Re: Urgent. Covid-19
The COVID-19 pandemic presents a significant risk to individuals especially if they are older (over 70) or have a pre-existing medical condition. As it is caught by person to person contact, we as dentists are at risk because we see lots of patients and are in very close contact with the mouth and nose where the virus incubates. In this pre-symptomatic phase, we are also highly contagious to others if we already have the virus.
In the last few weeks, with disease prevalence in the community being low, we have maintained our service to patients taking sensible precautions such as screening temperatures and increased disinfection measures. We have been ahead of many clinics in this respect and reflecting the excellence of our team and service.
Unfortunately, the disease prevalence in the community is now rising steeply and so the risk to ourselves, our colleagues, our patients and others is also increasing. This is not a linear rise but an exponential one.
Should you get infected then you will almost certainly recover and may even have a very mild illness. However, you will infect others during this process adding to the pandemic. A small percentage (higher in elderly and medical conditions) of infected individuals will require hospitalisation and ventilation.
Having considered the current risk of infection to our team members and patients, and our risk of contributing to community infection, (and balancing the risk of not providing a service), I have decided that our clinical service at Chingford Mount Dental Practice will be drastically cut down from Tuesday 24th March.
We will have staff answering the telephone and operate a skeleton service for strict acute emergencies only 9.15am - 1pm for this week only. We will then be closing the practice completely until further notice , but expected to be at least 8 weeks.
We will keep patients informed through notices on our website, on our answering machine, via a further newsletter, on Facebook and on Instagram.
Otherwise , patients are advised to call NHS 111 for assistance because emergency dental treatment centres are currently being set up.
We are sorry if this lack of service causes inconvenience to any of our clients.
May I wish all of you and your families good health in the months ahead.