COVID-19 Update

COVID-19 Update 2020-04-23T13:02:03+00:00

Dear Patients and your families

You, like all of our patients, are part of our family at Bracken Barrett & Associates. And, just like you, keeping our family safe and healthy during this challenging time is our first concern. In order to protect your overall health as well as your oral health, we have taken the following measures. We felt that we needed to update you as to the local government guidance and instructions we are bound to follow and what services we have put in place to help you during this very difficult time.

Postponing all routine appointments

In keeping with the latest government advice, all routine appointments have been suspended from the 23rd March. Don’t worry, this doesn’t mean your appointment has been cancelled. If you had an appointment booked you can expect to hear from us soon to rearrange it for a later date and I know the reception staff are still working to manage the appointments booked already.

When it’s safe for us to operate normally again, we will be extending our opening hours to make sure that no-one is waiting longer than they have to for their check-ups. All those who have had emergencies will be prioritised.

Be assured we are still here to help

Ensuring you are cared for is a duty that the whole practice team takes very seriously. Rest assured we will provide all possible assistance that is safe and in line with government guidance.

All the dentists, health permitting, will be available for telephone conversations and advice in normal working hours. Please let our reception team know and your dentist will call you back at a mutually convenient time.

I’m sure you can appreciate that in order to adhere to social distancing advice, and to protect our team members who are in a vulnerable category, the number of staff still in the practice has been significantly reduced. If you contact the team, please be patient as we try to answer all queries with the limited staff available. You, and every patient of ours, matter a lot and while we may be slower to respond than normal, we haven’t forgotten you.

Emergency treatment at the Practice – Suspending emergency appointments

The government has recently put restrictions on all care, including emergency treatment. All emergency treatment will now be provided by dedicated emergency centres. If you find yourself in a dental emergency during our regular treating hours, please call the practice and a member of our team will help direct you to an emergency centre, or provide advice if emergency treatment isn’t necessary. If you need help outside of our normal practicing hours, call the hospital who will inform the on call dentist.

We have been able to provide some temporary dressing kits where appropriate.

It’s vital that you don’t put yourself or anyone else at any unnecessary risk. If you’re experiencing a problem and you’re not sure if it requires emergency treatment please consult the emergency questionnaire below. We have our hands bound currently by the authorities and we would like to reassure you we are working with them to keep this situation under control.

I can’t stress any more how important you are to us, not just as a business but personally. Please do everything you can to keep yourselves and those around you safe. Don’t take unnecessary risks and for the moment stay indoors wherever possible. Please be patient with us and accept our apologies for the current inconvenience you may be experiencing.

I can’t wait to see you again and have the chance to talk under better circumstances. If you have any questions, please call our team on 01534 722288 or email us at

Best regards

Dr Jane Bracken MSc BDS

Emergency Questionnaire

Do I need emergency treatment? 

Don’t take any unnecessary risks. If you’re experiencing a dental problem, these questions will help you decide if you need to be seen for urgent treatment.


  1. Is it following a tooth extraction? If yes, have you bitten on the gauze provided for 15 minutes?If you haven’t, there’s no need to call yet.
    If you have, call for emergency advice ASAP.
  2. Is it your gums that are bleeding? If yes, this is not urgent and there is no need to book. Was the bleeding caused by a blow or other trauma to your mouth? If yes, call for emergency advice ASAP.


  1. Have you noticed any swelling around the tooth or can it be seen on the outside of your face?Does the swelling extend to your eye/neck? If yes, call for emergency advice ASAP.
  2. Is the swelling affecting your vision, your breathing or is it preventing you from opening your mouth more than two fingers wide? If yes to any of these, go straight to A&E.


  1. Has the trauma caused you to experience any loss of consciousness, blurred vision or vomiting? If yes to any of these, go straight to A&E and call the practice.
  2. Has the trauma broken a tooth or has a tooth fallen out? If yes to either, call for emergency advice ASAP.


  1. Is the pain making it hard to eat or affecting your sleep? If yes, this may be urgent but if the pain can be managed with pain-relief then consider the risk of attending an appointment before you call.

Is attending an emergency appointment safe for you and others?

If you or anyone in your house is self-isolating, do not book an emergency appointment. If you are experiencing any symptoms, like a continuous cough or a high temperature, do not book an emergency appointment.

If you do need to attend an emergency appointment, please follow these guidelines:

  1. Please come alone, unless you have children and don’t have child care
  2. Please come 10 minutes earlier to complete a medical form
  3. Please bring reading glasses if you need them
  4. Please bring a list of the medications you take

The following problems are non-urgent and do not require an emergency appointment:

  • Loose or lost crowns, bridges or veneers
  • Fractured or loose dentures
  • Fractured, loose or displaced fillings
  • Chipped teeth with no pain
  • Loose wires
  • Bleeding gums