Coronavirus Updates

Update July 19th 2021

From the 19th of July we respectfully request that patients who are able to do so continue to wear a face covering, observe social distancing and use the hand sanitiser provided when coming into the practice. Our staff will continue to wear PPE. Please help us keep our patients and staff safe.

Importantly, as healthcare workers, our guidance and regulations come from the NHS and Public Health England, who have advised that we will continue to work under the same COVID-19 infection control and safety measures that have been in place since February 2021.

After operating under emergency measures for 13 months we are now starting to recall our registered patients for routine examinations. With over 20,000 patients to see, we ask you please bear with us with appointment availability and booking. The increase in infection control measures mean we are only able to see a third of the number of patients a day compared to before the pandemic.

Thank you again for all the patience, support and kind messages you have given our team over the past 18 months. We are hopefully moving towards the end of what has been an extraordinarily challenging 18 months for us.

Nina and the team at Claypath Dental Practice

Update May 2021

As in line with new government guildance issued at the end of April 2021, we are temporarily unable to offer routine NHS examinations. We are currently prioritising patients with urgent dental needs to ease the amount of calls to 111.

If you have a dental emergency please consider if this can be managed with over the counter pain relief until an appointment can be made with the practice. Chemists are open and a Pharmacist can advise you what is the best pain control to meet your needs. Lost filling, crowns or bridges or broken teeth are not usually deemed to be clinically urgent and patients are advised to contact the practice for advice. Please only ring NHS 111 if your dental needs cannot be met by self-care or the problem occurs outside of the practice opening hours.

We currently have daily emergency appointments for our registered patients and those who are not registered with any general dental practice who have swelling, trauma or pain. These are released at 8:30am and are booked on a first come first served basis.

We appreciate that some of our patients have been waiting for a long time to attend for a routine examination and we thank you for your patience during this very difficult time. Please be assured we are working hard to be able to resume a normal service for all our patients as soon as we possibly can.

Update February 2021

We would like to thank our patients for their understanding and support during what has been a difficult year working our way through the Coronavirus Pandemic. Our staff have been working incredibly hard to ensure we can offer the best service possible. We have a lot of new restrictions and regulations in place to work around, these are very important to ensure the safety of our staff and the safety of our patients.

We are now in a position to start and see our registered patients for routine examinations. We are initially contacting patients who were unable to have their routine examination in March, April and May 2020. We will then work our way through those later in the year and we are hopeful we are able to resume a good level of service again soon.

We still offer some daily emergency appointments for our registered patients and those who are not registered with any general dental practice who have swelling, trauma or pain. We are not currently registering new patients at the practice for routine treatment.

Our telephone lines are extremely busy at present so please do bare with us when trying to contact to make an appointment.

We look forward to seeing our patients again and managing all your dental needs.

UPDATE January 5th 2021

We would just like inform all our patients that as an essential service we will be remaining open and seeing patients face to face during the latest national lockdown.

Along with wearing high level PPE and vigorous cleaning regimes, we have designated appointment times in place to protect clinically extremely vulnerable patients and procedures to ensure maximum patient safety while in the practice.

We are still limited to appointment times we can offer, and we appreciate your support and understanding as we work towards resuming full services again.

Thank You.

The Team at Claypath Dental Practice

 Information for patients who attend the practice for an appointment

If you have an appointment booked at the practice there are a few new processes in place that you must be aware of:

When you arrive for your appointment the door to the practice is locked. We ask that you call the reception team to let them know you have arrived or ring the door bell to alert their attention to your arrival.

As we currently have to adopt a locked door policy for the safety of our staff and patients, we ask that you arrive at the time of your appointment and dressed appropriately to wait outside. We are able to make exceptions to this under extreme circumstance such as severely medically compromised patients or patients with very poor mobility. This must be pre-arranged with our reception team.  

When you attend your appointment, we ask you attend alone, unless you are under 16 years or require a chaperone for medical reasons (this is to be pre authorized by a member of our reception team).

When you enter the building, we ask that you wear a face covering to travel around the building. If you are medically exempt from wearing a mask you must provide us evidence of this.

You will be asked to sanitize your hands on entering the building. We provide 70% alcohol hand sanitizer for use.

We are currently unable to offer use of the toilet facilities at the practice.

If you are required to make a payment for your treatment, we are currently only accepting payment using a card. This can be done prior to your appointment over the phone if you wish to reduce the contacts you have within the practice.

If you have any queries or concerns before attending please do not hesitate to contact a member of our reception team. They will be happy to help you.

We would again like to thank all our patients for their patience and understanding throughout the pandemic. We have aimed to provide the best service we can whilst ensuring we keep our staff and patients safe.

Update 20th October 2020

We are now 7 months into the coronavirus pandemic and unfortunately the situation is not showing signs of resolving anytime soon.

