WE ARE OPEN!

It’s taken a long time to get to this point so it’s a huge relief for us to finally open our new practice. Planning started in early 2017 when I first dropped off a few letters to properties along Springburn and Kirkintilloch road that I thought had the potential to become a dental practice. Ann and Jim (the previous owners of our new property) kindly replied to me, along with a few others too. Unfortunately Ann & Jim’s property wasn’t available immediately so we did check a few others and even had planning permission accepted for one.

In the end Ann and Jim’s property was always the most suitable and thankfully it became an option again last year. It took a while to get the planning permission accepted, building warrant in place, sale completed and of-course renovate a beautiful family home into a dental practice. Oh and don’t forget about dealing with a pandemic and national lockdown in between!

Jim had actually lived in the house for 51 years before we bought it! Interestingly though Ann was actually inside before him as she was friends with the previous owners kids. I found out later that we had some competition from the supermarket next door to buy it so I’m glad they held on and sold to us instead. Sorry not sorry Farmfoods!

After so long living there Ann & Jim mentioned to me that they were happy they are the last family to live in it as a home. We had them both up to do the official opening on Saturday morning so it was great to give them the first tour of their old home & now our new one:

Opened at last almost 5 years to the day that we took over the previous place!
Lovely wee message from Ann afterwards 😊

It was strange getting back to work again, especially in new environment and with a slightly different way of working but it was really nice to see some patients again.

The work selfies are back in business!

Looking forward to welcoming everyone to the new place, we’re open tomorrow at 9am although please only attend if you have an appointment. Still accepting new patients at the moment however priority will be given to our current patients and especially those who have called with issues during lockdown. We’ll contact patients from our priority lists although please feel free to contact us too, by phone or email.

Have a nice weekend all,

Joe

Joseph Watson BDS MFDS RCPS MSc (Implantology)

Open next week! 🀞🏼

Last week I enjoyed my first visit to the pub since February with a few friends. You may have noticed I took a week off from writing my blog too – purely co-incidental 😏

I was actually quite impressed with our local pub to be honest. They’d removed more than half of their tables, had a 1 way system to and from the toilet, hand sanitiser stations, screens and signage were up and you had to order and pay for drinks on an app which were then delivered to the table. I felt quite comfortable and of-course it was great to have the first real pint in 5 months (I’m obviously not counting all those fake ones I’ve had in the house during lockdown.)

We moved on to a restaurant for dinner but it was a bit of a different story there. The staff had visors on, some of them wore gloves, although it was honestly packed more than I’ve ever seen it. Each table had a small plastic screen at one end but it seemed to me that they were trying to appear to make the effort rather than actually being sensible about it. We still stayed for dinner although I was a bit disappointed. Dinner was really nice to be fair but I wouldn’t feel comfortable going back there unless the seating arrangements were altered, which is a shame for the restaurant in the long term if a lot of other people feel the same way.

I really appreciate when I go to a shop and everyone has a face covering on, hand sanitiser is in place and people are respecting the social distance when queuing or passing each other. It’s sensible and necessary if we’re going to get business going again safely and prevent another peak/lockdown.

Our own business is now ready to open next week (pending a pass on our inspection on Wednesday) and we’ve taken a host of precautions to keep our patients and staff safe:

  1. Everyone will have a Covid screening prior to entering.
  2. Our door will be locked as we will be limited to appointment only at the moment, sorry that means no ‘walk in’s’ for now.
  3. Some patients may be asked to wait in cars until your appointment time.
  4. We have extra hand sanitising stations on entry and exit.
  5. Our medical history and consent forms will now be completed by text message prior to your appointment so no more signing forms or signature pads on entry.
  6. Patient and staff numbers will be limited so we don’t have too many people in the building at once.
  7. We’ll be limiting the treatments we provide initially.
  8. Our staff PPE might be a little different from what you remember:
Raashi absolutely loving her fit test – thankfully the yellow bit isn’t part of the PPE πŸ˜†

☝🏼The ‘fit-testing’ is about finding out which type of masks fits best for each of our staff. The test itself is not fun at all though. A truly awful scent is puffed into the yellow hood for 7 minutes and pass or fail the test you experience the taste. Bogging, humming, barking, rank, reeking, rotten. Take your pick. It’s all of the above and I can still taste it 2 days later.

