In late March 2020, non-urgent dental activity stopped due to COVID-19. Urgent Dental Centres were then established in April. Dental practices started to reopen from 8th June.
We asked people if they had used or tried to use a dental service after 25th March 2020 and what their experience had been like. Also what suggestions they had for how dental practices could operate in the future.
The main headlines from this survey were as follows:
56 people responded to the survey, although some questions were answered by far fewer.
- 52% found it easy or very easy to find out information about how COVID-19 affected dental services
- 60% found it difficult or very difficult to find an NHS dental service to help them
- 25% never heard back from the dental service they contacted; More than three days elapsed before 38% heard back about an initial consultation
- 81% understood mostly or in full, the advice they received or explanation of the treatment they needed from the dentist they contacted.
- 57% understood how much they would be charged before they received any advice and/or treatment; 17% did not
- 52% felt they waited longer to see a dentist/other dental professional than pre-COVID-19
- 31% felt it was harder to speak to someone at the dental practice than pre-COVID.
- 26% were told they could not be seen due to lack of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
- 14% were asked to pay additional dental charges for PPE and 10% for cleaning costs
- 38% of those who received a consultation, received advice about how to treat a problem
- 33.3% were unable to access an Urgent Dental Centre (UDC) (only 12 people responded to this question/low numbers responding).
- Over one third (14.3% + 28.6%) were seen at a UDC within 2 days (only 7 people responded/low numbers responding).
- 60% were satisfied with advice they had received
- 59% were dissatisfied with waiting times to see someone