CoVid-19 Update

Update 16th September 2021

Please read the following in full to clarify where the practice is with regards to NHS and private treatment provision from 16th September 2021.

PLEASE CONTACT US IF YOU HAVE:-

  • a new lump or swelling in your mouth or neck
  • a red or white patch in your mouth
  • an ulcer that has lasted longer than 2 weeks
  • a family history of oral cancer
  • you have had biopsies in your mouth in the past or have a lesion we continue to monitor

 

Emergency Appointments

Please telephone reception on 01786 473579 if you are having any problems with your teeth or mouth. We have a daily emergency dentist who is providing care for our patients who have uncontrolled pain, swellings, trauma or uncontrolled bleeding.

 

If you have a broken tooth, a crown or bridge that has come out, a broken denture or any other problem then you can still telephone reception. Most times these problems are also being offered appointments on the same day.

 

Appointment Cancellations

Over the last couple of weeks we have experienced some staff needing to have a PCR test as a result of being contacted by Test & Trace as potential contacts of a positive case. All our staff are double vaccinated at the practice and operate under strict protocols. We have therefore had to cancel some patients due to staff having to wait for their PCR results to come through. We are sorry if this has meant you have experienced an appointment cancellation but we have to follow our protocols to protect patients and staff alike.

 

Getting Through To Us

The phone lines are always busy each morning from 8.45-10am and so please only phone at these times if you are having a problem.

 

There is an answer machine which you can leave a message on when we are closed if you need to cancel your appointment. You will need to listen to all the recorded message and then you can clearly state your name, your message and a contact phone number so reception can contact you.

 

There is also the option of emailing us at info@stirlingdentist.co.uk

 

Treatment Waiting Lists

If you are currently on your dentist’s NHS treatment waiting list then they are following the Chief Dental Officer’s instruction to prioritise patients in terms of risk of tooth loss and not necessarily the date order of problems occurring. As we are seeing patients for check-ups this has unfortunately resulted in each dentist’s waiting list for treatment getting longer. If you had your treatment halted in February/March 2020 and have not heard from us, please email info@stirlingdentist.co.uk and we can check you are on your dentist’s waiting list.

 

Check Ups

After our successful trial a couple of months back, each dentist continues to have a check-up day each week and is making their way through their waiting lists. Reception will contact you when your dentist reaches you in their cancellation list. Most dentists are currently recalling the cancelled check-ups from late April 2020.

 

Please email info@stirlingdentist.co.uk if you have a question about check-ups or a change of address or contact phone number/email.

 

Please also email and let us know if you cancelled and did not rebook a new check-up appointment at any point from July 2019. This is so we don’t miss you when arranging new appointments.

 

Hygienist

See 22nd December 2020 post

 

Anne continues to have to work with 2 surgeries and 2 nurses, and with appointments of 30 minutes to allow for donning and doffing of enhanced PPE, fallow time and cleaning. Our second hygienist Jade should be starting with us soon.

 

Renovation Works

The roof works and replacement sandstone work has now been completed. Thank you to Mylchreest & Nairn and Impressions in Stone for all the work they have done. There is now just the last bit of painting to be completed at the front of the building. The front path is being replaced this weekend.

 

Our waiting room remains out of use due to the continuing social distancing restrictions and because it is being used to store all the boxes of enhanced PPE we need each week.

 

The practice will continue to operate from 8.45am-5.30pm Monday to Friday until the end of September. We still have a closed door policy meaning the doors are only opened to those patients who have an appointment, and have been screened.

 

Outside these hours NHS24 covers dental emergencies and can be reached by calling 111.

 

Thank you for your patience at this time as we work our way through the backlog.

 

Stay safe and well,

John & Jennifer Denham and all the team at Platt & Common

Previous Updates

Update 1st July 2021

Please read the following in full to clarify where the practice is with regards to NHS and private treatment provision from 1st July 2021.

 

The Stirling Council area remains in Tier 2. We still cannot have all our staff in the building at once due to the protocols. The hygienist and any dentist who is carrying out an aerosol generating procedure (AGP) with a high-speed handpiece, also require two surgeries each for the day to allow for the fallow time and cleaning procedures.

 

Our trial of having one additional surgery working each day seeing 30 patients for check-ups worked well. We were able to accommodate the extra patients, and the associated staff, whilst maintaining our protocols. We have therefore continued with each dentist having an additional working day each week of check-up only appointments.

 

The Chief Dental Officer yesterday confirmed our funding is to continue from today, but does not specify for how long. At this time our NHS funding only provides 65% of our usual total practice income.

 

PLEASE CONTACT US IF YOU HAVE:
  • a new lump or swelling in your mouth or neck
  • a red or white patch in your mouth
  • a ulcer that has lasted longer than 2 weeks
  • a family history of oral cancer
  • you have had biopsies in your mouth in the past or have a lesion we continue to monitor

 

Treatment Waiting Lists

If you are currently on your dentist’s NHS treatment waiting list then they are following the Chief Dental Officer’s instruction to prioritise patients in terms of risk of tooth loss and not necessarily the date order of problems occurring. As we are seeing patients for check-ups this has unfortunately resulted in each dentist’s waiting list for treatment getting longer. If you had your treatment halted last March and have not heard from us, please email info@stirlingdentist.co.uk and we can check you are on your dentist’s waiting list.

