery time whilst remaining “fallow”.

For non-AGP procedures, we will charge a fee per item, as we have done previously. There will also be the cost of Basic PPE, which we are required to wear for all appointments. Please see our price lists to see an indication of the likely cost.

For AGP procedures, we will charge as a fee per item as well, but there will also be a charge of £80  per AGP appointment, to cover the extra PPE and the "fallow" surgery time afterwards. We will attempt to get all your treatment completed in one AGP visit where possible, to keep your costs down.

We will inform you fully of the likely cost before you agree to any treatment.

These costs are indication on the Price list pages for Adults and Children.

Before any appointments are made, you will be provided with an estimate for the cost of that treatment, and, with your agreement, we will proceed to make those relevant appointments.

This will take some organisation on our behalf, and it will mean that you will be limited in choice when it comes to having certain treatments, but I am afraid that this is the way dentistry is to be provided in England from now on – we do not get a choice in this. All practices in England will have to adapt to this new scenario.