Tom Walker

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Guidance Published For Dentists Return

Safety guidance has been published for dentists ahead of private practices reopening from Monday 1 June.

Only emergency and essential treatment is allowed and has to be risk-assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Patients will have to wash their hands on arrival and get a temperature check using a no-touch thermoter. If there's a 'raised temperature', they can't be treated there and will be referred to the Urgent Dental Centre. 

Confirmed or suspected coronavirus cases cannot be treated. Patients are recommended to sign a pre-treatment questionnaire to reconfirm a negative Covid-19 history.

Practices are advised to be set out in a way that allows two-metre distancing when treatment isn't being offered. Wearing face masks is encouraged.

Ahead of patients coming into the surgery, dentists have to make sure all equipment is set up and PPE is already fitted. 

After the patient leaves - the door must be closed, instruments have to be sterilised and after 20 minutes, the area must be decontaminated.

Pre-treatment mouth rinsing for at least 10 seconds is recommended as 1% hydrogen peroxide or 0.2% povidone iodine are both active against coronavirus.

Prescription pads and pens should be kept in a drawer and only filled in after the patient leaves the surgery and the surfaces are clean.

Practices are urged to only allow one patient in to the treatment room at any one time and toilets have to be cleaned at least twice a day.

Parents and carers can be allowed inside the treatment room with their child 'where identified as necessary'. They have to stay at least two metres from the dental chair, encouraged to wear a mask and maintain good hygiene (e.g. wash hands).

Appointments for higher-risk patients are recommended to take place in the quietest parts of the day and with limited use of the waiting room.

"In keeping with General Dental Council (GDC) guidance as well as health and safety legislation, practitioners will need to use their professional judgement and to risk assess when, where and how to provide care. This judgement should take into account the health and safety of all patients, staff and public overall, as required during business as usual, as well as to mitigate against the risk of COVID-19 infection transmission and community spread." - Government of Jersey

More guidance can be found here.

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