 

Check Ups

May we kindly ask that you do not phone reception asking about check up appointments as it blocks the line to other patients who are needing emergency advice or an emergency appointment.

Please email info@stirlingdentist.co.uk if you have a question about check-ups or a change of address.

Please also email and let us know if you cancelled and did not rebook a new check-up appointment at any point from August 2019. This is so we don’t miss you when arranging new appointments.

 

Hygienist

See 22d December 2020 post

Anne continues to have to work with 2 surgeries and 2 nurses, and with appointments of 30 minutes to allow for donning and doffing of enhanced PPE, fallow time and cleaning. We hope our second hygienist Jade will be able to start with us soon as restrictions ease.

 

Our waiting room remains out of use due to restrictions and because it is being used to store all the boxes of enhanced PPE we need each week.

 

The practice will continue to operate from 8.45am -5.30pm Monday to Friday. Our doors will remain closed and only opened to those patients who have an appointment and have been screened.

 

Outside these hours NHS24 covers dental emergencies and can be reached by calling 111.

 

We continue to ask for your patience at this time as we continue to work our way through the backlog.

 

Stay safe and well,

John & Jennifer Denham and all the team at Platt & Common

Update 17th May 2021

Please read the following in full to clarify where the practice is with regards to NHS and private treatment provision from 17th May 2021.

 

As announced by the Scottish Government, the Stirling Council area will move into Tier 2 today.

 

Going in to Tier 2 does not make any difference in the way we can operate due to the protocols we must continue to work under. We still cannot have all our staff in the building at once. This means we continue to be severely restricted in terms of how many patients can be seen each day.

 

We have had no further information from the Chief Dental Officer or the government on the strategy for helping dental practices increase their capacities from how we are able to operate at the moment. Our funding stops at the end of June and we are still waiting to see what happens after the 1st July which does not help us in planning. Our funding only provides 65% of our usual total practice income.

 

We continue to ask for your patience at this time as we work our way through the backlog.

 

We have been, and continue to, conduct a trial which sees one additional dentist having a day of check-up only appointments each day. This trial is to see whether we can accommodate an additional 30 patients a day whilst maintaining social distancing and safety protocols. Again, each appointment needs to be 50% longer in allocated time to allow for collection from the door, hand sanitising and escorting to and from the surgery.

 

PLEASE CONTACT US IF YOU HAVE:
  • a new lump or swelling in your mouth or neck
  • a red or white patch in your mouth
  • a ulcer that has lasted longer than 2 weeks
  • a family history of oral cancer
  • you have had biopsies in your mouth in the past or have a lesion we continue to monitor

 

Treatment Waiting Lists

If you are currently on your dentist’s NHS treatment waiting list then they are following the Chief Dental Officer’s instruction to prioritise patients in terms of risk of tooth loss and not necessarily the date order of problems occurring. As we start check ups these lists will obviously lengthen.

 

Check Ups.

May we kindly ask that you do not phone reception asking about check up appointments as it blocks the line to other patients who are needing an emergency appointment.

 

Please email info@stirlingdentist.co.uk if you have a question about check-ups.

 

We are hoping our trial is successful and we can restart check-ups late next month.

 

Please also email and let us know if you cancelled and did not rebook a new check-up appointment at any point from August 2019. This is so we don’t miss you when arranging new appointments.

 

Hygienist

See 22d December 2020 post

 

Anne continues to work with 2 surgeries and 2 nurses with appointments of 30 minutes to allow for donning and doffing of enhanced PPE, fallow time and cleaning.

 

Our waiting room remains out of use and is being used currently to store all the boxes of enhanced PPE we need each week.

 

The practice will continue to operate from 8.45am -5.30pm Monday to Friday. Our doors will remain closed and only opened to those patients who have an appointment and have been screened.

Outside these hours NHS24 covers dental emergencies and can be reached by calling 111.

 

Stay safe and well,
John & Jennifer Denham and all the team at Platt & Common

Update 9th March 2021

We hope you are all keeping safe and well.

 

Yesterday,  one of our most experienced receptionists received a series of calls from different patients,  in which she was verbally abused and spoken to in a passive aggressive manner. These calls caused our receptionist to be so upset that by 10am she had left the building in tears.  Whilst understanding your frustration on the limits of what we can do at the moment due to the Covid protocols, may we please remind all patients that this behaviour will not be tolerated.  Our receptionists are here to help you. Our reception team follow our protocols which enable us to maximise the number of patients seen each day under the current circumstances. Our “Violence & Aggression” policy is available to read here.

