Urgent care or dental emergency? FAQs
13th August 2023
The three categories of dental care for triage We're familiar with the term triage from A and E hospital dramas.… read more
Dentists work hard to meet patient needs and expectations under normal circumstances. But now, the pressures are more challenging than ever, even compared to earlier on in the pandemic. We appreciate our patients’ understanding.
Here are five ways you can help us:
- When staff are busy, they cannot always answer the phone, so if you can it’s really helpful if you use our online contact us form instead.
- If we have to prioritise essential treatment, you may have to wait for an appointment. Please be patient, and we’ll try to fit you in when we have appointments available.
- If you come into the practice, please follow the directions our staff give you. They are instructed to make sure you follow rules about sanitising, masks and social distancing, for example.
- Missed appointments means we lose time when we could have seen another patient. Please get in touch to cancel an appointment at least 24 hours in advance.
- Also, please be kind to us. We’re all tired, and feeling under pressure. It’s lovely when patients let us know our efforts are understood and appreciated.
You’ll have seen news about the shortage of HGV delivery drivers and probably had to queue for fuel. But the dental sector is also affected by the revised UK post Brexit employment laws. The availability of dentists and other health care professionals is affected. New entry requirements and changes to the right to work in the UK are having an impact of the availability of clinicians. Moreover, the pandemic caused restrictions on qualifying examinations, and a larger than usual number of experienced dentists decided not to renew their registration. The pool of dental professionals looking for work has shrunk. We are setting up new ways to hire and train staff, but it takes time.
We’re hearing concerns not just from dentists, but from other customer-facing services, whether it’s in shops, bars, gyms or health facilities. It seems that many people are disappointed to find services are not running the way they used to. We’ve all been through various lockdowns and lots of levels of restriction. Now there is more freedom, but we’re still a long way from how things used to be.
In dentistry, it’s unlikely we will ever return to exactly the way we were. We just need to remember the impact a virus can have – no dentist these days could work the way we used to before HIV awareness in the 1980s. We are adjusting to work with it.
Dentists really are working hard. There are lots of complicated reasons coming together to make it harder for dental practices to see as many patients as they would like to. Patient demand for appointments is high, yet dentists are working to nearly the same restrictions as earlier in the pandemic. With the added complications of ‘Covid Fatigue,’ the ‘Pingdemic’ and the employment complications of Brexit.
We’re fortunate. We’ve been receiving thoughtful reviews and kind comments from our patients. Moreover, we love reading them. It’s a great boost to our morale during a time when we hadn’t expected things to be so tough.
In keeping with the upbeat spirit of the government we’d all like to think we’re on the home run, learning to live with the virus. We want to believe vaccinations have worked and everything is going to be fine. It’s true that in general the situation is better as fewer people who are infected by the virus die, yet researchers are still trying to understand the effects of long-Covid on public health.
Even after all this time, so many lockdowns, and a lot of preventive measures, the pandemic is not over. And the operating procedures for dentists are still strict and difficult, particularly for aerosol generating treatments. And AGPs are what dentists do a lot of. A root canal, for example, we may expect to be more demanding of tools and time, but even a simple filling or hygiene appointment involves an AGP using the modern tools we’re used to.
Some of our practices need to prioritise urgent and essential care at the moment. This means there may be a longer wait for a routine appointment than you would expect in the future. If you’re wondering what’s causing difficulties, please read our brief explanations below.
We have to be vigilant, and diligent to protect the health of patients and staff. Since dentists were allowed to reopen in June 2020 after the compulsory close down, we have worked to strict new operating procedures. And we still are.
While other sectors are opening up, dentists must still follow tight controls on access, PPE, sanitising, social distancing, staff interaction and testing, for example.
Even now, when our waiting rooms are open again, numbers are restricted, so we may still require you to wait outside when the reception area is full.
Please help us to help you by following instructions, even if you question whether they’re really necessary. They are the rules the staff in the practice are obliged to follow. We’re doing our best to help you access care, while keeping both staff and other patients safe.
Brexit has affected the availability of dentists and other health care professionals too. New entry requirements and changes to the right to work in the UK are having an impact of the availability of clinicians. Moreover, the pandemic caused restrictions on qualifying examinations, and a larger than usual number of experienced dentists decided not to renew their registration. The pool of dental professionals looking for work has shrunk. We are setting up new ways to hire and train staff, but it takes time.
