Here at Portman Smile Clinic, we understand that the current situation has been a testing time for everyone, but also that we need to ensure we are still able to care for you and your dental needs. That is why we have been working relentlessly to completely redesign the way we operate so that we can begin to welcome you back as safely and as quickly as possible.
Consequently, when you visit any Portman Smile Clinic practice during the COVID-19, you’ll notice a surcharge on top of the usual fees. This contributes to the additional investment now needed to ensure continued safety measures are adhered to. This may only be for a short time and is something we will be regularly reviewing.
Every single decision we have made and step we have taken has been with a focus on the safety of you, our colleagues and clinicians. We understand that things may feel different to your usual experience of a dental visit, and that you may be concerned, so here is some information on how your new visit will look and feel. Click here for a closer look.
If you have any of the symptoms of Covid-19/Coronavirus, please let us know as soon as you can; do not attend your appointment and follow the government guidelines around self-isolation.
Before your appointment
To ensure that you have all the information easily to hand, we will send you all the key information before your appointment - including who you will be seeing, what treatment you will be having, the cost of your treatment and, what to do when you arrive. It is possible that we may ask you to complete and return a medical history form that will be sent and completed digitally, so please do not print this out and bring with you.
On the day of your appointment
Before you depart for the practice, we ask that where possible, you have already visited the lavatory, have ensured that you are hydrated and already brushed your teeth. It is important that you do not bring a large number of things into the practice with you, so please ensure you only bring necessary items with you.
When you arrive, please knock or ring the bell and await an answer whilst practising good social distancing protocol. If you have arrived by car and would prefer to wait there, please call the practice to let them know you have arrived and one of our team will call you when it’s time for your appointment. To minimise risk, we recommend you attend your appointment alone unless you require assistance or are supporting a child or someone vulnerable. We are encouraging card or payments where possible, but we will accept cash if necessary.
Entering the practice
Before entering the practice, one of our colleagues will ask if you have had any symptoms of COVID-19 in past two weeks. If you have, you will not be able to enter the practice and will need to follow Government guidelines around self-isolating. If you have not had any symptoms, one of our trained colleagues will take your temperature to ensure you do not have a fever and invite you in if your temperature is safely below 37.8 degrees centigrade. Unfortunately, if you are above 37.8 degrees, we will have to rearrange your appointment for the safety of all those in practice.
Once you have been invited into the practice, you will be asked to sanitise your hands and correctly place a face mask on, which you will be shown how to do. We will require payment before your appointment (if appropriate), ideally by card, using our freshly disinfected card machines to ensure you can have a swift departure once your treatment has finished. Our practice colleagues will be behind protective plastic screens, but this is for the safety of everyone. Our patient lounges may be in use, but this will depend practice by practice on their ability to adhere to social distancing measures. You will be guided to the appropriate treatment room, following the distance markers that will be displayed throughout practice.
Before you enter the treatment room, you will need to leave any loose belongings like your coat or bag in the designated box provided. Upon entering the treatment room, our teams will be wearing extra Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) as in order to provide you with the right care and service, they cannot adhere to social distancing recommendations. This may mean that it is more difficult to see our colleagues and clinicians’ faces, but please be reassured that they will be the usual friendly team. Naturally we are also ensuring that each treatment room is carefully cleaned and disinfected after each patient. You will be asked to wash your hands and to place your mask into a plastic bag.
If you are attending for a treatment that requires an Aerosol Generating Procedure (AGP) - any procedure that has the potential to cause spray - you will be asked to carefully swill your mouth with a cleansing solution for 1 minute. One of our team will talk you through this on the day.
After the appointment
When your treatment is complete, you will be asked to replace your face mask and collect your belongings from the box outside the treatment room door. Before you leave the practice, you will dispose of your mask at the door and leave after using hand sanitiser one last time, before we say goodbye. If you have any questions after the appointment, we will be able to call you to discuss this further as our aim is to minimise your time in the practice, for your own safety.
We hope that the above ensures that you can rest assured when visiting that every step has been taken to ensure the safety of you, our colleagues and clinicians. This is our top priority as we begin reopening our doors and return to providing you with the same standard of dental care that you have been used to. If you have any questions at all regarding our new practice experience, please do not hesitate to contact us/your local practice.