A Braunton dentist has urged patients to be patient as the practice gets to grips with stringent new Covid-19 hygiene rules.

Riverside Dental practice manager Jo Wightman �mucking in� with the cleaning that now takes place after every patient at the Braunton practice. Picture: Pete RobinsonRiverside Dental practice manager Jo Wightman �mucking in� with the cleaning that now takes place after every patient at the Braunton practice. Picture: Pete Robinson

Chris Preston of Riverside Dental said the new measures limited how many patients they could treat, with an enforced 75 minute gap between appointments.

He said: “The surgery is left empty and sealed for 60 minutes after every visit, then the floors and all surfaces are cleaned and disinfected. Even the mop gets put through a washing machine cycle.

“We are working with severe restrictions and are only able to see a vastly reduced number of patients compared to before Covid-19.

“We are working as fast and hard as we can, safely and without compromising our standards of care - but we need everyone to be patient and understanding. We are doing our best in a difficult situation.”

Riverside Dental practice manager Jo Wightman ‘mucking in’ with the cleaning that now takes place after every patient at the Braunton practice. Picture: Pete RobinsonRiverside Dental practice manager Jo Wightman ‘mucking in’ with the cleaning that now takes place after every patient at the Braunton practice. Picture: Pete Robinson

Despite the new measures, the team at Riverside has already worked through most of the backlog of cancelled appointments, but Mr Preston is urging people not to turn up without an appointment and expect to be seen.

The ‘new normal’ for dentistry is that patients must phone or email first.

Dentists can now offer a full range of treatments including check-ups and fillings with urgent cases a priority, but warn that there is likely be a longer than normal wait for a routine appointment.