Welcome Back Letter COVID-19 Emergency AdviceCOVID-19 Patient Journey
Dental Kind

Call us today 01277 500 332

DentalKind, 54-56 High Street, Billericay, Essex CM12 9BS

Emergencies (Out-of-hours) 07856 687 699

Updated 1st June 2020

Dear Patient,

I hope this letter finds you and your loved ones in good health.

Thank you for all being patient and bearing with us during this incredibly challenging time in our profession. We are pleased to inform you that the practice has reopened this week.

The world and our community has been through a lot over the last few months and all of us are looking forward to resuming our normal habits and routines in a sensible manner. While many things have changed in our lives and workplaces, our values
have remained the same:

  1. Deliver honest, ethical and excellent dental care
  2. Create beautiful smiles
  3. Provide a safe environment for our team to work in and our patients to be treated in

Infection control has always been a top priority for our practice and dentistry has always been regarded as a very safe profession for patients to be treated in with the high levels of disinfection protocols we follow. Our infection control processes are made so that when you receive care, it is both safe and comfortable. The main concern with providing dental care during the peak of the pandemic is because most treatments are considered aerosol generating procedures. Theory suggests this aerosol could be infectious and we have taken steps to further enhance our already excellent cross infection measures. We are revising our existing protocols to be in line with all new guidance for disinfection, allowing more time for enhanced cleaning and upgrading levels of PPE to the highest standard advised around the world.

For the safety of our patients and our team we have had to make some changes to the patient journey. The aim of this is to maintain social distancing and reduce risk of transmission of the virus. Please work with us and we respectfully request your cooperation with the advised changes to the practice of dentistry at least for the period we endure the pandemic.

These changes include:

  • When booking appointments we will be triaging all patients on the phone to confirm their personal details, medical history and medications – this is a screening process to assess the safety of treating you in practice and the urgency of your treatment need
  • To improve efficiency and workflow we will be moving to a more digitised and paperless workflow with form filling being completed online and consent forms, treatments plans and estimates being signed digitally where possible
  • We will ask that patients arrive by a safe method of transport, attend alone
    (unless a parent or carer is required) and on time to ensure smooth running of the diary
  • We have hand sanitiser that we will ask you to use when you enter the practice and that you place the provided mask on before having your temperature checked by a staff member to confirm that you have no fever
  • You will notice our waiting area and surgeries have been cleared of non- essential items to improve cleanliness during this time as well as a protective shield at reception
  • Appointments will be managed to allow for social distancing between patients and these will be staggered to minimise patients coming into contact with one another, and with longer gaps to allow for enhanced disinfection protocols
  • We will be asking for prepayment where possible to minimise time spent in the practice and avoidable use/contact with payment machines

There will also be changes to the treatment appointments and these will primarily be a pre-treatment anti-viral mouth rinse and the use of enhanced personal protective equipment (PPE) by our team for aerosol generating procedures. I apologise in advance for the necessary reduction in social interaction during this period – please remember it is still the same happy faces and friendly team under the masks!

To reassure you that I am doing my best to prioritise your safety and wellbeing, as
well as our efficiency as a practice we have utilised the government loan schemes and heavily invested in the following measures:

  • New fourth surgery to allow our clinicians to see as many patients as possible and to allow for the additional time needed for cleaning (ready mid July)
  • New cone beam CT scanner for the best possible 3D imaging which has a variety of uses, i.e. planning dental implants, diagnosing gum disease, orthodontic treatment, as well as taking x-rays for patients who suffer with sensitive gag reflexes
  • Upgraded compressor and suction units for cleaner air and better aerosol removal
  • A leading air filtration and purification system that is able to trap and kill pathogens and has a 99.99% sterilisation rate
  • Additional safety measures for our team including protective shield at reception, enhanced PPE and improved workwear
  • Improved IT hardware and software to allow remote triaging, video consultations, online form filling and remote document signing

We are following all guidance for ‘best practice’ and will be doing whatever is shown to be effective in improving safety and reducing risk. Despite the huge financial implications the practice has suffered during the forced closure of the practice, we have no intention of increasing our normal fees for the foreseeable future unless absolutely necessary for the viability of the business. However, for the practice viability we have to add two changes to patient fees:

  • Due to the huge increases in demand and worldwide shortages of PPE the
    prices for such items have increased in some cases up to 20 times. We appreciate that this has been a difficult time for our patients too and we believe it is only fair to share this additional cost together. For this reason we are adding a PPE surcharge to all appointments and this will be £5 or £10 depending on the type of procedure (non-aerosol generating vs aerosol generating – see below for examples). We expect this to reduce as prices from our suppliers go down and will be reviewing monthly.
Examples of Non-Aerosol Generating Procedures are an examination without air spray, digital scan, x- ray, denture treatment, orthodontic review.
Examples of Aerosol Generating Procedures are anything that requires the air spray, any handpiece (drill), a hygienist visit, filling procedure, crown / bridge / veneer procedure, root canal treatment, dental implant or surgical treatment, orthodontic review with IPR / adjustment.
  • Hygienist fees will increase to cover the cost of a more advanced and powerful suction unit that they are now advised to have for better safety and improved working conditions. The fee for a 30min hygienist visit will now be £60.

We can’t wait to see you all again soon and are happy to answer any questions you may have about the steps we take to keep you, and every patient, safe in our practice.

Our phased reopening will initially prioritise patients with urgent or emergency issues, followed by our patients who are mid-treatment. We are increasing availability of appointments with longer days and additional sessions being worked by our clinicians to help cope with the backlog of appointments and the necessary gaps between appointments for social distancing and enhanced cleaning.

Our new opening hours will be:

  • Monday 8.00am – 5.30pm
    Tuesday 8.00am – 7.00pm
    Wednesday 8.00am – 7.00pm
    Thursday 8.00am – 5.30pm
    Friday 8.00am – 3.00pm
    Saturday* 9.30am – 3.00pm (*3 Saturdays per month)

We will continue to be available out-of-hours for our patients and if a nurse is available we will also offer a physical appointment where necessary. At the very least we will offer advice, a remote prescription and aim to provide an appointment within 24 hours.

Should you require an appointment please contact the practice via phone, website, email or social media. Please do not attend the practice unless you have an appointment.

I would like to thank you for your patience, understanding and supporting our practice during this exceptionally challenging time for us all. We value your trust and loyalty and look forward to welcoming back our patients and friends.

Best regards,
Dr Sunil Chudasama BDS (Lon) MJDF RCS (Eng) Dip RDP (UCL Eastman) GDC Number 155249
Principal Dentist Cosmetic, Restorative & Implant Dentistry Invisalign Platinum Provider

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