 

Our staff have now all had their second Covid vaccinations and been face fitted again for the new NHS FFP3 masks after the withdrawal of the original NHS FFP3 masks. Our NHS supply of PPE has been much better in the last couple of months.  There is still no indication from the Health Board, or the Chief Dental Officer, as to whether mass vaccination of the staff and the general public will allow us to change our current operating procedures, and in turn, increase our daily capacity.

 

The dentists continue to work their way through the delayed treatment lists. Each day we have new additions to these lists as more people find themselves with a broken tooth or in pain. This is contributing to the delay in being able to start seeing patients for routine NHS check-ups.

 

VERY IMPORTANT PLEASE READ

  1. If you have any new lump, swelling, non-healing ulcer, change in your mouth or a family history of oral cancer please contact us.
  2. If you are over 50 years old, a smoker and drink alcohol please contact us and let the receptionist know you are calling for this reason and they can sort a screening appointment for you.
  3. If you have periodontal (gum) disease and usually see your dentist or hygienist every 3 months could you please email info@stirlingdentist.co.uk so we can check you are on the waiting list. If you wish to see the hygienist privately then please let us know.
  4. Please keep us informed of any change of address or contact number. We have a number of patients with no mobile contact number which is usually the quickest way to reach a patient.
  5. If you cancelled any appointment pre lockdown 23rd March 2020 and did not have a new appointment in our appointment book after 23rd March 2020 then please email us at info@stirlingdentist.co.uk as otherwise we may miss you when recalling patients.

 

Hygienist Update – see 22nd December 2020 post.

Check Ups – see 22nd December 2020 post.

 

We meet with the dentists regularly to assess where they are with their treatment waiting lists. We know check-ups will not be starting before Easter. We meet again next week to further assess the possible restart of routine check-ups in April/May.

 

Whilst the current situation may be frustrating, please be assured if you are having a problem we are able to assess you and give you an appointment if necessary.

 

Stay safe and well,

John & Jennifer Denham and all the team at Platt & Common

Update 27th January 2021

Since our last update Stirling remains in tier 4 and is likely to until at least mid-February.

 

All our second Covid vaccinations were cancelled and we have received new appointments for the beginning of March. There are still no indications as to whether this will allow us to change our current operating procedures, and in turn, increase our daily capacity.

 

We continue to work our way through the delayed treatment lists. Each day we have new additions to this list as more people find themselves with a broken tooth or pain, delaying us being able to start seeing patients for routine NHS  check ups.

 

VERY IMPORTANT PLEASE READ

 

  1. If you have any new lump, swelling, non-healing ulcer, change in your mouth or a family history of oral cancer please contact us.
  2. If you are over 50 years old, a smoker and drink alcohol please contact us and let the receptionist know you are calling for this reason.
  3. If you have periodontal (gum) disease and usually see your dentist or hygienist every 3 months could you please email info@stirlingdentist.co.uk so we can check you are on the waiting list. If you wish to see the hygienist privately then please let us know.
  4. Please keep us informed of any change of address or contact number. We have a number of patients with no mobile contact number which is usually the quickest way to reach a patient.
  5. If you cancelled any appointment pre lockdown 23rd March 2020 and did not have a new appointment in our appointment book after 23rd March 2020 then please email us at info@stirlingdentist.co.uk as otherwise we may miss you when recalling patients.

 

Hygienist Update – see 22nd December 2020 post

Check Ups – see 22nd December 2020 post

 

Whilst the current situation may be frustrating, please be assured if you are having a problem we are able to assess you and give you an appointment if necessary.

 

Stay safe and well,

 

John & Jennifer Denham and all the team at Platt & Common

Update 22nd December 2020

Since our last update the Stirling level 4 status has been temporarily lifted until 0.01am 26th December 2020 when we will return to operating under level 4 restrictions until at least 16th January.

 

Our staff have now had their first Covid vaccination and we will have our staff vaccinated by 12th January meaning they will be considered fully vaccinated by 19th January. We have not been told whether this will allow us to change how we currently operate and increase our daily capacity of seeing patients.

 

We have now been supplied with the appropriate NHS PPE and our staff have been face fitted for the NHS FFP3 masks needed for aerosol generating procedures.

 

VERY IMPORTANT PLEASE READ

  1. If you have any new lump, swelling, unhealing ulcer, change in your mouth or family history of oral cancer please contact us.
  2. If you are over 50, a smoker and drink alcohol please contact us.
  3. If you cancelled any type of appointment in January, February or March this year and did not book a new one please email info@stirlingdentist.co.uk as otherwise we may miss you when recalling patients.
  4. Please keep us informed of any change of address or contact phone number.
  5. If you have periodontal disease and usually see your dentist or the hygienist every 3 months and have not seen them since before March 2020, could you please email info@stirlingdentist.co.uk so we can check that you are on the waiting list. (See below re hygienist)

 

Hygienist Service Provision Update

As you will be aware from previous updates, we currently have Anne working 2 days a week and able to see 32 patients each week as opposed to the usual 170+. Anne requires multiple surgeries and longer appointments than usual in full PPE for her and her nurse. It is for this reason that she is only carrying out private treatments and will do so from now on. Currently the charge is £45 for the 30 minute slot needed for a patient to be seen. Patients have the choice of an Airflow treatment or a hand scale and polish. The Cavitron water scaler may be possible after 19th January when the staff are considered fully vaccinated.

