Looking for silver linings

Hello again, I hope that you are safe and well.  2020 is definitely a year we will not forget in a hurry.  As I write we are two weeks into lockdown 2.  It’s been tough for so many for all sorts of reasons.  I’m sort of fed up with being fed up, so, I’ve been looking at the ways we have had to adapt and change at the practice and in the health care profession of dentistry and pick out the bits that have been good and positive.

Green credentials

We’ve massively reduced the paper we use.  As much as we can we are sending forms electronically in a secure fashion.  This is working out really well.  We are part of the green achiever scheme and always looking at ways to improve our environmentally friendly position and reduce our carbon footprint.  It has gone down really well to be honest and communication has gotten faster.  The forms include medical histories, treatment plans and consents forms.

A bit remote

Doing things remotely has been key to social distancing.  The video platforms like zoom have been great to keep the team together with updates and training as well as a few quiz nights to keep up morale and have a laugh.  We’ve also been using it to explain treatment to patients, especially when it’s a bit complicated and difficult to explain in a letter.  We can share our screen and explain findings, including details in x-rays etc.  It has been really helpful and the feedback has been great.

The other thing that is great for me is that there is a lot more virtual platforms for remote learning.  I’m doing a practical course next week virtually!!  The company send the kit the day before the course. I log in and do a hands-on course via the computer at home.  This massively saves time and the inconvenience of travel and often board.  It’s amazing how people adapt.  On December 10th I’m actually a guest panellist on a dental education webinar called “giving back in dentistry” and I will be representing Dental Mavericks charity.

Can’t help being a geek

One thing that has been great and I really don’t know why we have not come across it before is a disinfectant called Hypochlorous acid.  It’s amazing stuff.  Earlier on in the year my hands got really sore with alcohol hand sanitiser etc.  Well, we are using hypochlorous now.  My hands have got softer.  Bleach (sodium hypochlorite) is NaOCl, hypochlorous acid is HOCl.  So, they are very similar and very effective against all micro-organisms.  The hypochlorous kills Covid in seconds.  Now you cannot wash your hands with bleach safely and definitely not use it as a mouthwash.  Well with hypochlorous acid you can as it is that safe.  It does taste a bit naff, like the dead sea laced with bleach but it does the trick. 

I spoke to the people that make the stabilised form of the product and have done all the testing and got all the credentials.  They were great.  Scientists with a passion.  They explained everything.  They have done some trials in ambulances now and believe they can be decontaminated in minutes with this stuff.  We use it on all surfaces apart from metal.  You can get corrosion on metal after a bit because it is such a strong oxidising agent.

On a personal note

I’ve thought this for a good while, but it is the simple things in life that are the best.  A walk on the beach, in the countryside, making a nice meal from scratch and sharing it with people you love.  Having a laugh with mates.  Chasing after stuff is just that.  I think that this year has reaffirmed this a great deal.  Stopping and looking at what is really important and not what social media and sales media try and convince you is important.  Getting back to basics, simplifying and slowing it down and being the real authentic YOU.   Here’s to a much improved 2021. 

Until next time.  Take care and be good.