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Hexham Dental Clinic COVID-19 Updates Page - LAST UPDATED 13/6/20

CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) UPDATES PAGES - WE INTEND TO KEEP OUR PATIENTS UP TO DATE WITH THE LATEST INFORMATION DURING THE PANDEMIC CRISIS. PLEASE CHECK BACK HERE REGULARLY FOR UPDATES. PLEASE SCROLL DOWN FOR INFORMATION ON MANAGING TOOTHACHE IF YOU ARE SELF-ISOLATING OR HAVE COVID-19 SYMPTOMS

13th June 2020 - virtual consultations now available

Do you have a dental problem you’d like to tell us about?

Have you had problems during lockdown?

Wondering what treatment options are available?

Click here to access our new Virtual Consultation tool and one of our team will get back to you:

All consultations will be reviewed by one of our team and tailored advice given.

It’s one of the ways we’re helping patients during lockdown as it can help us communicate better with you and make sure we’re offering you the very best when you come to see us for a face to face consultation.

6th June 2020 - Please take the time to watch our video which explains what has changed when we reopen our doors.

Throughout lockdown we have been busy preparing for the day that we would be allowed to reopen. Whilst there has been a lack of clarity and timely information from the UK, other countries have provided very useful resources. We pooled the resources of the standard operating systems from Europe, New Zealand, Australia and the USA and made "best guess" judgements on what would be the new normal published when the UK did finally provide us with the new standard operating system for dentistry. NHS England published their standard operating system for dentistry 2 days ago on Thursday 4th June.

We're glad to say that there was nothing in NHS Englands standard operating procedure that we hadn't anticipated, and as a result we will be starting to see patients for face-to-face care from Monday 8th June.

Unfortunately, it will not be business as normal. Social distancing measures will mean that we have to severely limit the numbers of patients we can see. For procedures that cause aerosols such as fillings, it will be necessary initially to leave a surgery empty for up to an hour to reduce the risk of transmission. The PPE will be enhanced for aerosol generating procedures in particular. All of our team have been fit-tested for P3 respirator masks which are necessary for aerosol generating procedures.

As as result of the above, we will not be able to provide routine appointments for some time. During this phase of the pandemic, we are being advised to operate a limited service to minimise contact and transmission so please do not contact us yet if you wish to arrange a routine appointment. Whilst we will be operating a limited face-to-face service, we will continue to offer our remote triage service offering advice, analgesics and antibiotics where required. Our doors will remain locked so please do not attend the practice to make appointments. we can only make appointments via telephone or email.

We will start by contacting patients who have urgent dental needs first - i.e. those that have been in pain or have severe infections. Once we have stabilised urgent requirements we will then move on to "essential" treatments such as broken teeth or fillings.

The virus has not gone away and there is still a risk for face-to-face consultations. If you are in a vulnerable or shielded group, even if you have problems, you may decided that at this time it may be best to postpone a visit until we are in a lower phase of the pandemic. Click below to see our risk assessment documentation to help you decide if contacting us for a face-to-face consultation would be in your best interests.

We appreciate your patience and apologise for any inconvenience caused.

Please take the time to watch this short video which shows how some of our new systems will be working whilst we are at this phase of the pandemic. Thank you for taking the time to do so and we look forward to welcoming you bak to our clinic very soon.

Team HDC.

28th May 2020 - "Back to work says" Boris

We are preparing to re-open.

After being forced to close on the 25th March, we have spent the weeks during lockdown researching, sourcing PPE and working out how we can reopen safely.

The news tonight form the PM was the 1st we heard of this.

We have a long list of patients who have suffered during lockdown and we aim to prioritise these. We have been working hard on our standard operating procedure so we can share this with you in the link below.

For sure it will not be back to business as usual for some time but we’re very happy that we are now allowed to start looking after our patients.

PLEASE NOTE: Appointments MUST be pre-booked. Our door will be locked and patients without pre-booked appointments will not be admitted into the practice - please see the link below for essential information on attending our practice.

Please “stay alert” to our social media channels as we will be updating here as new information develops.

