Aug 20, 2020
This week we have actually done two blogs for you….lucky people! This one is a general one and the second which is linked below is for those of you who like to know the science behind it all.
So, we had a very exciting week this week. The air filtration units we bought in early May have finally arrived. Whoop! Whoop!
So why all the excitement? This allows us to reduce the down time, referred to as fallow time, that we have had to allow after each treatment since we reopened in June.
The guidance by the Faculty of General Dental Practice (FGDP) states that after every aerosol generating procedure (AGP) we need to allow time for the aerosol to settle before we clean the room and see another client. This fallow time starts as soon as we set down our handpiece and the recommendation is to allow an hour. We can then enter the room to clean it and set up for the next treatment.
Mitigating factors are allowed and those that we have applied are an open window during treatment and using high volume suction with a wide bore tip (previously 6mm now 18mm). We have carried out a risk assessment based on the information in the guideline to work out the relevant time to allow. To date we have had to leave 30 - 40 minutes, depending on the procedure. The air filtration, another mitigation factor we are allow to apply, will allow us to reduce this time considerable.
Following extensive research, we chose this particular model because it incorporates several factors which research indicates can help in reducing the risk from aerosols. These are high quality air filters and UV and ionising technology.
And now for the science. Follow the link if you want to know more.
I’ve mentioned aerosols already and want to talk a bit about the risk from them. For you as the client in the chair it is zero as the aerosol is generated from your mouth and will contain viruses etc that are already in your saliva. The risk is actually to the staff in the room thus the excess of PPE that we wear. The risk from aerosols for dental staff can never be 100% removed but the extensive PPE we wear reduces it to a negligible amount. There is also a risk to the next client to enter the treatment room. And this is why the extensive cleaning and disinfection we do between clients is in place and has been for all of my 30+ years in dentistry. If you are interested in the science on all of this follow the link.
Many of who have attended the practice have been interested in the hand and surface sanatiser we are using. The short version of the information on it is that it kills and protects against 99.99% of bacteria and enveloped viruses. It is proven to kill Coronavirus, MRSA, E-Coli and Norovirus and is laboratory tested to several BS EN standards. It can be used on all surfaces including soft furnishings, carries a CE mark and has a residual effect. That means it stays effective on a surface and acts on any bacteria and viruses that subsequently land there. Laboratory tests have shown it to be 58% effective on surfaces after 8 days. We are using this as hand sanitiser and as a surface cleaner on every surface in the practice including the soft furnishing, bannisters and bathrooms as well as in the treatment rooms.
The website for this product has a very easy to use shop if any of you are interested however free postage is only available for orders of over £60. We are more than happy to do a bulk order and refills for anyone who is interested and top up your bottles when required. If this is of interest to you let us know or just follow the link to their website to order for yourself.
Hopefully all of the above information will reassure you that we provide an incredibly safe environment for you when you attend the practice and that we have taken as many steps as possible to reduce the risk of infection for both you and the team.
Leaving all of the science behind the arrival of the air filtration systems allows us to reduce our fallow time and safely offer more appointments each day. We are still working our way through contacting all of you who missed appointment during lock down so we are incredibly grateful to everyone for the patience and understanding you have shown during this period.
On a different note we know that these are uncertain times for so many people with the possibility of redundancy looming and while we sincerely hope none of our clients find themselves in this position, we thought it worth mentioning that your membership includes redundancy protection. What this means is that your monthly membership payment is covered up to £15 each month while you seek a new position. The cover will be in place for up to 12 months or until you find a new position, whichever is first.
It is also worth noting that should your monthly membership fee be higher than this amount our policy is to refund the top up amount allowing you to keep up with your dental health while you get back on your feet.
Finally, for a bit of fun. In his fallow time Rob has been seeing a slightly unusual client. What do you think? I’m hoping this little guy loves his new smile and gives us a good review.
I know we promised more about the team in our last blog but we wanted to share with you the arrival of our air filtration system. Team updates will be in the next blog.
Keep well and safe.
Rob, Niamh and the Gentle Dental team