Last few days to finish up the DIY (I’m just making tea for the plasterer) at home then it’s BACK TO WORK!! Buzzing. 🐝 😁

(p.s. unfortunately we can’t make any appointments until we pass our inspection – we’ll update on Wednesday how it goes 🀞🏼)

Have a good week everyone,

Joe

Joseph Watson BDS MFDS RCPS MSc (Implantology)

Wall ideas welcome!

Unfortunately our planned opening date of 15th July has been delayed and we’re now aiming for the 27th. It’s frustrating as we’re excited to open but we’re having some trouble getting inspections organised. I was going a bit bald on top anyway but that seems to have accelerated lately, fingers crossed it’s all sorted for the end of the month before I go complete spit shine!

We’re still able to help our patients with advice on the phone and onward referral if necessary. We’ve also been meeting quite a few patients outside the new practice to hand out temporary filling kits and cements so if you need any please give us a call.

I’ve enjoyed just chatting to our patients on the phone too as with being in the house & social distancing for so long it’s nice to talk to someone new. I spent 42mins on the phone to our patient Mr B. on Friday, 78 years old and he’s been isolating alone for the past 4 months; barely having left the house at all. We were chatting about how he bought his first flat for Β£800, (a month’s rent now!) and how he remembers food rationing after the war. Really interesting talking about it as not many of us will have experience of things like that. The current fight against Covid will likely be the most significant event in our lifetimes so far, so I guess in a sense we’re lucky that all we’ve had rationed is our toilet roll for a short time!

I’m looking forward to seeing Mr B again in person and because of his age and medical history we’ll be taking extra precautions to make his journey with us as safe as possible. For example our staff will all be screened daily, we’ll have extra PPE, hand sanitising stations, all our surfaces will be wiped down regularly and our appointments will be scheduled so that Mr B doesn’t come into contact with any other patients.

Rest assured we’ll be taking universal precautions like this for everyone so in my opinion coming to see us will be safer than any supermarket or beer garden.

I’m actually looking for a bit of inspiration for our own back garden at work. We’d like some sort of artwork on this back wall – a bottle of champagne to whoever comes up with an idea that we use:

Just the 1 interesting suggestion from my younger brother Jordan atm so I’m open to hearing a few ‘more PC’ ideas πŸ˜†

A couple more weeks of ‘working from home’ for me then before I pass that mantle on to my little shadow:

Currently on furlough at 80% of her usual milk πŸ˜†

Have a good week everyone and hope to see you soon,

Joe

Joseph Watson BDS MFDS RCPS MSc (Implantology)

The final straw!

I mentioned in my last blog post that we’d hopefully have a date for opening pretty soon. We’re hoping for that to be on the 15th July now so fingers crossed all our dominoes fall into place for that to happen. Closer to the time we’ll be contacting patients to book appointments from our priority list. Our phone lines are still active for advice, prescriptions and onward referral for treatment if required so please give us a call if needs be. I’d like to kindly ask our patients not to call to book appointments just yet though as we aren’t opening up our books until we have the date confirmed and we don’t want the lines being busy for anyone calling who needs urgent advice or onward referral. Thanks in advance for your co-operation on that.

We’ll be seeing less patients than usual initially, to help with social distancing within the building as much as possible. Hopefully we can also avoid the same scenes as in Soho yesterday for Super Saturday with the pubs re-opening. (I’m not sure people are as excited to see their dentist as they are their local bartender though – wishful thinking perhaps ☺️)

Someone did try to hit two birds with one stone in that sense yesterday right enough….As part of our new security system we have CCTV in place around the building and we watched as a random chap fancied a bottle of echo falls, alone, in the torrential rain, at 1pm up the back of our building.

