We would like to reassure you that Smile Solutions is always proud of its commitment to, and enforcement of, the very highest standards of infection control and hygiene – and no less so at a time like this.
As a matter of course, we are continuing to practice a range of preventative measures designed to eliminate risk to our patients of any type of infection. These include our normal infection control, hygiene and sanitation practices to ensure best practice compliance with health standards, as well as additional measures. We have set out some of these measures below for your assurance.
Standard hygiene practices
By its very nature as a dental practice, our clinic maintains the highest standard of infection control on a permanent basis. Specifically:
- For years we have maintained infection control standards appropriate for managing the transmission of viral infections.
- As part of our standard routines we practise universal infection control, including sterilisation of all instruments, clean-down of clinical areas between all patients, and staff use of personal protective equipment that includes gloves and masks.
- At this time we have also introduced additional cleaning schedules for our non-clinical areas – reception, counters, doors and handrails.
The following proactive steps to protect the health and welfare of all our patients and staff while the pandemic persists are also in place.
- As our practice occupies five floors of our building, we have taken the precaution of isolating each level. This serves to reduce the number of people our team and patients have contact with and hence to prevent any cross-over between administrative staff and clinicians.
- From around mid-February, in advance of the Australian Government’s recent enforcement of 14-day isolation for all overseas travellers to Australia, we imposed on a case-by-case basis, a period of quarantine before any personnel who were returning from high-risk areas were permitted to attend work at the clinic.
- We also rescheduled appointments for patients who had travelled from these areas. In our standard appointment reminder text messages to patients, we asked that they call the clinic and let us know if they had been travelling overseas in the past 14 days. We also utilise staggered start times to our appointment scheduling in order to limit patient contact when you attend the practice.
- We are vigilant in rescheduling at least 14 days ahead all patients who advise us they have even minor cold symptoms.
Staff health checks
- All of our staff will be undergoing temperature checks and monitoring of any related symptoms throughout the working day at our practice.
What we are asking of you
We routinely ask that all patients with existing appointments, and those who seek to make new appointments, let us know if they are unwell, and to stay at home to rest and recover. Patients are reminded to observe government recommendations with respect to hand washing and personal hygiene, self-isolation and social distancing practices.
To further protect you and our staff, we are adopting the following additional measures requiring your co-operation:
- Limiting the number of people in our waiting areas. Please bring no more than one person to your appointment with you. Additional companions may be asked to wait outside the clinic to maximise social distancing measures. This is particularly important for our orthodontic appointments, due to a higher turnover of patients in this clinic.
- Taking the clinical history of every patient before their treatment begins. We may also request that your temperature be taken before your treatment begins.
To date, there have been no reports of any kind of respiratory infection or virus concerning any staff member of Smile Solutions. This is partly because our clinical team identified an ethical obligation to start social distancing and self-isolation where possible early in the emergence of COVID-19.
Furthermore, it is our priority to continue to provide you with all of the dental services that you need and are entitled to – and to do so without delay and in safe conditions.
We are in this together
With your trust and continued loyalty, we will continue to function during the COVID-19 pandemic, subject to any restrictions or lockdowns. This will ensure that your dentist and your dental practice, Smile Solutions, survives into the future and, with your continued support, that our staff remain gainfully employed, and our wider community and economy are sustained through this difficult period.
We look forward to continuing to be of service to you.
With very best wishes,
The Team at Smile Solutions