We look forward to welcoming you back soon.

Team HDC.

If you are currently being treated with Invisalign, check out the link here for Invisalign-specific advice:

5/5/20 Update - We are still here

Just a quick update to let our patients know, if you have a dental problem or query, please get in touch. We are continuing to man our phones and respond to email and social media queries.

Many of our patients have contacted us and already benefitted from advice, analgesics and antibiotics. Some of our local pharmacies have been accepting prescriptions digitally to dispense on the same day.

For those that have had dental emergencies, we have had patients who we have referred to the local Urgent Dental Centres where face to face treatment has been unavoidable. In some cases, patients have been offered face to face treatment on the same day.

So if you have any problems, please get in touch and we’ll discuss your options to make sure you get the very best care during lockdown.

16/04/20 new guidance from Englands Chief Dental Officer

New guidance of how dental services should operate in the sustained transmission phase of the pandemic have been issued to all dental practices. Anyone who would like to read the full report can do so by clicking the link below.

The summary is that our team are following nationally recognised guidance to keep our patients safe from transmission. We are manning the phones and emails during normal office hours and have already helped many patients with AAA (Advice, Analgesia and Antibiotics where indicated). We are incredibly frustrated at not being able to see patients on a face to face basis but respect the current advice and safety of our patients is our utmost priority.

There is now an established pathway for any patient who's urgent dental needs are not being met by AAA. The range of conditions provided for by local UDC systems are likely to include, but are not limited to:

• Life-threatening emergencies, eg airway restriction or breathing/swallowing

• difficulties due to facial swelling

• trauma including facial/oral laceration and/or tooth/bone injuries

• oro-facial swelling that is significant and worsening

• post-extraction bleeding that the patient cannot control with local measures

• dental conditions that have resulted in acute and severe systemic illness

• severe dental and facial pain: that is, pain that cannot be controlled by the patient following self-help advice

• fractured teeth or tooth with nerve exposure

• dental and soft tissue infections without a systemic effect

• suspected oral cancer

• oro-dental conditions that are likely to exacerbate systemic medical conditions.

If you believe that you have any of the above conditions or have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact us on 01434 603759 or email info@hexhamdentalclinic.com and a member of our team will help you.

08/04/20 New Update for orthodontic patients

The British Orthodontic Society has released useful updates for any patient undergoing brace treatment (including children undergoing treatment at a specialist orthodontist.) Click below to access their patient-friendly page. For HDC patients undergoing Invisalign treatment see the button above.

1/04/20 Prescriptions - Boots in Hexham have allowed us to send prescriptions electronically

We are very grateful to Boots in Hexham. Normally dentists are not allowed to send prescriptions electronically but Boots in Hexham have agreed to flex these rules for us during the pandemic.

We continue to triage our patients as per national guidance via telephone so if you have an emergency please get in touch via phone or email. Our main phone line is being diverted to a mobile so that we can look after our patients and continue to follow the national guidelines of socially distancing. Should you require a prescription we are now able to send this electronically to Boots in Hexham (7 Fore Street) so that you can pick it up the same day. Boots ask that you ring in advance to check availability before making a trip - 01434 602024. Thank you Boots 🙏🏻

Stay Safe

Stay Well

Save Lives.

30/03/2020 New advice for patients from the British Dental Association

The British Dental Association has provided this for patients to explain about the effect of coronavirus is having on treatment provision throughout the UK at the moment.

25/03/2020 New Update:

To all our patients,

You may be aware that dental practices throughout the UK were asked to close their practices for routine treatment yesterday. This is because of the guidance and recommendations we as a profession have had from the Government and the British Dental Association. It is deemed no-longer safe for patients or staff for dental practices to be operating as normal amidst the risks of this COVID-19 pandemic due to the close proximity we are in when treating patients which is at odds with the current advice for social distancing.

This was very difficult for us as Hexham Dental Clinic has provided uninterrupted care for 12 years to all our patients. However, we are committed to ensuring that we keep you our patients and our team safe. As part of the national strategy we are doing our bit to help limit the exposure to this virus, and in doing so we help those who are on the front line in the National Health Service to cope with this unprecedented crisis of our generation.