The advice from NHS England is to continue to operate a closed-door policy. This means that when you attend for a booked appointment the door will be locked. Please come suitably prepared to wait outside and please don’t arrive early. Only in exceptional circumstances will you be invited to wait inside the practice. This will be limited to only one patient with preference given to our medically vulnerable patients. We have to be mindful of the safety of our staff and other patients that may be in the building, especially our most vulnerable patients.

In accordance with the guidance from the chief dental officer and NHS England we will also be continuing with our triage service. If you have a dental problem and need advice please contact the practice during our normal working hours and speak to one of our receptionists who will ask you a few questions about your problem before passing the information to a dentist who will phone you back. We are having problems in getting hold of a lot of patients to continue the triage process. In most cases, unless you have phoned late in the day the dentist will contact you on the same day so please listen out for our call on the number you provided. The dentist may also use their personal mobile phone to ring you if the practice lines are busy. This will appear as a withheld number, so please don’t ignore these calls if you contacted the practice earlier in the day. Unfortunately, due to the volume of patients we need to speak to if we cannot get hold of you after three telephone calls your triage form will be deleted and no further attempts made. If you have a preference when you would like to be called back due to work commitments or other appointments please let the receptionist know when we take your details. Thank you for your understanding.

We are very pleased to let you know that we are making good headway with our patients that had problems through lockdown. This means we have been able to move on to completing the open courses of treatment started prior to lockdown and to seeing our higher needs patients for oral health assessments. Appointment priority will still be given to patients experiencing problems once they have been triaged.

Once we have availability and we are advised that we can resume routine care we will be in touch to book routine examinations, we will initially contact patients who have had their examinations cancelled through lockdown and then reactivate our automated recall reminders.

Finally, we just wanted to let you know that our hygienist Caroline has returned to work. Due to restrictions with aerosol generating procedures and fallow time she is providing hand scaling only. As the procedure is more labour intensive it takes a little while longer so appointments are being booked for 30 minutes and the cost for this taking into account the increased cost of PPE is £60. If you would like to book an appointment to see Caroline please contact one of our reception team.

We would also like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your ongoing support and understanding through this very difficult time.

From all the team at Claypath Dental Practice, stay safe and we look forward to continuing to provide your dental care in the future.

We would like to thank all our patients for your understanding during the COVID -19 pandemic.

Whilst we are open our normal working hours, and seeing patients face to face, the number of appointments we have available is considerably reduced due to our new operating procedures.

If you have a dental emergency please contact the practice during normal working hours. The reception at the practice is open Monday – Thursday 8:30am – 5:45pm and Friday 8:30am – 4:45pm.

If you have a dental problem outside of our opening times please consider if this could wait until we reopen. If not, you can access emergency out of hours care by contacting 111.

Claypath Dental Practice is pleased to announce that it will be gradually reopening from Monday 15th June 2020.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic we must have a gradual phased reopening to ensure the safety of patients and staff.  In planning for this we have carefully followed the UK Governments current directives on social distancing and the guidance issued by the Chief Dental Officer.

We are entering phase 1, which will only be for patients with emergency pain or trauma.  The treatments we can provide at present are very limited.  Please do not ring for routine dental appointments as these are not available. If you are having a dental problem please phone our reception team on 0191 386 5375.  They will arrange for a dentist to triage you over the phone.  If the dentist feels we can offer you treatment they will instruct the reception team to make you an appointment.  In order to ensure social distancing we will be opening with a skeleton staff initially, please bear with us if you struggle to get through to our receptionist as they will be working alone.

If you have already contacted us with a problem during lock down we will be in touch with you, there is no need to phone again.  We have kept a list of all patients who require urgent treatment or were in the middle of treatment when we closed and we shall contact you as soon as we are able to provide your treatment.  We have also kept a list of all patients who were due a routine exam during lock down, we shall contact them when we enter a phase which allows us to provide routine treatment.

Under normal circumstances we can see as many as 90 patients a day.  The safety measures we have introduced mean we may only be able to see between 5 and 7 patients a day, we hope to increase this as lock down is lifted.  This will clearly impact on how long you have to wait for an appointment, please bear with us.

We will email you with further updates as things change. 

Please stay safe, we look forward to seeing you again soon.

All the team at Claypath Dental Practice

Changes implemented to ensure patient safety at appointments from 15th June 2020

Patient safety is extremely important to us.  We have implemented the following changes following guidance from the government and Chief Dental Officer.

* We will email you an appointment reminder which includes a link which allows you to complete all the paperwork online that you would normally complete at reception using a computer, smartphone or other electronic device.

* The day before your appointment our receptionist will phone you to establish whether or not you have been exposed to COVID-19.  If you or anyone in your family bubble have symptoms we will need to rearrange your appointment.

