The Scottish First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, stated that Dentists can go back to providing Routine Dentistry, from Monday 13th July 2020, except for doing Aerosol Generating Procedures (AGP’s). This statement actually relates to NHS Dentistry as the personal protective equipment necessary to protect Dental staff and their patients against Covid-19 is expensive.

PPE Extra Charges
Some Dental Practices intend to charge extra for PPE and/or raise their dental fees.
The James LR O’Donnell Practice will be celebrating 50 years since opening in November, 1971. We have many patients who have been coming to us for decades.
We feel this loyalty to us deserves to be acknowledged.

Thus, we do not plan to charge for the extra PPE necessary for treating patients during this Covid Crisis. And for our Dental Plan patients, we have cancelled the planned increase in our Plan fees (due April 2020 for DPAS, and January 2021 for Denplan).


Keeping you safe with the return to Dentistry

After many months of lockdown, and despite the extra measures we have to take to protect you and us, we are most definitely looking forward to seeing you all again.

Keeping you safe with the return to Dentistry

After many months of lockdown, and despite the extra measures we have to take to protect you and us, we are most definitely looking forward to seeing you all again.

Thankfully, the number of new Covid-19 cases in Scotland is reducing – BUT Coronavirus has not gone yet. Without due care and attention, we could still see numbers dramatically rise again.

By now, you will be well versed in the idea of socially distancing yourself from others – a full 2 metres if possible, AND while wearing face-coverings. But, visiting the Dentist presents problems, as normally the Dentist’s and the Patient’s heads are less than half a metre apart. I am sure you might be worried about visiting your Dentist again. We would like to detail the measures necessary to protect you, with some necessary explanation of terms used !


NHS, “Routine Dentistry”, PPE, AGP’s, UDCC, and “Enhanced PPE” – a few terms explained !

The Scottish First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, stated that Dentists can go back to providing Routine Dentistry, from Monday 13th July 2020, except for doing “AGP’s” (Aerosol Generating Procedures). This statement actually relates to NHS Dentistry and it doesn’t really mean “going back to routine Dentistry”. Dentists are NOT allowed to treat NHS patients with drills in their Practices yet.
An AGP is any treatment using our “High-Speed” drill, our ultra-sonic scaler, or even using the compressed air nozzle to dry teeth with (Dentists use this all the time on patients !).
When we use these items, small amounts of the patient’s saliva is blown up into the air of the surgery, in an almost invisible mist (an aerosol). This aerosol mist is believed to “hang” in the air in the room for up to an hour before falling and settling on surfaces in the room – where they can then be disinfected easily, after this one hour “fallow time” has elapsed.

Taking x-rays in a patient’s mouth has also been deemed an AGP because a patient could cough when trying to take an x-ray. However, in 26yrs of taking x-rays, I have hardly ever had a patient cough !
We need to dry saliva off the teeth to inspect teeth properly and we need x-rays to help us see other regions of teeth and bone that are otherwise hidden. Without these, our ability to diagnose dental problems is potentially compromised.

NHS Dentistry
The NHS and local Health Boards in Scotland have issued Dental Practices that see NHS patients, with “free” basic PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) - gloves, “fluid-resistant” standard facemasks, visors, hand-sanitiser gel.
These are all items that Dental Practices would normally buy themselves.
This NHS-supplied PPE allows us to see NHS patients for just examinations, and place temporary restorations. If an NHS patient requires any AGP treatment, using drills, compressed air, or take x-rays, those NHS patients have to be referred to an UDCC (Urgent Dental Care Centre).

Like all Dental Practices, we are well versed and practised in maintaining strict cross-infection control measures, and have worn PPE for Dentistry, for decades. To do Dental Treatment with Aerosol-Generating Procedures (ie. our drills, and use our teeth-drying compressed air), Dentists need an altogether different level of PPE, so called “Enhanced PPE”.

Private Dentistry
We are allowed to treat patients Privately with AGP’s, but we need to wear a higher level of PPE – and to reassure you, we would like to explain all that this entails, when you come to see us :

Book an Appointment – Appointments made by prior arrangement (phone or email us).
To enable social distancing, we have fewer appointments per day so that few, if any, other patients will ever be in the Waiting Room at the same time as you.
Arrival – you should attend wearing a face-covering if you can.
Wait in your car or outside if you can, until your appointment time.
If possible, we will phone you when it is OK to enter our building.

The Dentist can do Dental examinations, and the Hygienist can do handscaling.
The Dentist can also provide tooth dressings and simple fillings in some cases.
All the above can be carried out with basic PPE – with the Dentist and Nurse wearing more or less the same protective equipment we always wore – facemask, gloves, but now with a visor and single-use apron, over our usual Dental uniforms.
We will need slightly longer appointments than before.

Treatment involving Aerosol-Generating-Procedures & Enhanced PPE
Treatment will likely not happen on the examination appointment because a longer appointment will be required and treatment has to be planned out.
Treatment involving aerosols means that the surgery cannot be used again, for a full hour after the appointment has finished. This means that each Dentist cannot treat more than around 5 or 6 patients per day during these Covid-19 restriction time, as we could be talking 2hrs of surgery time used per patient !
Our cross-infection control measures AND Enhanced PPE have been well thought out and gives the maximum protection to our patients and staff.
We may look a bit silly with our “Spacemen” hoods for carrying out dental treatment BUT although it may look like we are just protecting ourselves, it stops spreading Covid-19 to our patients – so this is really all for our patients.
This is what we will be wearing, when we are doing treatment involving AGP’s :

Fraser with hood pic 3 2

Please don’t be alarmed – it’s still us inside them! You can still see our faces inside.

This is to protect you.

A large proportion of our patients are in a more vulnerable category and could have worse symptoms, with a Covid-19 infection – so it is of the utmost importance that we take all necessary steps to protect YOU. This is the best technology available to protect us all.

Please be patient to get an appointment with us. We are trying to first see the most urgent cases first -  patients in pain, or needing broken teeth attended to. And then there are patients that were already in mid-treatment when Lockdown started.
We will get to you all, as soon as we can.

After many months of lockdown, and despite the extra measures we have to take to protect you and us, we are most definitely looking forward to seeing you all again.