 

The practice in normal times charges £35 for a private 15 minute Airflow treatment. We have not passed the cost on to patients of the doubling of time now needed, or the cost of the second nurse she now needs for surgery post AGP cleaning. We have only added on the PPE costs for the hygienist, her nurse and the second nurse. Once we can return to the normal way of working, we shall reduce the £45 appointment charge and move to 20 minute private appointments (appointments were previously 15 minutes preCovid). Increasing the appointment times, providing access to two hygienists and two EMS Airflow machines within the practice, we can provide patients with a way to access the latest in periodontal routine care.

 

For patients who have previously seen the hygienist for an NHS scale and polish then we are truly very sorry, but the practice is now making the hygienist a private only service. The NHS fee in normal times just covers the running costs of the hygienist surgery if all patients attend their scheduled appointments. However, with the continued number of patients failing to attend their appointment and last-minute cancellations that the hygienist experiences, then it is no longer economically viable for us to keep subsidising this service on the NHS. All NHS scale and polishes will now be carried out by your dentist. If you would like to now see the hygienist on a private basis then please let us know so we can add you to the hygienist list.

 

My friend/family has had a check-up, why can I not book one?

We are still not in a position to carry out routine NHS check-ups. We have had patients contacting us saying that they have had family or friends who have had check-ups so why can they not have one booked?
The practice has private patients who have been receiving their check-ups. The NHS does not make up 100% of our income and is not supporting us financially for our lost private income, so we have allocated the proportionate time for seeing our private patients. We have been working weekends seeing private patients so we can keep more time for the NHS patients during our normal working week. When an NHS patient has been seen for an emergency problem or to finish outstanding treatment then sometimes a check-up is done at that emergency, treatment or assessment appointment to save that patient coming back for a routine check-up and taking up an additional precious appointment.

 

We wish you all a merry Christmas and we hope all of us will have a much happier year in 2021.

 

Stay safe,

 

John & Jennifer Denham and all the staff at Platt & Common

IMPORTANT UPDATE 18/11/20

Please read the following in full to clarify where the practice is with regards to NHS and private treatment provision from 23rd November 2020.

 

As announced yesterday by the Scottish Government, the Stirling Council area will move into Tier 4 on Friday 20th November at 6pm until the 11th of December.

 

As a practice we want to maintain a level of service to all our patients during this time period whilst also ensuring the safety of all our staff and any patients that need to come to the practice. Therefore, from Monday 23rd November we will not be carrying out any routine treatment until restrictions are lifted and will return to providing emergency advice and treatment only.

 

Each day there will be two dentists based at the practice and they will be able to offer you advice and if appropriate, will arrange for you to be seen at the practice.

 

The practice will operate from 8.45am -5.30pm Monday to Friday. Our doors will remain closed and only opened to those patients who have an appointment and have been screened.

 

Outside these hours NHS24 covers dental emergencies and can be reached by calling 111.

 

Included in the emergency criteria are patients who have non-healing ulcers or have a new lump or lesion in their mouth. If you have any of these please telephone us.

 

Yesterday, reception started contacting patients who have scheduled appointments in the 3 weeks from Monday 23rd November. If you have an appointment in those 3 weeks and have not heard from them please telephone reception to rearrange your appointment on 01786 473579.

 

Please be assured that we will return to our current level of operating with four dentists working in two surgeries each every day as soon as restrictions are lifted.

 

Stay safe and well,

 

John & Jennifer Denham and all the team at Platt & Common

UPDATE 27/10/20

Please read the following in full to clarify where the practice is with regards to NHS provision from 1st November 2020.

 

Our last post on 12thOctober 2020 informed you of how the Scottish Government finance minister had announced the restarting NHS dentistry from 1st November 2020. This was something that had not been disseminated in advance to the dental profession and so we were in the dark about this proposed change. Later that evening our Chief Dental Officer finally made contact with the profession.

 

Extract from the Chief Dental Officer letter to dentists on 12th October 2020

 

“You should be assured that I fully recognise the position that a return to pre-COVID levels of patient volume will not be achievable under the current health protection measures. I am aware that it will still be necessary for you to prioritise appointments for patients requiring urgent dental care, those at greatest risk of oral disease and the backlog of patients from during the ‘lockdown’. This is not business as usual but by making available a full range of treatments for NHS patients, we are enabling dentists and dental teams to provide a wider range of NHS care for their patients, prioritised by your clinical judgement.”

 

All restrictions we currently have such as social distancing, increased cleaning protocols, enhanced PPE, surgery fallow times and patient screening we have been told must remain. This still leaves us operating at a reduced capacity of approximately 20% of normal. We have received new national guidance in relation to surgery fallow times after an aerosol procedure and the possible reduction from 60 minutes to 30 minutes. However, this change will not increase our ability to see more patients under the restrictions as our dentists already have access to two surgeries each when they are working.

