Smile, you can visit your dentist again

Connect Health & Community’s dental services are open and ready to support you with your dental care needs.  Thanks to Australia’s good management of the COVID-19 pandemic, you are now able to use a broader range of our dental services.

If you are due for a dental check-up, a treatment that you were mid-way through before restrictions or if you simply want to start that dental treatment you had been putting off – we are ready to welcome you.

Reopening dental services beyond just emergency patients follows a tough couple of months for all Australians as we have each played our role to help stop the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).  Everyone across the community was patient as Government restrictions to help keep us all healthy and safe were implemented, but now the restraints are easing.

The Connect Health & Community dental team is pleased to welcome patients back.

Connect Health & Community’s General Manager of Dental Services, Dr Gandharva Nagaraj, said his team is excited with the return of services, and has patients’ health and safety as their first priority.

“As our services return, we want to assure all patients that the safety and wellbeing – of our patients, our people and the community – is our number one focus.  In line with this commitment, we will be maintaining standard and COVID-19 specific measures to help minimise any risk of exposure within the practice,” he said.

Dr Nagaraj said increased measures have been taken to reduce the risk of community transmission including; screening patients and staff for any potential symptoms before entering the building; additional use of personal protective equipment; stringent hygiene measures; and modifications of the waiting area and appointment time.

“So not only is it safe to resume your dental treatments now, but it is vital that you don’t postpone addressing your oral health, particularly if you have ongoing issues.”

Dr Nagaraj said patients who neglect proper care of their mouths by not regularly visiting the dentist, not only risk getting tooth and gum disease, but other diseases and illnesses in other parts of their body.

“Good oral health is a fundamental to one’s complete wellbeing, which is why such emphasis is placed on encouraging a good dental routine.  Few people realise that major health conditions related to oral health include heart disease, diabetes, stroke and some cancers.  So while the emphasis on maintaining your regular dental routine may sometimes seem inconvenient or daunting, the benefits can be priceless in the long run,” he said.

Connect Health & Community provides dental services to support the community from its clinic at 2A Gardeners Rd, Bentleigh East.  To make an appointment call 03) 9575 5333 during business hours.


Your COVID-19 dental questions answered

Can I go to the dentist in Victoria?

Yes. Throughout the Stage 3 restrictions dentists were providing emergency dental services, but with excellent results in managing the spread of the virus and the lifting of other social restrictions, all dental services are now open again.  If you need a preventive dental check-up, to complete a treatment you were mid-way through or to start a new one, call your dentist today.

What safety measures do dental practices have in place?

Rest assured the safety and wellbeing patients, our staff and the community is our number one priority.  In line with this commitment, we are maintaining standard and COVID-19 specific measures to help minimise any risk of exposure within the practice.

These include:

  • Our excellent infection control procedures to reduce the spread of any infection;
  • The use of personal protective equipment (PPE) for all treatments such as level 2 & level 3 surgical masks, protective eyewear, gloves and appropriate protective outerwear;
  • Strengthened cleaning procedures, including actively promoting the regular use of antibacterial hand sanitiser and surface wipes;
  • Stringent personal hygiene measures for all our people;
  • Deferring or referring patients who have been in contact with someone confirmed or suspected to have COVID-19, have travelled internationally in the past 14 days, or are or have recently been unwell, including experiencing any flu-like symptoms;
  • Touch-free temperature checks for patients on arrival at our clinic; and
  • Scheduling and managing patients to limit the time they will spend in a common area and unnecessary contact with others.

What do I do if I have a dental emergency?

If you have a dental emergency, call us on 03) 9575 5333 and advise what the nature of your emergency is.  As long as you are otherwise well (as prescribed by COVID-19 screening) you can make an appointment to see a dentist within 24 hours and be in your way to full dental health again.

A dental emergency is a situation that requires immediate treatment. It may involve conditions that cause severe pain, infection or directly affect your health.

Dental emergencies can include:

  • Swelling affecting your mouth, face and/or neck;
  • Difficulty opening your mouth, swallowing or breathing (unrelated to COVID-19);
  • Damage to your mouth or jaw following an accident or injury causing loss of a tooth or teeth being moved from their original position in the mouth;
  • Severe dental pain that is affecting your sleep and/or does not subside with use of pain-relief medications;
  • Tooth fracture where the nerve inside the tooth becomes exposed (which may or may not include bleeding);
  • Ulcers present in the mouth for 3 weeks or longer;
  • Wire or bracket fractures in orthodontic patients;
  • Uncontrolled bleeding post-oral surgery;
  • Patients referred by a doctor for medically necessary dental care or for urgent dental care prior to surgery that cannot be delayed; and
  • Treatment of a dental condition that can directly affect your health, for example, remove of an oral cancer lesion from inside the mouth.

What can I do at home to look after my teeth and prevent needing to go to a dentist?

Dentist visits are essential to ensuring your complete body health, but here are seven tips for good oral hygiene that may reduce any treatments that may be needed in the future:

1. Floss at least once a day.

Gently move the floss up and down the sides of each tooth, as well as around the gum line.

2. Brush your teeth twice a day

Using a  gentle, circular motion with a soft toothbrush.  If you’ve just eaten, wait 30 minutes to brush as highly acidic or starchy food can soften your enamel.  Don’t forget to brush your tongue - bacteria love to live there.

3. After flossing and brushing, rinse with water.

4. Replace your toothbrush every three to four months, or when you see the brush head is worn and bristly.

5. Avoid snacking on sugary or acidic foods.

6. Replace sugary drinks (soft drinks, juice, cordials) with tap water.

7. Chew sugar-free gums that can stimulate saliva production. Saliva is one of your mouth’s best natural defenses against bacteria and plaque.

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