It’s hard for the staff we have
Staff are affected by the same pressures as our patients, such as family concerns, the need to self-isolate, and to take a break from time to time. It has been a difficult time for us all, and we all need to protect our mental well-being as well as our physical health. All of our staff have been very supportive, showing their dedication to our patients and their duties throughout the pandemic. With long hours, additional training and new ways of working, they have stepped up to meet new professional demands.
We kindly ask our patients to continue to show support to our staff. We really appreciate your kindness and understanding.
A Pleasant Experience @ Spa Dental Glastonbury "Friendly staff. This was my first visit to this dental practice and found the staff very friendly and reassuring. I had an initial assessment by the therapist who did an assessment prior to my next appointment. He was very good and explained carefully the treatment I needed in a professional manner! Overall I was impressed by the whole experience." "I went in today for a tooth extraction, my…More Testimonials
"Better than you could ever imagine - As always everyone involved with Spadental treats you with respect and dignity. Happy to have a friendly chat and always seem genuinely interested. I always leave the practice feeling happy- which might seem strange after just having dental treatment but that's the affect all the team always seem to have on me. Arranged a follow up appointment the very next day, as a cancellation had just come in.…More Testimonials
"Lovely staff - I have been with you for 17 years and I am still coming to you. Every one is so helpful and always talks to you." LE Thank you for your reviews The staff at SpaDental Chard feel proud to read your reviews. Your lovely comments, and your good opinion mean a lot to us. We appreciate the time and thought you put into writing about how your visit to the dentist went.…More Testimonials
It hasn't been an easy year, but our patients have been so understanding. Thank you all so very much for your kind support and the lovely feedback we've received. Your kind support is very motivating It means a lot to the SpaDental Chard team to read your feedback. Your feedback is important to us as it helps us work on continual improvement of our services. Our sincere thanks to all of you have taken the…More Testimonials
We've been catching up with our patients to find out how their treatment has been over the last months. This has been such a hard year for many of us, personally and professionally, and access to dental care has been affected in many ways by the pandemic. We'd really like to take this opportunity, therefore, to thank you for your understanding. We know that you have had to cope with cancellations and changes to our…More Testimonials
With the ups and downs of the last year, we'd like to take this opportunity to thank all of our patients for your support and understanding. Your thoughtfulness is reflected in the considerate comments we've received in response to our request for feedback. We truly appreciate your kind thoughts. Thank you from all of us for your lovely reviews of SpaDental Tewkesbury. A selection of your reviews: "The service during the last few months has…More Testimonials
SpaDental Whitchurch dentist is accepting new private patients. A new patient testimonial After the closure of my local dentist in Whitchurch I telephoned Spa Dental who made me an appointment. Unfortunately I had an abscess on my tooth before my appointment date, for which I was given an emergency appointment. I am a very nervous patient and it took a long time to build confidence with my old dentist , therefore my nerves were bad and I…More Testimonials
Kind words from our patients mean a lot to us. Thank you! We're very happy to read reviews that commend the Plymouth team and the dentists "excellent care" and "professional service". Recent patient reviews commend our excellent care: "In safe and caring hands - Without exception the treatment I have received has been outstanding. From the reception staff through each of the individuals involved, their focus is on you and you're fully involved in any…More Testimonials
We very much enjoyed reading the lovely Saltash patient reviews we've received in response to our recent request for feedback. On behalf of all the staff, thank you so much for your lovely comments. We sincerely appreciate your kind words, and will also use your recommendations in our planning. SpaDental considers your review comments carefully. We read them all, and use the information we gather to guide our practice so we can keep on improving…More Testimonials
A very appreciative thank you to our patients from the clinicians and staff at SpaDental Chard. It has been a pleasure reading your comments because if our patients are happy, then we're happy. Feedback about the team and treatment from SpaDental Chard reviews "Everyone in the practice is efficient, professional and knowledgeable." - HCG "5 Star Dental Care - Being in the centre of Chard, [the SpaDental] surgery is easily accessible for most patients. The…More Testimonials