To be fair I was glad to see he was at least aware of the enamel erosion risk and used straws – if your going to drink an echo falls up the back of a dentist you may as-well do it right.

So fingers crossed for the 15th July, I’m really looking forward to seeing our patients again and hearing how you have spent your last 3-4 months. Take care as things open up again and of-course please remember- always use a straw for fizzy drinks, if there are any left!

Have a good week everyone,

Joe

Joseph Watson BDS MFDS RCPS MSc (Implantology)

Fridge-gate 2020

It’s great to hear that today’s the third day in a row with no Covid-19 deaths in Scotland. Hopefully that continues as we go into phase 3. I think we’re all aware of the risk of a second wave and how devastating that would be to see tougher restrictions come back. It is a bit concerning to see a lot of big crowds gathering on beaches and in city centres recently though and I really hope that it doesn’t prove to be the catalyst for another wave.

We’ve been sticking to the rules as they’re set out and even yesterday evening I wasn’t prepared to let the torrential rainfall ruin a couple of beers with pals:

Gazebo up, still getting soaking wet and freezing…..beers with the boys though – worth it!

All over the world we’re starting to see partial lockdowns being re-imposed so fingers crossed our slow, cautious approach pays off and avoids that. I am quite worried for countries like the USA with cases rising significantly amid pushes to re-open earlier. Even more concerning is the situation in Yemen, people there are suffering from the very same deadly virus, a civil war and now hunger; as their foreign aid has been drastically reduced. For me that really puts our own situation into perspective.

I mentioned to Raashi yesterday that in the future when the virus is gone and hopefully we’ve all recovered from it’s effects, we might look back at think ‘how good was that 4 months off at home?!’

I am itching to get back to work now though as I know that it’s getting close and it’s exciting to open our new premises. We had someone come and take a fridge from our staff carpark during the week which was a big help. I was supposed to hire a van and take it to the dump but we seen on our CCTV that two guys fancied it for themselves – saves me the bother so thank you fellas? πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

Ronan copying my choice of emoji there….”What are you going to do with a broken fridge?”

I’ll keep the CCTV footage private so long as you don’t bring it back πŸ˜‚

Have a good week everyone and by the next blog ill have a date for re-opening.

Take care,

Joe

Joseph Watson BDS MFDS RCPS MSc (Implantology)

Happy Father’s Day

What other way is there to start Father’s day off than with a lie in! My day got even better when the kids all fancied a nap at the same time so we had our McD’s in the car rather than risk waking them up:

Love them all but you cannot beat the Mc’triple nap 🎰

I’d love to be getting back to work tomorrow like a lot of dentists in Scotland but sadly we’re not in position to open up yet. We got unlucky with the timing of our relocation in that we were supposed to have a structured transition from our old place to the new one in April, but with the pandemic we had to vacate our old property before the new one was ready to go.

There’s a few bits and bobs to tie up but mainly we are waiting on our pre-opening practice inspection which is required for all ‘new’ premises. We sent out our monthly newsletter yesterday to all patients and mentioned that we are hoping to be opened up in mid July. This would tie in quite nicely with our 5 year anniversary from taking over from Dr Chan on the 15th July 2015.

Within the same 18 months we took over the practice, got married, got a dog, moved house and had a baby. Absolutely no half measures there! πŸ˜†

To continue the good measure the last 18 months have seen us invest in a new premises, move our business to it and have another 2 babies while we were at it! During the next 18 months we hope to casually overcome the effects of a pandemic. πŸ€—

The Scottish Government have told us that there will be a change to how NHS dentistry is delivered post COVID so I’m keen to find out how that’s going to look and hope it’s all clear soon. Our practice has always been firmly committed to offering NHS dentistry so I hope the government continue to support access to it.

During the lockdown we have been able to refer patients for emergency care but as you know we haven’t been able to see anyone for routine care. Seeing our patients regularly helps us to pick up problems like tooth decay, gum disease and oral cancer early enough that it can be treated/prevented. The sooner we are back to work the better for everyones oral health. A lot of our patients have messaged in with issues that unfortunately didn’t qualify to be seen at the emergency hubs so I can promise you we’ll be doing our absolute best to accommodate everyone asap once we re-open.