 

As soon as face fitting became available we were asked to have one dentist and one nurse face fitted so that we could carry out the urgent NHS aerosol procedures that were enabled under phase 3. There was limited availability for face testing but we managed to get all our dentists fitted for the NHS FFP3 masks as well as one nurse. As you may know the profession was supplied with recertified FFP3 masks that were first produced in 2009. We were told that the new in-date Alpha Solway FFP3 masks should be available for November and so we waited for the health board to arrange face fittings accordingly. A Forth Valley Health Board update at the end of last week informed us that they do not expect to have any further face fitting dates available until early 2021 for dental teams. We have sent an email to the health board explaining our current position of having only one nurse (like most practices in Forth Valley) face fitted with the recertified FFP3 masks and how do we get our remaining nurses tested.

 

Currently we have over 13,000 registered NHS patients and all our patients are now overdue a check-up. All our dentists have printed lists of their patients who have outstanding treatment, those who have had issues during lockdown and a list of their cancelled check ups since 23rd March 2020. As the Chief Dental Officer has stated we are having to prioritise people as capacity is still reduced and we are still having to leave one dentist, of the four working each day, seeing patients who have emergencies. We await further clarification from the health board as to how we are able to see patients for NHS aerosol procedures without the necessary staff being face fitted. We will contact patients when we can see them. Please be aware that dentists are only working certain days to enable social distancing within the practice and so there may not be as great a choice of appointments as before.

 

We, and our team, thank you for your continued patience and support during these difficult times.

 

John & Jennifer Denham

IMPORTANT COVID-19 UPDATE 12/10/2020

We have today heard that STV news has broadcast that NHS dental services will resume in full from 1st November. We have had no prior communication from the Chief Dental Officer or Forth Valley Health Board about this and the first we heard about it was from a staff member who was at home.

 

We will need to wait for official clarification of whether this is correct and what it means for NHS patients. Please do not telephone the receptionists about check ups as they can not answer when they will be possible as we do not know, and there are many patients waiting for treatments first.

 

We will update this further when we know more.

 

John & Jennifer Denham

IMPORTANT COVID-19 UPDATE 28/09/2020

Unfortunately we have made the difficult decision to not register any new patients at the practice for the time being as we are operating at a much reduced capacity for the foreseeable future.

 

Dental practices are still in phase 3 with regards to NHS treatment. NHS aerosol procedures can still only be carried out where “malignancy is suspected or there is acute and intractable pain, sepsis or trauma.”

 

This means “opening root canal(s) for drainage, pulp extirpation and dressing to seal cavities in permanent teeth, splinting in connection with external trauma”. All these situations involve the use of a drill. We continue to be able to see patients with urgent non AGP problems such as facial swelling, uncontrolled bleeding, trauma and new lumps / non healing ulcers.

 

As you can see we are still not allowed to carry out routine NHS dental examinations, fillings, crowns and bridges.

 

We are allowed on the NHS to carry out soft tissue checks and so again we would urge those patients who are at higher risk of developing oral lesions to contact us for a soft tissue check up. You are at greater risk if you are over 50 and a smoker, or have a family history of oral cancer. It is also important to let us know if you have an ulcer that is still present after 3 weeks, or a new lump in your mouth.

 

We are continuing to cancel all routine check up and hygienist appointments to mid October and expect this to carry on throughout October.

 

We are now contacting the patients who usually have Airflow appointments 3 monthly with Anne and were due to be seen in March and April, as well as those 6 monthly Airflow patients who had appointments cancelled in March.

 

Please email if you cancelled an Airflow hygienist appointment in February or March and did not book a new appointment. There is a chance we may not know of the initial cancelled appointment unless we looked on your own individual record, and we would hate to miss offering you a new appointment.

 

If you are an NHS patient who was due to have treatment during lockdown and would like it completed privately then please contact us and we can provide you with an estimate. Private procedures are generally based on the 60 minute time slot you are in surgery plus 60 minutes where the surgery is unable to be used (fallow time), plus 15 minutes surgery cleaning.

 

Costs start from £120 for an AGP slot. During this time the dentist may also be able to do a proper check up with the air drying syringe and a scale and polish if required. For example a single filling, check up and scale and polish would be £120. Please email info@plattandcommon.co.uk with a contact telephone number rather than phoning reception and someone will get back to you to discuss your options.

 

So in summary we are continuing to try and provide our patients with the best care allowed at this time. We are still screening all patients before they are allowed an appointment and our dentists/hygienist temperature-check each patient before allowing them through the door. We have our doors shut to stop anyone coming in who is unscreened to protect staff and patients already in the building.

 

We continue to plan for when things may improve in terms of what we are allowed to do on the NHS.

 

Stay safe and well,

John & Jennifer Denham

IMPORTANT COVID-19 UPDATE 15/08/2020

Dental practices are about to enter the next stage of phase 3 on Monday 17th August with regards to NHS treatment. You may have read how dentists will be allowed to “drill” again on the NHS and to a certain extent this is correct. However, guidelines received on 7th August from the NHS Primary Care Directorate states that aerosol procedures can only be carried out where “malignancy is suspected or there is acute and intractable pain, sepsis or trauma.”

