Bell Hill Dental
Woman smiling during treatment at Dunedin dentist

Our Covid Response

February 10, 2022
Posted By: Bell Hill Dental
Modern tools at dentist in Dunedin Otago

With the recent news and public impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19), our dental team wanted to share some of the protocols we have in place to protect your health and wellness at your dental visit.

As part of your health care team, we are monitoring changes and updated guidelines set forth by the Dental Council of NZ, NZ Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization (WHO) in our practice, interactions, and work environment to ensure patient and team safety. This information is changing rapidly and we are following all guidelines and recommendations as they come to hand.

Your number one line of safety is an educated and dedicated dental team. We have met with our entire staff to discuss protocols for keeping ourselves and patients safe, including symptoms to look for and what to do in the event of exposure.

What are we doing to keep staff and patients safe?

  • Masks are worn by patients until treatment begins 

  • MOH questions regarding risk are answered.

  • We will not be treating anyone with symptoms or deemed high risk – these routine non-urgent appointments will be rescheduled until you are well

  • Antibacterial/antiviral mouth wash completed before treatment to decrease any viral load

  • Social distancing in the common areas

  • “At risk” patients may elect to have the first appointment of the day or evening appointments when the surgery is quieter

  • PPE worn by all members of our team, including N95 masks, surgical masks, glasses, visors, gowns as required 

  • Sterilisation processes highly regulated and monitored with a dedicated Sterilisation Assistant ensuring compliance to the highest standards

  • Rapid antigen testing of staff regularly 

  • All our staff are fully vaccinated (and boosted) as mandated by the Ministry of Health

How Coronavirus Impacts Your Dental Appointment

Please contact Bell Hill Dental right away if any of the following conditions apply:

  1. You have a cough, fever, shortness of breath, or flu-like symptoms.

  2. You have had contact with anyone who has been exposed to the coronavirus.

  3. You are awaiting Covid test results

  4. You, or a member of your household has been asked to self isolate.

We are happy to rearrange bookings for patients in Dunedin who feel unwell or suspect they may have COVID-19.

Sterilisation and Pathogen Control

  1. Our dental clinic always maintains the highest cleanliness standards and sterilisation protocols using NZDA approved disinfectants and/or the barrier method to prevent the spread of infectious diseases.

  2. We use medical-grade disinfectants and cleaners shown to eliminate bacteria and viruses.

  3. All instruments are sterilised using NZDA-approved methods between each patient. Instrument carriers are equipped with indicators that show they have reached the proper temperature during the process.

  4. Many of our instruments and supplies are designed for single use. Once used, they are immediately disposed of safely.

  5. Sterilisation equipment is maintained and certified regularly. We have 3 state-of the-art sterilisers and a dedicated sterilisation assistant.

  6. Common areas like reception desks, public toilet, and consultation areas are all regularly cleaned and sterilised to prevent disease spread outside of the treatment room.

  7. We have safety protocols in place in the event that our patients or dental team are exposed to coronavirus.

How We Can Reduce the Spread of Coronavirus Together

Practicing common sense caution can help slow the spread of coronavirus. Here are some vital actions you can take, recommended by the WHO.

  • Wash your hands frequently using soap and hot water for at least 20 seconds.

  • Use hand sanitizer with a minimum of 60% alcohol if hand washing is unavailable.

  • Do not touch your eyes, nose, face, or mouth unless you have clean hands.

  • Maintain distance from others in public of at least 2m.

  • Cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough.

  • Stay at home if you are sick.

  • Throw used tissues away immediately.

  • Wear a facemask – preferably a surgical grade facemask.

If you have any questions or concerns about coronavirus, the action we are taking, or if you should come in for your dental appointment, we welcome you to contact our clinic.