Enjoy the rest of Father’s day to all the dad’s, have a good week everyone and hope to see you all soon,

Joe

Joseph Watson BDS MFDS RCPS MSc (Implantology)

Netflix and Drill

Finally got everything out of our old premises this week and said our final goodbye’s to 1347B Springburn Road. The 3D Xray machine was the last thing to go and I’m glad it wasn’t me that had to move it. The thing weighs a tonne so fair play to the engineers involved.

We (the family) popped out to the new place earlier for Raashi to have a look around as she’s not seen it in a while. I used the oppertunity to get Netflix set up on the TV’s:

Netflix and Drill is now an option at TWDC

Once we re-open our patients will be able to make the most of it while getting treatment done. Initially we’ll be on an ‘urgent care only’ footing though so it may be more like ‘Netflix but no drill’. Just like many other businesses/services, getting back to ‘normal’ in dentistry may take a while.

I’ve been following the situation for dentists in England closely as they re-opened up on the 8th June so it’s been interesting to see how they are working now. A lot of our patients will no doubt have read about it in the papers too in relation to the restrictions placed.

The thing is, infection control procedures in dental practices are already second to none in my opinion. We go through so much staff training and for me, our protocols/procedures make a trip to the dentist so much safer than a trip to the supermarket.

So hopefully the dental hubs, as useful as they are at the moment, aren’t needed for much longer. Once a relationship is established, most patients want to see their own dentist too and it’s the exact same the other way around. Having said that our very own Dr Laura Grant will be working in one of the hubs in the coming weeks (she’ll still be with us too so don’t worry!)

Sadly, no specific date for re-opening for us just yet but I do feel we are getting close so watch this space. Really excited to show everyone the new digs. We were planning a big open day with bouncy castles and face painters for the kids but we can reschedule that for next year maybe. Unless of course we do a zoom one somehow, (did anyone ever use Zoom pre covid 19 btw?)

(Me fixing the cameras – ignore the bald spot) …Picture the bouncy castle there and we could do the open day remotely? Just jump around at home πŸ˜†

Have a good week everyone,

Joe

Joseph Watson BDS MFDS RCPS MSc (Implantology)

Wet suit it is..

Back to work for dentists in England tomorrow – I’m hoping it goes well for them although it’s a shame that they only found out recently on BBC news and have since been scrambling for PPE and to finalise their new protocols, I’ve read that only a third of practices are in a position to actually open.

In Scotland our health boards are organising for free PPE to be picked up by all practices in the coming days/weeks, just to get us started. Normally dental practices buy their own PPE independently so to have this organised for free is great, especially now when the prices are extortionate. The health board are returning the favour for dentists donating all our PPE to the hospices and care homes at the start/peak of the pandemic. It’s not lots but in my opinion it’s a great touch and very much appreciated.

I’m hoping it’s also a sign that we’ll be given the go ahead to open fairly soon, although it will be for urgent care only at the start. It’s great that a lot more patients are being seen at the dental hubs for non urgent treatment now too.

As you all no doubt know we were supposed to move into our new premises before now, but we have struggled to get it finished with suppliers being closed and lockdown limiting the number of jobs we could actually get done. We’re almost there now though and if your driving by you may notice the driveway is nearly there:

Great work by ‘Stevie Driveways’ as he is in my phone. (Driveway bureau)

You can also just about make out the golden arches in that photo there too, my favourite restaurant in the world. Was anyone in the queue’s this week? They were stretched so far along Springburn Road it was past the exit to Hawthorn Street! I’m hoping we have a similar queue once we re-open 😷☺️

In other news our new state of the art paddling pool for the garden arrived this week:

Β£38 on ebay – what a bargain

Sadly just in time for the cold weather front we are expecting. Wet suit it is then.

Have a good week everyone and hopefully this time next we’ll have a proposed date for re-opening.

