Guest Blog by Dr Nina Khaira, St Mawes Dental Practice
First of all, can I say that myself and the team miss you! We’ve all been healthy and spending quality time with our families!
As the principal dentist at St Mawes Dental, I am acutely aware that the community on the Roseland includes many people who fall into the medically vulnerable or shielding groups. I have been following the development of Covid-19 for some months and as cases grew, I decided to reduce our services to emergency treatments only in the week commencing 16thMarch after which we decided, as a team, to close our doors for face-to-face consultations on Tuesday 24thMarch. We were the first dental practice in Cornwall to do so as this was before the national advice that provision of dental services should be paused – obviously we break social distancing rules and are dealing with droplets.
Since then, I’ve been able to speak to a handful of patients on the telephone and provide practical advice until we are given the go ahead to reopen – as yet we still don’t know when!
I’ve also been busy completing a PGCE to be able to teach dentists as well as homeschooling a four-year-old in preparation for primary school this September! I have been studying the research in some depth and, as one would imagine, in our line of work, we in theory are highly vulnerable as a profession due to working at such close proximity within the oral cavity. The same research also showed that cases in Covid-19 were no higher in the dental team than the general population which can only conclude that our vigorous and universal cross-infection protocols and the use of masks, gloves and visors are effective. As the health and safety of our patients is paramount, please do not be alarmed if we are wearing more advanced PPE!
Regular patients will have noticed changes inside St Mawes Dental over recent months with the addition of a second surgery. This may have been fortunate foresight as it will allow patients enter directly into the empty surgery rather than a waiting room and enable social distancing to be maintained. Other changes prior to reopening include: a plastic screen at reception. We also have an air purifier with a HEPA filter and an anti-viral UV light which will aid air changes. The hand sanitizing station by the entrance will also stay to facilitate excellent hand hygiene. I am confident that these additional measures at St Mawes Dental will be received positively by all.
We are currently awaiting return to work guidelines but as soon as we have news we will let you know!
Looking forward to serving the local community once more!
Dr Nina Khaira
BSc BDS MFGDP(UK) MFDS RCS(Eng) MJDF LFHom MSc