Dental practices were able to reopen as of Monday June 8, however many were unable to due to a lack of PPE, but also having to leave up to an hour in-between patients to disinfect the space. This has proved to be a financial struggle for many practices unable to remain open to see so few clients.
However a leading Harley Street dentist, Patrick Tarrant, has installed a state-of-the-art light system in his practice that can fully disinfect his practice in as little as six minutes - and says the system can easily be applied to hairdressers, beauty salons and shops, too.
The UVC Plus lamp harnesses light technology to sterilise all surfaces and the air inside the space after every patient. The lamp, which is also currently used in a few hospital facilities in the UK including the Greater Manchester Paediatric Unit, effectively kills all viruses and bacteria including coronavirus.
“Surgeries currently have to wait for up to sixty minutes for the aerosol particles to settle, so unless you’ve got a large multiple use surgery, you’ve only got half your working day available,” says Tarrant. The £2,500 UVC Plus lamp sterilises the air and every visible surface in six minutes for his 10 square metre surgery; for a 100 square metre space, the lamp would take 30 minutes to sterilise.
Tarrant has spent over £10,000 in total making his practice ‘virus-proof’, including a new virucidal mouthwash for all patients, and a steriliser which circulates and sterilises the air in the surgery six times every minute. “We still physically scrub and sterilise our practice but this is on top, as a belt-and-braces approach to make sure our space is 100 per cent virus-free,” he adds.
On May 28, chief dental officer Sara Hurley released 'return to work' guidance for dentists in the UK. It includes details on everything from the preferred patient flow and practice layout that'll encourage social distancing and minimise the amount of people in the practice at one time, to hand-washing signage and hand sanitising stations to promote excellent hygiene and keep staff and clients safe.