* In order to minimize points of contact we will ask you to pay for your treatment over the phone before attending your appointment, there should be no need to attend the reception after you have seen the dentist.

* Please clean your teeth thoroughly before attending your appointment and avoid all food and drinks until after your appointment unless you have a medical condition that requires you to eat/drink at certain times.

* When you arrive for your appointment you will find the door locked.  Please phone the reception and a member of staff will let you in when the dentist is ready for you. Our waiting room and toilet are out of action.  We ask patients to wait in their car or queue at a safe distance outside the practice.

* We ask patients to attend their appointment alone unless they require a carer or parent to attend with them.  Interpreters are not available at present.

* If you have a face covering, please wear it to the practice.

* You must sanitize your hands when you enter the building and before leaving the surgery.

* Please bring a little as possible with you to your appointment.  Your possessions will be placed in a disinfected lidded box inside the surgery.  The practice does not accept any liability of loss or theft.

* We will be having special clinics exclusively for clinically extremely vulnerable patients who have been instructed to shield themselves. We will be constantly reflecting on our procedures and improving them when necessary. 

This is a new way of working for us all, your patience is much appreciated.

Thank you.


The practice is not ready to reopen for face to face treatment this week.  Please do not phone for routine dental appointment queries.  Please only phone us if you are suffering with an urgent dental problem.

We are grateful for your continued patience as we finalise our plans to reopen the practice.

This week we are continuing to work to make the practice safe for both patients and staff.

We will be very busy but there will always be a dentist available on the phone during normal working hours if you require any advice for a dental problem.

Could we politely ask that you do not ring to enquire about dental appointments.

We have kept records of people who require urgent treatment, and those who were in the middle of treatment when the pandemic caused us to close our doors for face to face appointments.  We have also kept a record of all those who are due for routine examinations. 

We will be in touch with you as soon as we can to get you in for an examination or treatment you require.

Please bear with us a little longer and we will be able to give you a better idea of when we will be able to see you.

In the meantime please do not hesitate to call us during normal working times if you have dental pain or trauma that requires urgent treatment.  We can give advice over the phone and there are a network of fantastic Urgent Dental Care Centres in the area that  we can refer you to.

Thank you for your support in these testing times.  We hope to see you soon. 


This is an important announcement following the government’s decision that dental practices are to reopen from the 8th June.

The story behind this headline is a lot more complicated as is often the case.

There is a huge amount of work that we have to do now that we have this timeline. This involves ensuring that the environment and resources are all in place to allow reopening to happen in a really safe and controlled manner.

What this means in real terms is that we will not be reopening on the 8th June but that this will be a start date for a phased reopening and resumption of face to face appointments.

I know that this may be frustrating for a lot of you and I hope you can understand that the important thing is that  we can keep people safe and we do so in a way that is sustainable and is supported by all the things that are needed in terms of communication, equipment and changes to the building. I can reassure you that the team are working flat out behind the scenes as we have been doing for the last 10 weeks and we will be in touch with regular updates with the specifics about when we are going to be reopening and what appointments we are going to be providing just as soon as they are available. Please bear with us a little bit longer. This is good news and this date gives us something to work towards but it is just a starting point of a phased reopening and a phased resumption of dental services which we are keen to be able to provide again.

On behalf of the entire team we have missed you and we look forward to seeing you all again very soon.

The Team at Claypath Dental Practice.

Update 18/05/2020

We hope you are well and keeping safe in these unprecedented times.

We wanted to let you know that while we haven’t been able to see you for routine appointments, we have nonetheless been thinking about Patient Care when we reopen.

With this in mind we are pleased to announce that we have implemented new software which allows contact less check-in at reception by enabling patients to fill in all paperwork at home. This is so you can still attend your dental appointments, but with peace of mind that all unnecessary points of contact have been removed. We will be sending you some more information about this shortly.

Please remember that for dental emergencies you can contact the Practice on 0191 386 5375 during normal opening times, we have a dentist available who can advise you on the best course of action. 

Best wishes

The team at Claypath Dental Practice 

Update 12/05/2020

The following statement has been released and published in the NHS Primary Care Bulletin by the Office of the Chief Dental Officer England, after the Prime Ministers address to the nation on 10th May 2020.

Yesterday evening (10 May 2020)  the Prime Minister announced the conditional plan to ease restrictions.  All dental guidance and Standard Operating Procedures currently in force remain unchanged. The temporary cessation of routine dentistry addresses the safety of patients and of dental teams as well as supporting the public health measures required to slow community transmission of COVID-19.  This advice has not changed

Update 11/05/2020

We hope you are well and keeping safe in these unprecedented times.

As many of you are aware, we are no longer able to provide routine dental treatment due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. However, for dental emergencies please contact the practice on 0191 386 5375.  We have a dentist available during normal working hours who can advise on pain relief and arrange referral for emergency treatment if required. 

