At the start of 2020, as reporting increased concerning the spread of a new and dangerous pandemic emerging, many countries around the world began to follow events in China more closely and wondered how far-reaching and serious the effects of Covid-19 would be for the planet’s population.
Here in Fethiye, in many ways, as those that live here or visit the area frequently will know, it can feel a little like we are in a safe and secluded ‘bubble’, away from the hustle, bustle and drama of both the bigger Turkish cities as well as the wider world in general. However, as the leaders of multiple countries began to talk of border closures and cancelled flights, it became increasingly obvious that even our blissful Fethiye lifestyles would be rattled by this new Coronavirus. By mid-March, a decision was made to close all schools, as well as many other types of businesses across a whole array of sectors, including dentistry.
In order to protect the wellbeing and health of both staff members and our patients, the DOC clinic made the difficult decision to place most of our team on temporary leave and just keep a small number of skeleton staff to deal with purely emergency cases that could not be postponed due to the pandemic situation.
Over the following weeks, the DOC team took all the necessary and conceivable safety and hygiene-related precautions to take care of our patients with the maximum level of safety and care. The treatment rooms were sterilized before and after each patient and the appropriate and necessary personal protective equipment items (PPE) were utilized to minimalize the risk of infection and contamination. The practice was kept well ventilated, hand sanitation solution was provided and all patients’ temperatures were measured upon arrival. In addition to these preventative measures, a brand new air filter – the TEOS Ozone Disinfection System – has been installed in the reception area to neutralize an array of unwanted viruses and bacteria.
A level of ‘new normality’
Once flights started re-operating properly towards the end of July, business slowly returned to some level of ‘new normality’ and throughout August and September, we experienced a significant influx of both domestic patients as well as health tourists. The latter having been frustrated in their home countries after their treatments had been postponed for months on end by their own regular dentists, with no sign of being able to get an appointment in the near future, due to an ever increasing backlog and the continuing Covid-19 scenario.
Many patients had been suffering with chronic tooth ache for weeks on end, due to a number of factors; from broken teeth and fillings to cracked crowns, infections and some serious abscesses. Tourists not initially planning to have treatment whilst on holiday have also been making appointments for their regular check-ups and scale and polish treatments to be carried out, to avoid an undefined period of waiting upon their return home.
As the tourism season now unfortunately draws rather abruptly to an early close due to the recently imposed 14-day quarantine requirement and the FCO advice against all non-essential travel to Turkey, the DOC clinic, along with many others in Fethiye and across Turkey, will be waiting with baited (yet fresh) breath as to what developments will occur over the coming months and leading up to the start of the new 2021 tourism season.
We would like to extend our deepest gratitude to our many valued patients, new and old, who have chosen to put their faith in our dental expertise and their overall health in our trusted hands since we opened our doors, but particularly over the past seven months during these difficult and uncertain circumstances. We very much look forward to greeting both new and regular faces to transform lives, one smile at a time, as we head into the New Year and throughout 2021.
If you would like any further information about the treatments we offer, feel free to get in touch with one of our international patient coordinators or by visiting our website: www.doc.com.tr
SMILE WITH YOUR DOC!
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