A DENTAL group, which has sites across the North-East, has revealed how it will keep customers safe during the coronavirus pandemic as it reopens its doors.

Bupa Dental Care has practices in County Durham, Darlington and Teesside and is set to reopen after almost three months of closure on Monday.

Up until the government's latest announcement on the reopening of all non-essential retail, only emergency treatments were permitted at practices.

Those in need of routine treatments were told they must wait 'until further notice' as many saw appointments cancelled at the start of lockdown.

But ahead of its reopening next week, Bupa Dental Care has revealed how it intends to keep patients safe.

It said: "We’ve adjusted our waiting areas and spaced out appointments – so you can maintain safe social distancing.

"You must clean your hands using the antibacterial gel provided as soon as you enter the practice.

"You’ll be given a mask to wear on arrival to ensure your safety during your visit. Our staff will also be wearing appropriate PPE to ensure your safety.

"Plastic screens have been installed on our reception desks. Please try and maintain a 2m distance from the reception desk and avoid touching the screen.

"We’ll ask you some arrival questions to confirm the information you gave in the pre-visit call.

"We’ll check your temperature using a non-contact thermometer. If it is deemed too high, your appointment will be rescheduled for a later date.

"We’ll ask you to keep all belongings with you and avoid leaving the waiting area until you are collected for your appointment.

"Patients bathrooms are still operational but please ask the receptionist before use. This will ensure we know the facilities have been used and can clean appropriately."

Dental practices had been among those businesses asked to close over concerns the risk of infection to both patients and staff.

But confirming that safety measures were in place, Sarah Ramage, Clinical Director at Bupa Dental Care said: “We really welcome the chance to reopen our practices and start seeing patients for face-to-face treatment and give them the care they need.

"We’ve been working hard over the last few weeks to prepare for this moment so anyone visiting us can be reassured that we’ve put in lots of measures to keep them safe.

"Our teams have all been through enhanced Infection prevention control training and will be wearing enhanced PPE to protect everyone.

“We will be trying to see as many patients as possible, triaging those with an emergency need and those in the middle of ongoing treatment.”