Whilst we have been asked to close our doors, we are still manning phones and answering emails so if you do have any query or dental emergency please do get in touch and we will do our best to help you in the safest way possible. We believe that we have a moral and ethical duty to our patients and to our frontline NHS staff and the 111 services to limit the pressure on these services with dental problems.

After this pandemic is passed we fully expect to be operating extended hours/ sessions to ensure we get back to normal service as soon as possible. We really appreciate your patience at this time.

Please Stay Safe.

Please Say Home.

Team HDC.

24/03/20 We are here for you!

At HDC we understand that these new lockdown guidelines are worrying for all our patients.

Please let us reassure you that we are keeping you safe by following the latest national guidelines to ensure we are operating safely.

We have suspended all routine treatments but we are operating an emergency only service as we feel we have a moral and ethical duty to all our membership and NHS patients.

If you have an emergency, please ring or email our practice to arrange an appointment so that we can help do our part in social distancing, keeping our patients from congregating in our waiting rooms.

If you have been advised to self-isolate, please do not attend the practice. The current advice is to call 111 where they can direct you to a specially designated clinic that is managing patients with toothache who have COVID-19 symptoms so that you do not pass anything on to others. our contact details are 01434 603759 or email info@hexhamdentalclinic.com. Contacting us via either of these methods will be quicker than through our social media contacts.

PLEASE DO NOT ATTEND THE SURGERY IF YOU HAVE SYMPTOMS OR HAVE BEEN POSITIVELY DIAGNOSED WITH THE VIRUS OR HAVE BEEN ADVISED TO SELF ISOLATE.

INFORMATION FOR MANAGING TOOTHACHE DURING SELF ISOLATION

INFORMATION FOR MANAGING TOOTHACHE DURING SELF ISOLATION

THANK YOU TO OUR FRIENDS AT KINGSTON PARK DENTAL CLINIC (www.kpteeth.co.uk) FOR PRODUCING THIS EXCELLENT GUIDE FOR PATIENTS:

If you are self isolating and unable to leave the house then the last thing you want is to develop toothache. The practice is open for emergencies but we recommend everyone, especially those over 70 or at increased risk of severe illness due to COVID-19 follow stringent social distancing measures. If you have symptoms of Coronavirus (new persistent cough and/or fever you should not attend the practice).

If you are not able to see us, there are a few things you can try to manage the pain until you can. It is unclear at this point when normal service will resume. If you have a swelling on your face or difficulty swallowing, this requires urgent professional attention so don't be afraid to contact us for advice.

Pain from teeth;

Decay is a bacterial infection of a tooth. If the bacteria gets close to the nerve in a tooth, it can cause the tooth to be acutely sensitive. As the infection causing inflammation of the nerve gets worse, the ligaments holding the tooth in position can also get inflamed which causes pain on biting.

If the tooth is acutely sensitive to temperature, antibiotics will not fix this. The decay needs to be removed to allow the tooth to heal. If the bacteria has caused irreversible damage to the nerve in the tooth then a root filling is required or the tooth needs to be extracted.

To help manage toothache until you can visit us, there are a few things that may help reduce the pain

If there is a cavity in the tooth, a temporary filling material can be packed in to this space. These temporary filling kits are widely available from supermarkets or pharmacies.

Anti-inflammatory tablets (NSAIDs) can reduce the sensitivity. A combination of ibuprofen and paracetamol has been found to be beneficial if you can take them both - however, there are some reports that Ibuprofen may increase the symptoms of COVID-19 so Paracetamol alone is probably best if you have symptoms. Make sure you don't exceed the recommended dosage!

Don't stop taking the anti-inflammatory when the pain stops (or it will come back again!)​ You are wanting to reduce the inflammation of the nerve in the tooth which is causing the pain.

Desensitising toothpaste ​such as Sensodyne repair and protect or Colgate sensitive pro relief can help.

