Luckily after the tight restrictions on Australian dentists caused by Covid-19, Federal Government announced restrictions can be relaxed to level two, meaning patients can access more wide-ranging procedures again.
These include denture procedures, non-surgical extractions, examinations and simple fillings.
However, the Australian Dental Association is continuing to advise patients around the country to call their dentist to discuss treatment availabilities.
You may find the below Q&A useful:
Q. What extra steps are dentists taking to protect patients?
A. Dentists have been dealing with viruses and ‘bugs’ in the dental setting for over 30 years – as a profession we’ve had to have management for HIV, Hep B & Hep C just to name a few. PPE (personal protective equipment) has been worn by the dental team routinely for many years and we have good protocols that are part of the routine workflow that we use to clean, sterilise and disinfect our tools and the environment. You may notice we have some enhanced or extra PPE at the moment depending on the procedure that they carry out – perhaps an extra apron over clothing or a face shield – it will depend on the procedure that is planned and the ‘risk’ for COVID-19 – dentists have an excellent understanding of infection control and prevention so we’d say you’re in very safe hands.
Q. Are the rules for dentists the same everywhere or is it like schools where states are all doing their own thing?
A. The ADA (Australian Dental Association) branch within each state has been talking with their individual state health department and will communicate with dentists if there is a state-based decision – so majority of Australian dentists including us at Paddington Dentistry have been working under level 2 restrictions from Monday 27th April.
Q. Check-ups were cancelled this month. Do the changes in restrictions mean I can rebook?
A. Check-ups should start to come back on line with the easing of dental service restrictions that starts this Monday 27th April. Call us make the booking-we will be happy to see your family because taking care of patients and their families is one of the great parts of our dental practice. “Scale and clean” may be postponed or altered. (Read the next QA)
Q. What treatment isn’t available under level 2 restrictions?
A. Under level 2 dental service restrictions some dental procedures need to be delayed or perhaps altered to support reducing the risk of COVID-19 within the community or the workplace . The procedures that may not be available may include dental cleans with an ultrasonic scaler, regular fillings or crowns unless a special single-use device called rubber dam is used and tooth extractions where the tooth may need to be removed with minor surgery. Also for patients where there is a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 risk then delaying treatment until they are recovered is important.
Q. I need to get a tooth checked out, but have a bit of a cold – there’s no reason to think it’s anything more – am I able to get treatment?
A. Great question – at the moment as part of the dental service restrictions all dental patients are being screened by phone and asked about their respiratory symptoms (have you got a cold?) and other risk factors for coronavirus. If you have any of these its best to delay dental treatment and get assessed for a COVID-19 test – in NSW, the premier has announced that anyone with respiratory symptoms should get a test and that these are available over the weekend. If you have dental pain or infection your dentist maybe able to assist with some advice and medication if required and will make an appointment for urgent care after your COVID-19 test result is available – if it’s negative (and that’s quite likely) there is no reason not to go ahead with urgent dental care.
Q. Will dental costs go up because practices have been closed?
A. Not at all – Dental practices like many others have been affected by the shutdown of much of our regular activities as the Government’s needed to put policies in place to ‘flatten the curve’.
We are aware that many people in the community have been impacted so we like every business will be in recovery mode and provide what they normally do as part of the health service definitely without extra charge .
Q. Do I need to do anything before my session ?
A. Safety is our number one priority . In order to provide a safe environment we ask you:
- Please do not arrive earlier than your appointment. So there will minimum contact with others
- Please come alone and do not have any company (except family members which live together )
- Please remove your mask or gloves before entering the office ( if you wear)
- Please use the provided hand sanitiser before and after your visit.
A FEW MORE WORDS ………….
When you visit us you will see a different office as we have collected all the furnitures to eliminated the surfaces and make sure every thing is disinfected before and after each visit.
We will also ask a series of screening questions upon booking and before your session for protection of our staff and other patients.
If we need to defer your appointment, our lovely team will be contact to schedule a time .
When you visit Paddington Dentistry, you can have peace of mind knowing that significant health precautions are being taken to ensure your safety.