 

This only means “opening root canal(s) for drainage, pulp extirpation and dressing to seal cavities in permanent teeth, splinting in connection with external trauma”. All these situations involve the use of a drill. We continue to be able to see patients with urgent non AGP problems such as facial swelling, uncontrolled bleeding, trauma and new lumps / non healing ulcers.

 

As you can see we are still not allowed to carry out routine NHS dental examinations, fillings, crowns, bridges and scale and polishes. In Forth Valley we have been told that the enhanced PPE required for urgent NHS AGPs will not be available for use until 24th August at the earliest. We are being provided with enhanced PPE for 2 dentists and 2 nurses.

 

We are allowed on the NHS to carry out soft tissue checks and so again we would urge those patients who are at higher risk of developing oral lesions to contact us for a soft tissue check up. You are at greater risk if you are over 50 and a smoker, or have a family history of oral cancer. It is also important to let us know if you have an ulcer that is still present after 3 weeks, or a new lump in your mouth.

 

We are continuing to cancel all routine check up and hygienist appointments to the end of August and realistically expect this to carry on in to September.

 

Anne is still carrying out Airflow appointments on the private plan patients at the weekends and we feel these patients should be completed by mid September. We will then start contacting the patients who usually have Airflow appointments 3 monthly with her, and then the patients who see her 6 monthly for Airflow appointments.

 

If you are an NHS patient who was due to have treatment during lockdown and would like it completed privately then please contact us and we can provide you with an estimate. Private procedures are generally based on the 60 minute time slot you are in surgery plus 60 minutes where the surgery is unable to be used, plus 15 minutes surgery cleaning.

 

Costs start from £120 for an AGP slot. During this time the dentist may also be able to do a proper check up with the air drying syringe and a scale and polish if required. For example a single filling, check up and scale and polish would be £120. Please email info@plattandcommon.co.uk with a contact telephone number rather than phoning reception and someone will get back to you to discuss your options.

 

So in summary we are continuing to try and provide our patients with the best care allowed at this time. We are still screening all patients before they are allowed an appointment and our dentists/hygienist temperature-check each patient before allowing them through the door. We have our doors shut to stop anyone coming in who is unscreened to protect staff and patients already in the building.

 

We hope things will get better in terms of our NHS patients being able to be seen and we are planning for when that is allowed.

 

Stay safe and well,

 

John & Jennifer Denham

IMPORTANT COVID-19 UPDATE 20/07/20

All our dentists, and their nurses, have now been face fitted for respirator masks. This enables aerosol generating procedures (AGPs) to be carried out once permission has been given by the NHS to dental practices in Phase 4.

 

Our Standard Operating Procedures for Phase 4 have also been approved.

 

Our application has been agreed for the opening of 4 surgeries by Forth Valley Health Board for NHS patients for non-AGP use during the current Phase 3.

 

ROUTINE EXAMINATIONS

 

The most important point to say is that if you have an ulcer that is still present after 3 weeks, or a new lump in your mouth then we need to see you.
We understand patients will now be thinking about their routine examinations that we had to cancel during lockdown. At the moment we are unable to use our air drying syringe, as its use is considered an AGP. Without the use of proper drying a meaningful check up is not really possible. We also have the issue of having to consider social distancing for the safety of staff and patients and having multiple patients coming in and out increases this risk.

 

Each person that is given an appointment has to be COVID screened by phone and a medical history also updated. Both Jane and Faith are currently spending all day phoning patients to complete this task. We have one of our dentists answering the main phone.

 

To carry out a single routine examination we now have to allocate 20 minutes to allow for the donning of PPE, doorstep screening, hand sanitising, bagging of any bags/coats brought, escort to surgery, the check up itself, escorting back to the door, hand sanitising before exit, removal of PPE and then cleaning of the surgery ready for the next patient. As you can see this more than doubles the time for a check up at a time when we can only have, at best, half our dentists in at a time on any given day. Our ability to see patients is around 25% of normal capacity.

 

What we are still doing is contacting and assessing patients, and treating where possible those patients who have had problems. These patients still remain our priority at this time.

DRILLING PROCEDURES (AGPs)

 

We are now in the position of being able to carry out AGPs on a private basis. What we need patients to understand is that each procedure uses a surgery that then has to be left empty for 60 minutes after use. The surgery then requires cleaning thoroughly before another procedure can take place. This means that we can only carry out approximately 4 AGPs a day per dentist.

 

Each dentist needs a second surgery to be able to see non-AGP procedures whilst the first surgery is “fallow”. Therefore only 3 or 4 dentists can work each day. The working day has been extended and any private plan patients are being seen by John at the weekends. This means more slots are available to NHS patients during our normal working week.

