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Published: 19:42, 29 May 2020
| Updated: 19:45, 29 May 2020
Dental patients will have their temperature checked before entering practices for appointments next month.
Surgeries will be reopening from June 8 across Kent - but those dreaded visits to your local practice will be far from normal.
Dentists will be donned in full PPE gear, while patients will be given face masks to wear for when walking through the surgery.
All of the new procedures are to help make dental practices one of the most sterile environments in the country in order to minimise the spread of Covid-19.
Research shows almost a third of Brits are reluctant to return to their dentist post-lockdown, however, Catherine Tannahill, director of Portman Dental Care, says patients will be in a safe environment.
Portman Dental Care has more than 130 branches across the UK, including in Tonbridge and Sevenoaks.
Ms Tannahill said: “As practitioners we want to reassure patients that a trip to the dentist in the new normal will mean they will be visiting one of the safest environments in the UK.
“The virtual or remote consultations we have become accustomed to will continue even after reopening. Those in need of treatment will then be invited into the practice.
“All patients will be called and briefed on the new procedures. They may also be asked to complete and return a new medical history form digitally ahead of their appointment.
“The practice doors will only be open to those with an appointment at the corresponding time, in order to stop people gathering in the waiting rooms. Therefore, patients will need to call the practice upon their arrival and either wait in their car or stand outside until a member of the team calls them to tell them to enter the practice.
“Before entering, the patient’s temperature will be screened. This is to check whether they have a fever, and anyone with a temperature below 37.5 degrees will then be invited in."
Once inside, receptionists will be sat behind plastic screens and the patient will be asked to sanitise their hands and put on a facemask.
After the appointment is complete, patients will be advised to put their mask back on and wash their hands before returning to the reception and disposing of their mask in a designated bin.
The treatment room and other key surfaces will then be fully cleaned and disinfected.
All of these extra precautions will result in much longer time gaps between appointments - therefore there will be a reduced number of patients seen each day.
More by this authorJoe Wright
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