COVID-19

 

Endodontics & Dental Traumatology
Advice to patients 08/11/2021.
COVID-19 Precautions Protocol.

 

Advice to patients and the Canberra dental community during the COVID-19 pandemic

As a specialist dental care provider, maintaining strict hygiene standards has always been of the highest importance to us. We continue to monitor the spread of COVID-19 and are keeping a close eye on official information including guidance released by the Australian Dental Association, Australian Government Department of Health and ACT Health.

Our practice maintains strict hygiene and sterilisation standards, and has been independently and nationally recognised for meeting the National Safety and Quality Health Service standards.

These standards ensure that equipment is sterilised and all surfaces are thoroughly cleaned between patients. Our staff are highly trained in maintaining these standards, and you can be assured that we are doing all we can to ensure the safety of our patients particularly during this time.

The health, safety, and well-being of our team, patients and the Canberra community is our top priority and we are committed to doing all we can to limit the spread of COVID-19 within the community.  HEPA filter units are installed throughout the practice.

We have been made aware that some dental practices have decided to cease treatment of patients. Please be assured that Endodontics and Dental Traumatology will not be closing its doors to our valued patients, especially to those who are in pain. We are carefully following our COVID-19 Precautions Protocol and will keep abreast of the latest government advice updating our protocols if required in line with this advice, to ensure continued safe practice.

Restricted Attendance

We also ask that our patients take their own precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and notify us if you have:

  • Have been to any close or casual contact locations listed on ACT and NSW Health Covid-19 websites
  • Are aware of any family members, friends or colleagues who have been to any of the close or casual contact locations listed on the ACT and NSW Health Covid-19 websites
  • Have been to Greater Sydney or Regional New South Wales in the past 14 days
  • Have been to any Australian location outside the ACT in the past 14 days
  • Have required a Covid-19 test in the last 14 days
  • Have been in contact with a known or suspected case of COVID-19
  • Have been in contact with a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19 from an ACT location, regional or interstate hotspot, or overseas.
  • Experiencing any fever, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, loss of sense of taste or smell, blocked or runny nose, body aches, diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting or loss of appetite.

Your booking at Endodontics an Dental Traumatology has to be rescheduled for 14 days after your return from a hotspot or exposure site, or when your symptoms have resolved and you are no longer considered a risk.

Patients over the age of 70 years old, or those with chronic disease, in particular cardiovascular or respiratory disease, those who are immuno-compromised e.g currently under cancer treatments or insulin dependent diabetics, should defer all non-urgent dental treatment. Please ring our office if you would like to discuss your particular circumstances further.

Updated: 08 November 2021

Reception Area

Endodontics and Dental Traumatology has introduced additional protocols in the manner in which we welcome patients to the practice to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The door to our rooms is locked and you will need to buzz to let us know that you have arrived. You will be met at the door by a staff member who will identify you, ask you a number of questions about your health and whether you have been exposed to a confirmed case of COVID-19, take your temperature with a handheld thermometer and you will then be asked to sanitise your hands and wear a surgical mask during the entire time you are in the surgery.

We also request that patients:

  • on entry to the building you will need to scan the QR code provided at the entrance
  • scan the QR code prior to entry to our practice
  • use alcohol-based hand sanitiser to disinfect hands before progressing to the clinical spaces and prior to departure from the practice
  • wear a mask on entry to the premises
  • use a pre-procedural mouthrinse as instructed by our staff
  • do not touch your eyes, nose, mouth or face
  • do not shake hands
  • attend appointments alone if possible, although we are mindful of consent requirements and family commitments. Accompanying persons will be asked to wait on the landing outside our practice unless prior arrangements have been made.

We also request that you keep the recommended 1.5 metre distance from our reception staff when engaging with them.

We have:

  • removed the reception area magazines and books
  • adjusted seating in the reception area so that only one patient at a time is waiting for their consultation or procedure.
  • installed Hepa Filters in all the rooms (Air Prurifiers)

Our reception staff are regularly conducting environmental cleaning of:

  • surfaces and chairs in the reception area
  • telephones, the EFTPOS machine and pens at the reception desk
  • all door handles

Please note that all members of our team are fully vaccinated against COVID 19.

Reduced Treatment Services

Following the ACT Government’s lockdown of non-essential services, Dentistry has been confirmed as an essential health service thus we will continue to operate. There is no current advice or mandate from the Federal Government, Australian Health Professionals Regulatory Authority (AHPRA), or the Dental Board that suggests dental services should be limited or ceased, but rather reduced (level 1).

You may be asked to reschedule an appointment if it does not fit this criteria. We apologise for the frustration and inconvenience this may cause but please understand that this is for your protection as well as for the greater community. Our reception staff will be triaging all new patients so that those with the most urgent need will be seen as a priority.

Appointment Scheduling

We have allocated additional time between dental consultations and procedures to enable rigorous infection control measures to be undertaken by our staff including environmental cleaning.

Surgery Procedures

In line with Endodontics and Dental Traumatology’s evidence based approach to dental practice we have conducted our own review of the literature to ensure our COVID-19 Precautions Protocol is in line with current information. As dental professionals we are at the highest risk of exposure however, our rigorous protocols ensure the protection of both our patients and our team.

Our strict infection control measures target the three routes of potential spread in the dental setting: aerosol, contact and contaminated surfaces.

Mandatory annual inspections by ACT Health’s Infection Control Unit have endorsed the continually high standards at Endodontics and Dental Traumatology where exemplary inspection results have been achieved for decades.

We have always implemented strict infection control measures including:

  • instruments are packed and sterilised separately for each patient and all instruments are coded, tracked and recorded in the patient’s notes
  • disinfecting the dental chair, suction tubes, instrument control panels, dental light unit and benchtops between every assessment or procedure
  • placing protective barriers over surfaces such as headrest, instrument control panels and x-ray units which are changed after every appointment
  • using transfer forceps to take materials out of drawers during treatment (to avoid contaminating the contents of the drawers)
  • our clinical team wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): gloves, mask and protective eyewear
  • using rubber dam for all procedures (reduces aerosol by 70%)
  • using high speed suction for all procedures (reduces aerosol by 95%)

All patients will be asked to complete a 30 second pre-procedural mouthwash prior to their consultation or treatment session.

Regarding the Treatment of Patients Who Are at Risk of COVID-19

Having taken into consideration the safety of the team and other patients, Endodontics and Dental Traumatology will not treat patients who are at high risk of COVID-19 infection. In many situations if there is a significant dental emergency then the use of analgesics and antibiotics may allow a delay until the patient has reached the end of any mandatory quarantine period, or is no longer at risk of being infectious.

Endodontics and Dental Traumatology apologises to any patient that may be affected, however we will do all that we can to assist without physical presence in the surgery. Dr Taylor may conduct a telephone consultation and take measures that may assist with management including the prescription of antibiotics or analgesics.

You may also contact the Australian Government COVID-19 Health Information Line on 1800 020 080 or the Healthdirect Hotline on 1800 022 222 or find up to date information at Australian Government Department of Health: https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-COVID-19-2019-ncov-health-alert

Thank you for your understanding at this challenging time. We wish all our patients and their families and friends good health as we work together as a community to support one another in the weeks and months ahead.

Please ring us if you have any further questions or concerns.

Dr Mark Taylor and the team at Endodontics and Dental Traumatology.