 

HYGIENIST APPOINTMENTS

 

The hygienist appointments are always AGPs. Anne will require 4 surgeries allocated to her when she is working. Each appointment now has to be a 30 minute slot. The hygienist and her nurse will require enhanced PPE. It is for this reason that the hygienist will only be working at the weekends so that surgeries are not taken away from dentists who need them for treatments. Anne will be seeing our private dental plan patients first who have continued to support the practice throughout the lockdown by paying their monthly fees.

 

Once those patients have been seen then those NHS patients who pay to have an Airflow appointment will be seen. We will have to increase the Airflow fee from £35 to £45 to cover both the enhanced PPE being used and the extra time. We do need to make it clear that Anne can only see up to 32 patients per weekend and so this service is also severely reduced in capacity.

 

If you are an NHS patient who needs a scale and polish then the NHS would allow a hand scale only with your dentist (they are unable to polish your teeth as it is an AGP under NHS regulations). Please telephone reception to make a hand scale appointment if you require this treatment. If you have periodontal disease and see the hygienist, or your dentist, 3 monthly for scales and polishes then this would be our advice to get your teeth hand scaled as a minimum.

 

We are all working very hard to work to the best capacity that is possible under all the restrictions.

 

Again we would ask for your patience and understanding of the position we are in and all of our staff are trying their best to help our patients. Please be polite and courteous to Jane and Faith when speaking to them on the phone as they really do appreciate a friendly and understanding patient at the other end.

 

Whilst this is not “business as usual”, please be assured that we are doing everything that we can to put the practice into a position so that we can return to normal service. We hope that day will not be far away.

 

Stay safe and well.

 

John & Jennifer Denham

dental practice reopen stirling

IMPORTANT COVID-19 UPDATE 01/07/20

Reopened for Urgent Care

We have today reopened for Phase 2 URGENT dental care but the practice remains closed to everyone except those patients whom we have contacted and given urgent care appointments to. For all other patients our dentists will continue to answer the emergency phone.

 

A dentist is available for advice 9am-5pm Monday to Friday on 01786 473579. Our new dentist Kirsten Hepburn joined the telephone triaging last week.

 

Phase 2 DOES NOT INCLUDE routine examinations, hygienist visits or any procedure that involves a drill (fillings, crown and bridges) or the construction of dentures. It is only for those patients with severe pain, swelling, trauma, uncontrolled bleeding from a socket, a non-healing ulcer or new lump in the mouth.

 

Patients who require a denture repair that affects their ability to eat or have a broken retainer may be considered for an appointment.

 

Patients who have a broken tooth or have lost a filling may be considered for a dressing but will be allocated appointments once more urgent care patients have been seen. Temporary filling kits are available from chemists (see our downloadable advice sheet).

There is a huge backlog of patients who have had problems in the last 100 days and we are only currently able to see 10 patients a day. An additional surgery has been agreed with the Health Board from the 6th of July. Each dentist has a long list of patients to see and are in the process of organising appointments for them.

 

Urgent Care Hubs are still available for us to refer our patients to, should they need an aerosol generating procedure or are COVID-19 symptomatic.

 

Please do not call the emergency mobile number to ask about appointments. If you have an enquiry please email the practice on info@plattandcommon.co.uk

 

Routine appointments have been cancelled until further notice. Text messages are being sent out or patients who we do not have a mobile phone number for are being phoned. If you think we may not have an up to date mobile phone number for you then please email us on info@plattandcommon.co.uk

 

Cancelled appointments remain in the books so that we can reschedule everyone’s appointments once we are in a position to resume routine care. This will be several months away.

 

We are not in a position to see patient’s privately for aerosol generating procedures or to see a patient quicker. Dentists and nurses require face-fitting of respirator masks and we currently have no details from the Health Board as to whether we will have access to this level of PPE for phase 4 when aerosol generating procedures are allowed for NHS patients.

 

We are sourcing respirator masks ourselves and hope to have these face-fitted very soon.

 

It seems a long time since we last had patients into the practice and we are very glad to be welcoming some of you back.

IMPORTANT COVID-19 UPDATE 18/06/20

Dental Practice to Remain Closed in June

This lunchtime has seen the announcement of phase 2 reopening which begins on Monday 22nd June. This means that dental practices can, once signed off by the health board, be able reopen to emergency patients only for specific types of problems. We continue to work through the new protocols and next week will commence the new staff training that is required.

 

This phase DOES NOT include seeing patients for routine examinations, hygienist appointments and for anything involving drilling such as fillings, crown and bridge work or construction of dentures.

 

All routine appointments continue to be cancelled until further notice. We have a huge backlog of patients who have had problems during lockdown and we will only be allowed to see 10 patients a day in the practice. We ask for your understanding during this time from everyone and from those who have had problems as we aim to treat you as and when we are allowed during this next phase. The urgent dental care hubs will still be available for us to refer patients to who need emergency treatment which requires an aerosol generating procedure, or who are COVID symptomatic.

 

We will still have a dentist available for advice and triage 9am-5pm Monday to Friday on 01786 473579.

 

Could we please ask you not to call the emergency mobile number to ask about your appointments. You can either leave a message on the answer machine or email the practice on info@plattandcommon.co.uk if you have an enquiry.

