Patient screening and safety

13th December 2021 | Posted by: Vanessa Giraud

With a return this week to stricter restrictions to prevent the spread of the Omicron variant, we are confident that dental care will not be affected. Indeed, the Chief Dental Officer of England, reiterated last week that dentistry is an essential service that is vital and valued.

Moreover, in the light or research done over the last two years into droplet and splash transmission, current Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) protocols in place in dental practices are effective at keeping patients and staff safe.

young woman with red hair and a facemask are patient screening

England’s response to Omicron

As you will have heard in the news, this week the coronavirus alert level is back up to 4. People are being asked to work from home where possible, and mask-wearing in many public spaces is mandatory again. Moreover, proof of vaccination or recent testing is set to become a requirement to enter some places.

There is a genuine concern that the new variant will spread quickly as people are often indoors for social activities at this time of the year. As evidence shows the new Omicron variant can infect people who have been vaccinated, we should respect advice as the number of people in hospital with this variant begins to increase.

Prior to attending a dental appointment, we kindly ask our patients (and essential chaperones) to make sure their answers to the screening questions below are all negative.

Book a booster

Excellent access to vaccinations in the UK has already saved lives and protected people from illness. Infection rates fell because people accepted vaccination.

Now it is important to take up the offer of booster jabs. In an unprecedented drive, the target is to offer a booster appointment to everyone eligible aged 18 and over in England before the New Year.

Our patient screening questions

Prior to arriving at a dental appointment, SpaDental sends patients a short list of screening questions. Patients will be familiar with the questions as they address the common symptoms of Covid-19.

Patients need to reply to our email or SMS message before their appointment if they answer positively to even one of the questions. This is so we can triage patient need and make zoning arrangements for the safety of staff and other patients.

Patients who are not showing any symptoms, who answer all the screening questions negatively, will arrive at the surgery and confirm their answers to one of our staff at the time of the appointment.

  1. Do you have any of the following symptoms?
    • A high temperature or fever?
    • A new continuous cough?
    • Loss or alteration to taste or smell?
  2. Have you, or a household member, had a confirmed diagnosis of Covid-19 in the last 10 days?
  3. Are you or a household member waiting for a Covid-19 PCR test result?
  4. Have you travelled internationally in the last 10 days and are you required to either self-isolate or are you waiting for Covid-19 test results?
  5. Have you, or a household member, been advised to isolate by any NHS organisation in the last 10 days?

Read more about the risk assessment of patients.

When you answer the screening questions, please focus on the symptoms as outlined. For example, if you have a runny nose or you’ve been coughing for a while, you won’t need to get in touch with us. Lots of people have something at this time of the year that thankfully isn’t covid. If you’re unsure, you can pick up a lateral flow test from your local chemist to check.

We look forward to seeing you

Once again, SpaDental would like to reassure our patients that we are following guidance from the Office of the Chief Dental Officer for England.

Patient safety, and the safety of our staff is important.

Your oral health and dental appointment are important to us. We are doing our very best to make sure you can safely get the care you need.


POSTED IN: Appointments, Covid-19


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