Updated: Jul 25
In response to Covid-19, we have introduced more stringent standards of care and infection control.
These protocols are based on recommendations made by the Dental Board of Australia, the Australian Dental Association and NSW Health.
NSW Health have escalated the coronavirus response to 'Amber' as a result of community transmission rates in NSW.
Although this change applies to public health and hospital settings, we have decided to comply with it to reduce transmission risk. My staff and I will wear masks when we greet you in the waiting room and at reception. You are also welcome to wear a mask in the waiting room if you prefer.
Please read this link for the relevant message from the Secretary, NSW Health.
The commitment of our practice
Dr Rachel Mascord and her staff are always dedicated to high standards of infection control. Our standards have been expanded to ensure that you, your family and we are kept as safe as possible at this time and into the foreseeable future.
What we ask of you, our patients:
If you wish to wear a mask in the waiting room, please feel free to do so. Staff and patients from our neighbouring practice use our waiting room, so we encourage you to minimise risk.
Please arrive on time for your appointment - do not arrive early. It is important that you avoid spending time in the waiting room, and minimise your exposure to other people.
Travel restrictions. If you have travelled from an overseas destination or Victoria in the past 2 weeks, we ask that you delay dental care for a minimum of two weeks. Please read this link for more details.
'Hotspots'. You can keep up-to-date with developing hotspots in NSW here. If you have visited a hotspot, please defer your dental treatment for 2 weeks. Contact Rachel if you require clarification or support.
Do not bring additional people to your visit. We must reduce exposure of people to each other as much as can. If you need a support person to bring you, we suggest they wait for you in their car or in a quiet spot in the Botanic Gardens.
Do not attend if you are unwell. Please cancel your appointment if you develop any of the following symptoms:
Shortness of breath.
Hand hygiene. Hand rub is available in the waiting room. We ask that you use it on arrival and departure from the surgery. Handwash is available if you prefer.
Do you have an underlying lung condition or a low immune system, or are you older than 70 years of age? At this stage we suggest you delay non-urgent dental care until we have a better understanding of the spread of this infection. If you need urgent dental care, please call the surgery and discuss this with Dr Rachel Mascord.
You are unwell and you have a toothache. If you have the symptoms listed above and you are in urgent need of dental care (for example a toothache), please call the surgery and discuss this with Rachel. Whenever possible, your pain will be managed with medications until you have been cleared of infection and/or risk of infection.
Our commitment to you:
Screening. We ask everyone who books in with us if they have symptoms of viral infection, have been diagnosed with coronavirus infection, and/or exposed to a person known to have coronavirus. We will ask people who answer these questions in the affirmative to delay their dental appointments for a minimum of two weeks and until they are cleared by their doctor.
Reduced staff numbers. It is crucial that we minimise exposure to people, as much as we possibly can. As a result we will be working with essential staff only.
Temperature screening. Your temperature will be taken with a scanning thermometer when you arrive. We will ask you to go home and rest if you have a high temperature. All staff are screened at the beginning of the working day and will be asked to go home if they have a fever.
If we get sick. My staff and I are aware of symptoms of the virus and will not come to work should we develop these symptoms. This may cause delays to your treatment, and some of your appointments may need to be postponed. We apologise for any inconvenience and will give you as much notice as possible of changes to your booking.
Hygiene. Our hand hygiene practices are excellent. We wash our hands regularly and in accordance with Hand Hygiene Australia guidelines.
Personal protective equipment. You will notice that we are wearing more layers of protective equipment. In addition to 'single use' disposable gowns, gloves and masks, we will be wearing hair covers. We look like space travellers(!) but this protective wear insures that the risk of infection to you and ourselves is reduced.
Pre-treatment mouthrinse. We will ask you to swish this for 30 seconds with a mouthwash of 1% Hydrogen Peroxide before any dental work. This reduces risk of virus spread from people who are unknown, 'asymptomatic' carriers. There are no exceptions to the use of mouthrinse. We will not treat people who refuse it.
Aerosol reduction 1. Aerosol is the fine mist we make when we use drills and tooth cleaning equipment. It has the potential to spread the virus through the treatment room, so we are doing everything possible to reduce it. We will also use rubber dam to reduce the risk from aerosol. Please ask Dr Rachel to explain this to you if needed.
Aerosol reduction 2. We have introduced a powerful, IQ Air Hepa filter to the surgery. Although it looks pretty funny (a bit like the robot from Lost In Space) it draws a strong vacuum, reducing the spread of aerosol in our treatment room. This protects everyone.
Longer times between appointments. We will be wiping down the surgery as normal. We will also disinfect our waiting room surfaces, water cooler, door handles and chairs with neutral detergent wipes between every patient.
Infection control in reception. The reception area is too often overlooked as a potential area for spread of infection, especially EFTPOS terminals. We will disinfect our reception area between every patient with neutral detergent wipes. This includes pens, EFTPOS keypad, the mouse and keyboard. Please feel free to use your own pen if you prefer. We will also wipe your credit card and health fund card before and after use. We prefer you to pay by card or by electronic transfer.
Removal of objects that increase risk of infection. You will notice that we have no magazines and books in the waiting room. We have removed them to reduce the risk of transmission of infection.
Minimise time in the waiting room. We will do our best to call you to let you know if we are running late.
We are keeping up-to-date with releases issued by the Department of Health NSW, the Dental Board of Australia in relation to COVI-19. We will act according to their directions.
It is possible that we may need to postpone all non urgent dental care again if advised to do so by the Department of Health NSW and/or the Dental Board of Australia. If this occurs, we will notify you as promptly as possible.
It is possible that we may need to close the surgery if advised to do so by the Department of Health NSW and/or the Dental Board of Australia. If this occurs, we will notify you as promptly as possible.