Coronavirus (Covid-19) Information about seeing a dentist

This guide provides some information about seeing a dentist at this current time.

Seeing a Dentist 20.7.20

 KEY POINTS

On 28 May, the government announced that dentists could resume normal services from 8 June.

From 20 July NHS England announced that practices should resume face to face appointments.

Practices have been preparing for a safe opening however some are not yet able to offer a full service. Patients should follow the advice for accessing dental services set out in this document and continue to contact their dentist in the first instance for advice. We have included some answers to frequently asked questions.

  • At present, you may encounter problems getting routine dental care. Whilst many dental practices have reopened, dentists are able to see far fewer patients per day than normal (5-7 rather than 30) because of social distancing, and the requirement to have “fallow” periods between patients (this is roughly an hour between patients to allow for a deep clean and to lessen any risk of coronavirus onward transmission). There is also a backlog of patients who need to be seen as a consequence of the closure of practices during lockdown and practices. Practices may temporarily struggle to see any new patients.
  • You should contact a dentist if they require medical help. You should contact the dental practice you are registered with first, or any dental practice near to your home if you are not registered with one.
  • Face to face dental appointments are resuming, but practices will only do so where it is safe to do so. The decision is for individual practices to make when they have the safety requirements in place.
  • Dentists are continuing to provide advice by telephone, to prescribe medications such as pain relief and antibiotics for a suspected infection.

URGENT DENTAL CARE

  • If a dentist thinks you need to be seen for urgent treatment, they will make a referral to an Urgent Dental Care Hubs (UDCs). Please note that you cannot self-refer to one of these Hubs.
  • You can still be referred to a Hub for urgent dental treatment if you have symptoms of COVID-19 or are vulnerable or shielding, although you will be seen at dedicated sites only.
  • We understand that more dental practices are signing up to become UDCs to ease the situation for those needing emergency care.

Some Hubs are based outside of Brighton, but support is available to help you travel to these sites.

Home care

We have also attached some advice about how to deliver self-care for common dental issues such as toothache, wisdom teeth pain, ulcers, lost crowns and knocked-out teeth.

Dental advice – home care

 

Should you have any questions or require further information please contact us by email: office@healthwatchbrightonandhove.co.uk

20 July 2020