Toothache really is not much fun, especially when you’re in lockdown! Unable to see my dentist, I found it really difficult to know what to do. I was lucky enough to speak to my dentist on the phone who prescribed me antibiotics for my wisdom tooth, which had become infected.
Fast forward six weeks and we are in a different position, dentists are finally able to reopen luckily for me, as I had toothache again.
Having already had a wisdom tooth extracted in 2018, I know the signs of an abscess all too well and I was relieved at the possibility of being able to go to the dental practice to be examined and hopefully resolve the problem.
Before visiting the practice
Prior to my appointment, I rang the practice and spoke to the receptionist who arranged for a dentist to call me back. When speaking to the dentist, he wasn’t happy that I was experiencing the same problem just six weeks later and wanted to bring me into the dental practice for an examination
I was a little bit apprehensive about going into the dental practice due to COVID-19 and the risk of contracting the virus.
However, I knew that this was the best thing to do so the dentist could determine that it was definitely my wisdom tooth causing the issue and that I could be referred for another extraction.
Due to my role at Practice Plan, I was lucky enough to know what to expect in regard to PPE and that it would be a different process to a routine check-up pre COVID-19, so this made me feel more comfortable.
Clear expectations set
I pre-paid for my appointment on the phone as no patients are allowed in the reception area. I was then told I would be emailed my payment receipt and instructions on what to do before and upon arriving for my appointment.
The instructions were clear and simple:
- Park in the car park and call the practice upon arriving
- The receptionist will call you when we are ready for you
- Only bring essential items with you, i.e. you and your car keys, leave other belongings in the car and attend alone where possible
- A nurse in PPE will open the door. When invited in, please enter the building where you will be directed to the surgery
- In the surgery you will be asked to sanitise your hands with an alcohol-based sanitiser
- The dentist will discuss and undertake any agreed treatment. Please note that all staff will be wearing PPE at all times
- On leaving the building, the nurse will open the front door for you
- Please note, toilet facilities will not be available.
I felt completely at ease after receiving these instructions as I knew what to expect and what I needed to do when arriving at the dental practice. I was also sent a leaflet which contained more detailed information about what to expect.
During the appointment
I followed all of the instructions and called the reception when I arrived in the car park. They called me back when they were ready for me, I left all my belongings in the car and went to the front door.
This was being held open ready for me by one of the dental nurses. I went into the surgery where the dentist and dental nurse were waiting for me. The appointment wasn’t at all rushed but I was in and out within 10 minutes. I didn’t touch anything in the dental practice other than the chair I was sat in! I personally carry hand sanitiser and used this as soon as I got back into my car.
All in all, I felt extremely well-informed from my dental practice about what to expect from my appointment and the clear instructions were greatly received.
Feeling safe and pain-free
For anybody who has been putting off going to the dentist, my advice would be to ring your practice to discuss your needs and also explain how you are feeling. They will be more than happy to explain the process before you go there.
I was only in contact with three people, who were all dressed in complete PPE (scrubs, aprons, facemasks, visors, shoe covers) and I felt in safe hands while I was there.
And, most importantly, after my course of antibiotics, I am now pain-free.
About Chloe Edwards
Chloe is an Events and Marketing Consultant at Practice Plan.