Anaesthetic gel such as Orajel applied to the area can help to numb the pain.

Clove Oil - This essential oil can be found in health food stores and you can apply it onto the painful tooth with a cotton bud. This works well if there is an exposed nerve due to deep decay but for it to work, you need to place it onto the exposed nerve​

Keep your head elevated at night time- When you lie down to go to sleep, the blood pressure in the tooth can increase which increases pain. An extra pillow at night time can help

Keep the area cold- reducing blood flow to an area will reduce the inflammation and pain. Do not apply ice directly to a tooth as this can increase the pain as toothaches are quite sensitive to hot and cold temperatures.

If there is an infection - a swelling next to the tooth or pus discharging;

Rinse your mouth with warm salty mouthwash to try and draw out the infection into your mouth. Dissolve a spoonful of sea salt in warm water and rinse around your mouth/ hold it in your mouth next to the infected area. Repeat several times until the pain subsides.

Never put heat externally on your face as this can draw the ​infection into the tissues in your face causing external swellings.

Pain from gums

If there is bacteria or food debris trapped between the gum and the tooth, this can cause pain.

Thoroughly clean the area with floss or a te-pe interdental brush​. You could put corsodyl gel onto the brush to help clean the area

Rinse thoroughly with Corsodyl mouthwash can help (but Corsodyl will stain your teeth so we dont recommend this for long term use)

Pain from ulcers

Mouth ulcers can be a sign of underlying medical conditions such as iron deficiency so shouldn't be ignored. Any mouth ulcer which doesn't heal in two weeks should be checked by a dentist.

To reduce the discomfort, you can try a topical ansesthetic gel such as Orajel

To help with healing of ulcers, Gengigel can be effective as well as soothing the pain.

Broken teeth

If a tooth or filling has chipped or cracked, this can cause sensitivity from the tooth being exposed or pain to your tongue from sharp edges.

The sensitivity can be reduced by rubbing a de-sensitising toothpaste onto the tooth or placing a temporary filling material over the broken corner until a more definitive filling can be placed.

23/03/20❗Important update❗

Safety of our patients and our staff is of the utmost importance at HDC. We have been keeping abreast of the rapidly changing situation with regards to the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK. The medical advice has recently changed and new national guidance suggests that we “cease routine dentistry and operate an advice and emergency service only with immediate effect.”

This will obviously have a massive effect on our patients since with immediate effect we will be cancelling all routine, non-emergency appointments. This is to protect you, our patients and our hardworking diligent staff. We sincerely hope that you will appreciate why we have to take these extreme measures and we sincerely hope that we can resume normal services as soon as this pandemic is under control.

We do not want to leave any patient in pain and will be operating an emergency only service for as long as it is deemed safe for us to continue to do so. As many of you are aware, there is a restriction on appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) and these stocks are being limited to those frontline staff dealing with the immediate medical consequences of this virus. In line with current UK medical advice we would ask that you socially distance and telephone/ email the practice to arrange appointments to limit the number of people in the practice at any one time.

We will continue with our enhanced cross infection control policies to keep everyone safe and we ask that you do your part to help keep our patients and team safe.

If you have a new continuous cough OR a raised temperature, please stay at home and ring 111 to arrange emergency care and please do not attend the practice. Thank you.

Useful tips on common dental problems if you're in isolation

If you have an emergency, please ring or email our practice to arrange an appointment so that we can help do our part in social distancing, keeping our patients from congregating in our waiting rooms.

If you have been advised to self-isolate, please do not attend the practice. The current advice is to call 111 where they can direct you to a specially designated clinic that is managing patients with toothache who have COVID-19 symptoms so that you do not pass anything on to others. our contact details are 01434 603759 or email info@hexhamdentalclinic.com. Contacting us via either of these methods will be quicker than through our social media contacts.

PLEASE DO NOT ATTEND THE SURGERY IF YOU HAVE SYMPTOMS OR HAVE BEEN POSITIVELY DIAGNOSED WITH THE VIRUS OR HAVE BEEN ADVISED TO SELF ISOLATE.

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