Firstly, and foremost we hope that you and your beloved ones are well and healthy.
We are now at the peak of the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in the UK and the country is in a ‘lockdown’ state. This is exactly the time to try to isolate ourselves and stay away from people as much as possible. So please do avoid any non-essential contact and travel.
Here at Bridgeways Dental we had taken the decision to stop all aerosol generating procedures (AGP) since Monday 16/3/20, well before any national guidelines and advice was published. We have now stopped any clinical dentistry since last Friday afternoon, again ahead of any advice.
There is a very good reason for this. This particular virus is an airborne one (like the flu). Dental practices are very well equipped and trained to deal with blood born viruses (like HIV for example) but not so with airborne ones. As more and more people are now getting infected and therefore carry the virus, the viral load in enclosed places increases dramatically simply by even breathing, a lot more with coughing and dramatically when dentistry is performed. At exactly this peak of the outbreak, any contact with humans and any movement should be minimised to the absolute necessary. The risk everyone runs, is being overloaded with the virus and ending up in an already struggling hospital. Repeated exposure to the virus will most probably increase the risk of a severe infection. It is characteristic that more and more health workers in hospitals that treat infected people are now becoming heavily ill though previously absolutely healthy, simply because they have been overexposed.
Bridgeways Dental will remain closed for clinical procedures for the foreseeable future, which for the time being seems to be a minimum of 4 weeks. Both George and Casey will be present at the practice and available to provide help, if needed. If you have an emergency, please do not hesitate to call us and we will be able to assist with advice or the provision of a prescription. Please keep in mind it is not necessary to come and collect the prescription. We can directly contact your pharmacist and prescribe remotely so you either can collect the medicines or have them delivered to you. If you know anyone who is suffering with a dental problem, we would be also happy to help them, regardless if they are not a registered patient.
Special clinics, under the guidance and care of the NHS are now ready and more are being prepared where some clinical dentistry will be performed under controlled environment and with the correct and adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) for both the patient and the treating team. George has already volunteered for this, as he holds an honorary contract with Royal Bournemouth Hospital. Up until the time we are composing this document, there are some dental practices accepting patients for exams and emergency treatment. It is our understanding that this increases the risk for anyone involved and the wider community. Please do try to avoid this.
We are constantly monitoring advice from the right authorities and if things change, we will adapt immediately. At these very crucial times we all need to reconsider what is safe and right and act accordingly but most of all understand the seriousness of a global pandemic of a life threatening and potentially a life changing disease.
We all here at Bridgeways Dental thank you for your understanding and your support, and we look forward to seeing you all again soon. Please stay safe and stay away from people as much as possible. We are all humans and we will all suffer from this, some more, some less, but we will get through it. If you need any kind of help, not only dental related, please do not hesitate to contact us.
With all best wishes