Here at Claypath Dental Practice, we would like to provide you with some general oral health advice to help keep your teeth, gums and oral health in top condition until we can see each other again;

1:  Brush your teeth twice a day (last thing at night and at least on one other occasion) with Fluoride toothpaste for at least 2 minutes at a time. Spit do not rinse after brushing

2: Floss or use inter-dental brushes every day to remove food debris and plaque between your teeth and underneath your gums.

3: Try to avoid sugary foods and drinks as much as possible and restrict any consumption to mealtimes. Try some healthier alternatives when snacking such as raw vegetables and cheese.

4:  Drink more water. This can help wash out some of the negative effects of sticky and acidic foods and beverages in between brushes.

Stay safe and we look forward to seeing you again soon.

Update 19/04/2020

During these unprecedented times we are unable to provide the normal care that our patients are used to.  Our practice will provide telephone advice during normal working hours to patients and where necessary provide care in the form of prescriptions.

Urgent Dental Care Centres have also been established across the North East to provide limited face to face urgent treatment by exception and following completion of a telephone clinical assessment.

If you have an urgent dental problem outside of our opening hours, please consider if this could wait until the following day or over the weekend until we re open, rather than accessing the out of hours services.

If you are having a problem that is extremely severe and outside of our opening hours please contact the out of hours service through NHS 111.

If your dental problem includes uncontrolled bleeding or a swelling that is causing breathing problems this is an emergency and you should go to A&E.

We hope you are keeping well, staying safe and thank you for your understanding at these uncertain times.

The team at Claypath Dental Practice

Update 08/04/2020

The whole team at Claypath Dental Practice would like to thank our patients for your understanding at these very uncertain times. We are working togther with the Local Dental Community under the ever changing Government legislation and guidance to ensure we are able to treat our patients who are in pain as safely as possible.

Please see our pain management at home section for advice and guidance.

We hope you are all staying home, staying safe and staying well.

Thank you

UPDATE 26/03/2020

At these uncertain times the safety of both our staff and patients is very important to us at Claypath Dental Practice.

It is with a heavy heart that we inform you the practice CANNOT SEE ANY patients including emergencies for the foreseeable future.

Our team are working very hard contacting out patients to cancel all patients appointment until the end of May 2020 but please understand in this ever changing situation and we may be required to cancel further appointments in due course.

We are working closely with NHS England and the Local Dental Committees to find a safe solution to be able to offer emergency care for dental patients across the north east.

Only if you re having an emergency problem and require advice on how to manage this you are able to contact our on call dentist on 07423281209 Monday – Friday between the hours of 9:00an and 5:30pm for an over the phone consultation and advice.

We encourage everyone to stay at home, stay safe and help our NHS.

Due to COVID-19 Global Pandemic Claypath Dental Practice will only be open for emergency dental treatment until further notice.

Appointments: will be available 9:30am – 12:00pm and 2pm – 4:30pm Monday to Thursday, 9:30am – 12:00pm and 1:30 – 3:30pm on a Friday.

Please only come to the practice if you have an appointment and please do no bring anybody else with you to the appointment.

If you cannot get through to the reception team straight away please keep trying as we have a reduced number of staff working it may be difficult for them to answer the calls straight away.

If you or any member of your family have a temperature or a new of persistent cough please DO NOT make an appointment at the practice. Phone 111 for assistance.

If you are self isolating, do not wish to travel to the practice or you would like some dental advice please contact the practice and one of our team will be more than happy to help.

We understand the evolving COVID-19 situation will present a challenge to our patients and we want to reassure you that we are with you, we are in this together and we are here to help you.

As the situation surrounding COVID-19 continues to develop daily, we are doing everything we can to ensure that we keep our staff and patients safe whilst continuing to deliver the high-quality service you are used to.

Safety of our staff and patients is a priority.

Please consider your need to attend the practice and avoid attending for non-urgent appointments.

If you feel at all unwell (persistent cough, high temperature, shortness of breath) please phone the practice on 0191 3865375 to cancel and rearrange your appointment.

We are managing out supply of PPE (gloves, masks, visors, hand cleaning and sanitising products etc) to ensure that we treat you safely. However, if our supply becomes limited we may only be able to treat emergencies. We will make every effort to keep our patients informed.

The practice remains open as long as we have enough staff available to provide safe and effective treatment. Our dental team will do their best to provide telephone advice if you do not feel well enough to attend the surgery.

If the NHS instructs us to close the practice to help contain the spread of the virus we will have to do so. If this is the case and you require emergency dental treatment please contact 111.

We understand that the evolving COVID- 19 situation will present a challenge to our patients and we want to reassure you that we are with you, we are in this together and we are here to help you.

Best Wishes

The Claypath Dental Practice Team

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