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Our Clinic, Covid-19 & YOU!

Updated: Jan 28

With the ongoing pandemic forever on our minds, we wanted to take a moment to outline how we are here to help and answer some common questions about your visit to our clinic.


Just like everyone else, we too are concerned about the issues related to Covid-19 and the fast spread that has taken this new year by storm. We want to ensure you that as a healthcare provider we have always held infection control in high regard. Dental guidelines for infection control have been stringent for many years, so we understand the need, and what is required, when creating a safe and hygienic area to care for our patients dental needs. Yet there is always room for improvement, so we are forever on the lookout for new methods and standards that can be implemented.

 

How we are keeping you safe

You will notice that when you visit The Quay Family Dental or make an appointment over the phone you will be;

  • Triaged and asked each time if you are presenting with any cold or flu like symptoms

  • You will also be asked if you, or any one in your household, has recently tested positive or have been a close contact

  • Your vaccination details will also be requested, but are not mandatory, however this information will help us allocate you with the best possible appointment time in accordance with our mandatory guidelines.

  • You will be asked for your temperature to be checked

These details will be recorded on you file but cannot be seen by anyone other than the dental practitioners. If you are a new patient, or someone who has attended the clinic for a few years, you will notice these question have been added to the Medical History form and the Update Medical History form, which are scanned into your file for future reference.


If you have made an appointment online, you will find in addition to your confirmation email you will receive a telephone call to confirm your appointment status, triage you or the patient attending on the day and enquire about the vaccination status. This is a great opportunity to clarify any questions you may have or advise of any dental issues that may need urgent attention.


When you arrive at the clinic;

  • The Quay Family Healthcare will sometimes close the door to the main entrance of the practice if patient numbers in excess, feel free to wait for one of their friendly staff to let you in, or simply call our main number 03 4216 6868 and we will be happy to assist

  • Whilst QR codes are still required by state regulations, you will need to check in with our dental specific QR code located at the main entrance or at our front desk

  • We also encourage the use of hand sanitiser before taking a seat in the waiting area or heading into your appointment

  • We have slightly extended all appointment times to reduce the number of people waiting, or encouraging physical distancing when this cannot be avoided

When you are in the surgery for your appointment, you can expect the following to occur;

  • You are encouraged to limit the number of people in the room where possible. ie. when a child is in attendance we recommend one parent comes in, not both.

  • Masks can be removed before taking a seat, as we have yet to figure out how to complete the treatment with them on!

  • You will be asked to rinse with an antibacterial mouth rinse before starting all appointments

  • Our staff maintain a high level of PPE, for your safety and ours. You may notice this is changed throughout the appointment, and is completely removed and replaced after each patient

  • All instruments and items used for your visit are sterilised to their requirements after each use, according to infection control guidelines or disposed of appropriately

  • Hand sanitiser is available in the room and at the front desk for your use at the completion of your appointment

  • After your visit all surfaces are wiped with a high grade cleaning solution to maintain the sterility of the room. If you have seen this done before, rest assured that this is not because of you and it is not personal! We are required to do this to stay in-line with infection control guidelines.

Staff Requirements

We at The Quay Family Dental pride ourselves on the care we give, not only to our patients, but to our staff as well. The safety of our staff allows us to provide the best quality of care to you, our patients, and in turn, do our bit to keep the community safe. You can rest assured knowing that all staff at our clinic maintain and practice the following;

  • Up to date immunisations against diseases, including, but limited to Hep B, Meningococcal, Tuberculous and Rubella. All staff have received their required dosage of Covid-19 vaccines and remain in-line with new updates

  • Regular Rapid Antigen Tests completed weekly

  • Basic first aid ascertained by local accredited businesses

  • Infection control standards are maintained by ensuring updates are regularly monitored and shared with staff. In addition, all staff complete infection control courses in person and online when able, to ensure procedures are compliant with new standards and recommendations.

  • Maintaining a high level of care when cleaning, bagging and sterilising instruments, as well as ensuring all sterilisation equipment is functioning correctly and servicing is maintained.

  • Covid safe planning - based on the guidelines given by our governing body - ADA (Australian Dental Association), local, state and Commonwealth Government regulations and the directives handed down from the WHO (World Health Organisation)

  • Hand Hygiene in accordance with NNHI training maintaining the HHA (Hand Hygiene Australia) standard

  • All staff are provided with well fitted, and correctly wear, PPE in accordance with dental standards

  • Contaminated waste is collected and disposed of correctly in accordance with infection control guidelines

  • Single use items are used where possible to eliminate the chance of cross contamination; ie. gloves, masks, tray sleeves, barriers, bibs etc.

  • Equipment is installed with appropriate anti-retraction valves where possible, and when this cannot be achieved, proper protocols are in place to achieve the same result.


Frequently Asked Questions

One of the biggest questions we have been asked in recent times is; Is it safe to visit the dentist? We know, with the ups and downs of the unknown, we have been forced to close our clinic on numerous occasions, limit our numbers or only be able to see emergency appointments, and this has hindered the confidence of our communities when considering a patients safety in a dental setting. At that time, we had to step back and obtain all the information and guidance available to us, to ensure we maintain a high level of care and ensure we could limit the opportunity of exposure to our patients, staff and the rest of the clinic. But in reality, it is, and always has been, safe to visit the dentist.


Do I have to share my vaccination status? As mentioned earlier, it is not mandatory to share your vaccination status with our clinic, but it helps us get a clear picture of your level of risk whilst visiting us. We will not refuse treatment if you do not wish to disclose this information, but will require you to understand and take into consideration that we have do have regulations we must follow and you may need to flexible with your appointment day or times. This is simply to protect the staff, other patients in the clinic and you, whilst we adhere to our protocols.


What should i do if I am unwell? If you have an upcoming appointment and are presenting with Covid-19 symptoms, you should call ahead and let the clinic know, even if it is the same day. We are restricting treatment if you have cold or flu like symptoms. These symptoms include but are not limited to; cough, runny nose, head cold, fever. We are always happy to assist in rescheduling appointments at the earliest convenience. However, should you require urgent attention, this can be discussed further with our senior staff members. The Quay Family Healthcare are also adhering to these protocols, so access to the centre will be restricted in these circumstances.


If you are unsure of what to do, where to go or how to navigate these crazy times, please do not hesitate to call our clinic, send an email or get in touch via our social media. Our staff are always more than happy to explain a protocol, an appointment decision, treatment required or help you reschedule to a more suitable time. We are in this together and if we can work together, we can ensure the safety of all to the best of our abilities.


The following are links that may assist you if you require further information.


Australian Dental Association - Dental care during the Covid-19 pandemic

Hand Hygiene Australia

World Health Organisation - Dental Section

Surf Coast Shire - Coronavirus Resources

Victorian Coronavirus website

Department of Health - Coronavirus Information and Updates


Image 1 - HHA Guide to hand hygiene in a dental setting




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