 

All appointments remain in the appointment book and when we have seen all the patients with problems, and completed outstanding treatments we will then contact patients to reschedule their routine care.

How Things Will Look When Coming to the Practice

For those patients who have been allocated an appointment during phase 2 this is how we will be greeting you when you arrive.

We will be using John’s surgery for all appointments. Kirsten and John are here showing you what the surgery will look like and how they are going to be dressed.

You can also download the following guide to the procedures that will be in place when attending the Dental Practice:

 

Download: Attendance Procedure

 

We hope that you are all staying at home and staying healthy and we will be back to normal as soon as it is possible.

 

Kindest regards,

 

John & Jennifer Denham and all the Team at Platt & Common

IMPORTANT COVID-19 UPDATE 12/06/20

The practice is continuing to work towards completion of the toolkit sent to us by SDCEP and Forth Valley Health Board. This week we have been seeing our staff individually to discuss the reopening strategy. We will be commencing the training of the staff for the new PPE guidelines, resuscitation changes and surgery workings in preparation for phase 2a.

 

The Chief Dental Officer is expected to announce on 18th June the date practices would be able to open, subject to being signed off for opening by the health board. We hope to be ready for July 1st if we are allowed to be open.

 

During Phase 2a we will be able to see a maximum of 10 patients a day. We would normally see approximately 200 patients a day and so you will understand how logistically this will be very difficult. Therefore, the practice will REMAIN CLOSED to ALL scheduled routine appointments until we have seen those that have had problems during lockdown and those who had treatment planned during March onwards. Please understand that phase 2a only allows things like simple extractions, dressings, denture repairs, incise/drain swelling, and other urgent non-aerosol producing procedures. When we are allowed phase 2b then other types of problems will be able to start to be seen.

 

We will continue in phase 2a to have a dentist available 9-5pm Monday to Friday to triage and give telephone advice to patients on 01786 473579.

IMPORTANT COVID-19 UPDATE 25/05/20

Chief Dental Officer Release

We hope you are all safe and well. Please find below the chief dental officer’s release for patients in Scotland. We are now operating under the new protocol for referrals to the Forth Valley urgent dental care centres.

 

In practice we are currently waiting for the SDCEP toolkit to be released next week. This will allow us to open one surgery to carry out non-aerosol procedures (drilling) such as extractions and dressings in the first instance. This is stage 2a of the opening of dental practices which the hope is all practices will have achieved by 31st July.

 

We understand how frustrating the current situation is for patients and for ourselves. There is nothing we would like more than being able to open and carry on as we used to be. We would ask you to please be patient with regards to appointments as we currently have a log of hundreds of patients that have had problems in the last couple of months and they will be prioritised at the various opening stages.

 

We ask that if you think we do not have a current mobile number for yourself please email it to info@plattandcommon.co.uk

 

 

CHIEF DENTAL OFFICER RELEASE 20/5/20

Dear patient,

 

It was initially necessary to restrict the range of treatments available in urgent dental care centres and we are now able to expand the scope of this service to deal with a wider range of acute and urgent dental problems. Further information may be found at:

 

https://www.scottishdental.org/public/dental-services-during-the-covid-19-pandemic-informationfor-patients-in-scotland/

 

or,

 

https://www.nhsinform.scot/illnesses-and-conditions/infections-and-poisoning/coronavirus-covid19/healthy-living/coronavirus-covid-19-accessing-dental-services

 

You should continue to contact your dental practice in the first instance to discuss your treatment need.

IMPORTANT COVID-19 UPDATE 25/03/20

Temporary Closure

Due to the coronavirus outbreak and in accordance with instructions from Scottish Government and the Chief Dental Officer all general dental practices in Scotland have been ordered to close from Monday the 23rd of March until further notice.

 

One of our dentists will be available for telephone advice during the hours of 9:00am until 5:00pm Monday to Friday. Please telephone 01786 473579 and listen to the answer machine message as it will instruct you on how to access emergency advice and care.

 

Out-with of these hours patient’s should telephone NHS24 on 111.

 

All scheduled appointments are cancelled until further notice and we will re-schedule appointments once the practice is allowed to open. If you think we do not have a current contact number for you then please could you email us at info@plattandcommon.co.uk

 

Please do not phone the practice regarding the changing of appointments.

 

Symptomatic or COVID-19 positive patients with an emergency should still phone us and you will be triaged and if required you will be referred on to the Public Dental Service at Falkirk Community Hospital (FK1 5QE) who are set up for any treatment that you may require.

 

During the CoVid-19 lockdown, we are aware that you may have dental issues that need attention. If you are experiencing a dental issue, please do get in touch with the practice by calling 01786 473579.

 

You can also download the following guide to help you alleviate and dental pain you may be experiencing.

 

Download: Dental Self Help Guide

 

We hope that you are all staying at home and staying healthy.

 

We will be back to normal as soon as it is possible.

 

Kindest regards,

 

John & Jennifer Denham and all the Team at Platt & Common