Amid concerns for safety in dental practices, one UK dental group has made a significant investment to ensure safety for both their team and patients.
Riverdale Healthcare, which incorporates Alpha Dental Care Hawes, have announced that they will be first UK dental group to have the revolutionary Radic8, VirusKiller clean air technology installed.
It is now clear that the entire landscape of dentistry will change at least during the transmission phase of COVID-19, forcing the dental profession as a whole to revisit its entire infection control method and policy, bringing about significant policy changes in the wake of the crisis.
Riverdale Director, Ian Gordon explains, “Dentistry has always had excellent standards of cross infection with single use instruments where possible, autoclaving of other instruments and disinfection of hard surfaces. One of the biggest challenges in infection control within healthcare settings is in dealing with the air and whilst there is no real evidence of transmission in a dental practice via this route it has remained an area of some concern.
Therefore, despite the small and theoretical risk of transmission in this way, to make sure our patients receive the best treatment and service, we are the first dental group in the UK to have partnered up with Radic8, who are leading the global fight against airborne viruses and have installed their clean air technology “Viruskillers” in our dental practices.”
The units, which will arrive this week, have a 99.9999% kill rate on all respiratory viruses, including Coronavirus, in a single air pass. The unit aims to completely and constantly recycle the air inside a standard size surgery both during and between patient appointments. While the patient is in the surgery, the unit creates an airflow that drags contaminated air away from the patient and the dentist and releases sterilized air back, creating a continuous cycle.
Ian added “This is a technology not just for now but for the future. Nobody who has lived and worked through this period will forget the impact of Covid 19 – we are confident this additional measure will reassure and protect our patients and staff from what admittedly is already an extremely low risk”.
We will now see EMERGENCY PATIENTS ONLY
PLEASE DO NOT ATTEND THE PRACTICE IF YOU HAVE SYMPTOMS OF COVID-19. If you do you will be asked to leave immediately.
Further to the Prime Minister’s statement on Monday evening, the definition of a dental emergency will need to be much more restrictive. It would be unsafe to provide certain treatments unless we are given access to the appropriate equipment.
Postponing routine appointments
All routine appointments have been suspended in keeping with the current policy from our Professional Body (the BDA) and to respect social distancing in line with Government Policy. This is for the safety of both our patients and our colleagues.
If you have a routine appointment booked you can expect to hear from us again shortly to postpone your appointment to a later date.
Please don’t worry, you will not miss out on any dental care that you need in the longer term.
Once we are able to get back to our normal operation we will be extending our opening hours to catch-up on postponed appointments although your treatment needs may require reassessment with a new examination, depending on the delay in resuming limited or normal services.
Please do contact the practice by phone if:
1. You require emergency treatment
2. You need advice or reassurance
3. You need a treatment completing such as a crown or denture fit – your original appointment will be cancelled – there may be circumstances where this treatment is provided IF we consider it would prevent a problem or the denture is essential for function.
4. Separate arrangements are being made on a case by case basis for Orthodontic patients and you will be contacted directly by the practice.
In hours emergencies
Please rest assured that whilst we are operating on reduced staffing levels, we are still available to provide emergency dental care. If you experience a problem, please call the practice and we will aim to see you for treatment on the same day if appropriate.
The treatment we are able to provide is governed by regulatory guidance and may be more limited than usual.
Out of hours emergencies
If you have a dental emergency and are unable to wait until our practice is open, please call NHS 111. This service is overstretched so please do so on an extreme emergency basis only.
Thank you for your patience and understanding. Please remember to check our website and social media pages for further updates.
Do stay safe and my very best wishes to you and your family in these difficult times.
Ian A Gordon BDS MFGDP
Managing Director Alpha Vitality Group
Covid 19 is affecting all our lives in a way we could not have contemplated even 2 weeks ago. I have delayed writing to you in relation to any change in arrangements at the Practice simply because things are changing daily and at times hourly.
As of today, Sunday 22 March ALL practices in the Riverdale Healthcare Group, including Alpha and Vitality practices, Archway, Eston, Framwellgate, Pelaw and Hebburn are moving to see patients for Emergency treatment only.
PLEASE DO NOT ATTEND THE PRACTICE IF YOU HAVE OR HAVE SYMPTOMS OF COVID 19. If you do, you will be asked to leave immediately
NHS Commissioners, our regulator and the Chief Dental Officer still only advise a reduction in the number of patients we see and to not provide certain treatments. However our Professional body, the British Dental Association (BDA) backs the position we are adopting.
I hope you can understand our decision as we support social distancing for our teams and our patients.
All appointments are now cancelled until further notice.
Please contact the practice if:-
1) You require emergency treatment
2) You need advice or reassurance
3) You need a treatment completing such as a crown or denture fit – your original appointment will be cancelled but we will try to accommodate completing your treatment by arrangement.
4) Separate arrangements are being made on a case by case basis for Orthodontic and Implant patients and you will be contacted directly by the practice.
Our senior dental team will be available to give telephone advice if your query cannot be managed by our reception team – you will be called back as soon as possible.
In the interests of safety, OUR DOOR WILL BE LOCKED – PLEASE RING THE PRACTICE FOR ADVICE OR AN APPOINTMENT
We are working to keep our team together and will do all we can continue your treatment when this situation is over.
In the meantime please follow Government advice on social distancing.
Do stay safe and my very best wishes to you and your family in these difficult times
Ian A Gordon BDS MFGDP
Managing Director Alpha Vitality Group
To Our Patients and Their Families,
Riverdale Healthcare including Alpha Vitality Dental Group have our patients well being and their Health and Safety as a number one priority.
Often in times of uncertainty, there can be a wealth of misinformation spread, especially in today’s digital age. As a leading healthcare authority in our community, we wanted to reach out to all of our patients regarding the COVID-19 virus, and to let you know the steps we are taking to alleviate any potential concerns.
According to the latest reports from the Department of Health and other national healthcare providers, the current health risks are minimal for most age groups. We recommend all of our patients to wash their hands frequently, avoid close contact with people who are sick, and stay home if you aren’t feeling well.
If you have a fever or NEW persistent cough you SHOULD NOT attend the Practice.
We follow strict cleaning policies for the protection of both our staff and our patients.
Each staff member maintains rigorous personal hygiene standards and cross infection measures for every patient interaction.
We use hospital-grade disinfectants across the entire practice, with extensive room cleaning after each patient to ensure a safe and clean environment.
After each use, all dental instruments receive the highest level of medical sterilisation available. These processes have always been of utmost importance in our practice and will continue to be the standards we uphold for our patients.
Please rest assured that we are following local and national updates daily, and will continue to maintain the highest level of safety and patient care that you have come to expect. If you have any questions regarding your future appointments, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We will be posting additional updates through Facebook @Alpha.Smiles) to keep our community and patients abreast of the latest updates regarding the current health situation.
Again, thank you for being a valued patient, we appreciate your continued trust and confidence. Together we can overcome these challenging circumstances and we look forward to taking care of you at your next scheduled appointment.
Dr Ian A Gordon BDS, MFGDP
Alpha Vitality Dental Group