Joe

Joseph Watson BDS MFDS RCPS MSc (Implantology)

Freedom 🏴󠁧󠁒󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

How nice have the past few days been?! 😎 Nicola Sturgeon picked a cracking weekend to lift the lockdown – it was great to finally be able to see friends & family again (not all at the same time obviously). Like most we’ve spent the last couple of days bbq’ing, sunbathing and paddling pooling. Funny how yesterday evening Asda had plenty of toilet roll left but were down to the absolute bare bones of meat, cider & ice cream πŸ˜†

It was too hot for me to keep the hair going so I finally bit the bullet and let Raashi cut it for me:

The pressure was on as sadly the old “it’s ok it’ll grow back” doesn’t actually apply to all of my hair any longer 😧. She did ok to be fair and as my barber is a Liverpool fan I might have to get her to do another couple of trims just until their league triumph blows over (which might be another 30 years – long before which i’ll have no hair left to cut anyway πŸ˜’).

At work our new waiting room seating got fitted this week too. It’s looking great and plenty of space for our patients to safely socially distance while waiting for appointments:

You may have noticed that in England dentists are going back to work on the 8th June. In my opinion Scotland have a more structured, sensible, phased plan in place although I do think that means we’ll likely be some time in July. There is now the option for patients with more ‘minor’ issues like loose fillings and crowns to be seen at the dental hubs in the mean time though, so please call us first and we can arrange appointments if needs be, same goes for anyone with swelling or severe pain.

Tomorrow looks set to be the same again and the best thing about the nice weather is the kids are absolutely shattered by 7pm and pretty much ask to go to sleep:

‘Can I go to bed now daddy?’ ……..YES

Those skinny legs came in handy for my other daughter Mila’s Vogue cover photoshoot too:

Have a good week everyone and please stay safe and well – really looking forward to seeing our patients again soon.

Joe

Joseph Watson BDS MFDS RCPS MSc (Implantology)

F***ing Gazelles

This week we received some guidance from the chief dental officer for Scotland about the routemap to re-opening dental practices. It ties in with the Scottish Government one that i’m sure you have all seen by now.

I am also sure you are now aware of the urgent dental care hubs that have been set up throughout Scotland and to quote from the chief dental officer:

It was initially necessary to restrict the range of treatments available in urgent dental care centres and we are now able to expand the scope of this service to deal with a wider range of acute and urgent dental problems. Further information can be found here:”

https://www.scottishdental.org/public/dental-services-during-the-covid-19-pandemic-information- for-patients-in-scotland/

So it seems that phase 1 post lockdown is to expand the range of treatments available in the urgent care hubs. This is obviously a step in the right direction for anyone in desperate need of dental treatment at the moment. We’ve had over 650 patients call with issues since lockdown started, we’ve taken detailed notes for every one of those and hopefully now we can arrange for some more of these issues to be seen.

Phase 2 see’s dental practices open up 1 surgery only, for urgent care only; the plan is for this to be in effect by the end of July.

The timeline obviously depends on the control of the virus but moving on to phase 3 sees us offer a broader range of treatments and obviously phase 4 is when we’re back to ‘normal.’

It’s at least good to have an idea now of the path ahead, as I think over the past couple of weeks we were all wondering what the plan was. We are waiting for more details soon so ill keep everyone updated, I am as desperate as you are to get back to work!

In other news with the weather as dull as it is I’m not sure i’ll change out of my pyjamas today – seems the temperatures are due to crank up again next week so may as well enjoy the last of the lounging around inside. We were watching a lot of Peppa pig this morning until I heard this from Richard Rabbit:

F*** Sake Richard it’s 11.30am!

So we moved on to playing a game of dog or human with my family in Belfast (yes I’m running out of games – thank goodness for the easing of lockdown next week) :

Belfast lost this one!

This seemed to work tiring the girls out at least as they’re both napping now so it’s time for a bit of TV for the boys:

Enjoy the rest of your ‘weekend’ folks and have a good week

Joe

Joseph Watson BDS MFDS RCPS MSc (Implantology)