Resume Dental Treatment

Re-deploy NHS volunteers currently not needed at hospitals to assist with dental practice health & safety in order for preventative and restorative treatment to recommence. Assign sufficient PPE and implement adequate infection control procedures in order fo dentists to resume safe treatment.

Why the contribution is important

Adequate dental treatment critical for overall long term health. 6 weeks of no treatment already resulting in patient pain, discomfort, stress and lost teeth. Longer term health implications of inadequate dental care also need borne in mind.

by NickPrentice on May 05, 2020 at 01:11PM

Current Rating

Average rating: 4.8
Based on: 121 votes


  • Posted by amw May 05, 2020 at 13:18

    Very important issue and needs to be addressed urgently. Dentists already use PPE and perhaps other measures such as taking temperature prior to treatment could be easily introduced.
  • Posted by Garywall8787 May 05, 2020 at 13:18

    100% agreed
  • Posted by Scotland1 May 05, 2020 at 13:18

    An essential service
  • Posted by Pat May 05, 2020 at 13:21

    There will be long term health issues if adequate dental care is not provided. Patients are currently 6 weeks without dental support
  • Posted by Julietbravo May 05, 2020 at 13:27

    What s wrong with existing staff returning to work GPs and hosp still have to see patients surely they can vet patients prior to appointment
  • Posted by Fifewifey May 05, 2020 at 13:27

    Resuming dental care is hugely important before the backlog gets too big for practitioners to cope with
  • Posted by twentyoneforever May 05, 2020 at 13:29

    If care home workers who wear PPE when in close contact with residents, can dentists not wear the same? Patients would wear a PPE apron to be disposed of immediately. Lots of hand washing as well.
  • Posted by Piefke May 05, 2020 at 13:31

    Dentistry is a very high risk procedure, high speed drills generate aerosol, the normal surgical face masks usually worn would not be sufficient. Also every surface in the room ends up contaminated. It's important to get dentistry working as soon as possible but it requires training and investment
  • Posted by Julie May 05, 2020 at 13:43

    This is just as essential as GP visits. Leaving people in pain for weeks on end is not acceptable and a dental abscess can be very dangerous. While there is some very limited provision during lockdown it is not readily accessible and people prefer to see their own dentist with whom they have built up trust.
  • Posted by Bill May 05, 2020 at 14:27

    Totally agree. 6 weeks waiting for this to happen and reopen. Huge pain advised to used painkillers...6 weeks with painkillers and antibiotics. How good is this for our immune system? Dentists using PPE. As in rest of EU is allowed please let us also see dentist and visit dental practices.
  • Posted by AMcD May 05, 2020 at 14:31

    This is an essential service - dental treatment has been flung back decades, with extraction pretty much the only option for dentail pain. Provide adequate PPE for dentists.
  • Posted by Aa May 05, 2020 at 15:05

    Dental care must be resumed as quickly as possible. Poor dental health can have real and severe consequences for general health.
  • Posted by RWilkie May 05, 2020 at 16:15

    Dental care is essential. It really is not good enough to tell people with loose crowns or other fixable dental problems that they have to wait till they get an infection and then only offer extraction as once there is a deep-seated infection in a tooth socket antibiotics will only buy time and not allow complete resolution. Very short-sighted. Dentists do and should continue o use full PPE. If someone has a dental problem, make an appointment 7 days ahead and ask them to self isolate for that time, and if no symptoms of coronavirus have appeared then very safe to continue with dental treatment.
  • Posted by Cokell May 06, 2020 at 09:39

    100% agree they should be allowed to re-open.
  • Posted by Sccw May 06, 2020 at 12:42

    I would like to know if there is any plan being debated to provide emergency services for dental treatments. I have tooth abscess and antibiotics almost finished and pain still present. Speaking to dentist tomorrow but not expecting anything other than more meds. Do I end up at A&E for extraction and add to hospital workload?
  • Posted by AlexaJoy May 06, 2020 at 14:55

    Just yes woth PPE for both dentist and patient
  • Posted by FionaMcDonald76 May 06, 2020 at 15:07

    Taking into account the risk of aerosols, full PPE should be provided and patients temperature checked/screened for symptoms before treatment. Otherwise its important that dental services are able to resume quickly.
  • Posted by Sorcha2222 May 06, 2020 at 20:15

    totally agree
  • Posted by Itsjustmehere May 06, 2020 at 20:42’s awful that people are being left in pain without help.
  • Posted by JackieScott May 06, 2020 at 23:32

    There needs to be covid testing for patients prior to dental treatment being carried out - either day before, or day of treatment. This will allow dentists to continue to treat patients as before without having to deep clean the room between each patient with 'potential' covid, as this wouldn't be sustainable for dentist. They would end up seeing 2 patients a day having to deep clean the dental surgery!! So covid testing needs to be set up robustly to allow dentists to resume in any kind of fashion similar to pre covid
  • Posted by christine72 May 07, 2020 at 07:06

    Completely agree - even if I’m a phased approach eg could do work that doesn’t use aerosol (not sure how much that it but better than the no treatment option as now).
  • Posted by nigheanmhath May 07, 2020 at 11:45

    If nothing else because I've ground my teeth to dust during this pandemic! ;)
  • Posted by Lbryjacq May 07, 2020 at 22:35

    Agreed, current pathways in place are designed to delay essential dental work for those in pain unless absolutely necessary and if a person reaches an emergency extra dental service only limited procedures can be undertaken. Whilst we understand the risks in procedures, has consideration been given to the risks of providing weeks and weeks of antibiotics and the back log of dental treatment required when they re-open? If using full PPE and decontaminated surgeries appropriately can we not manage the risk like a lot of other services.
  • Posted by Boobills May 08, 2020 at 10:47

    It is stated that dentists are still open - when clearly THEY ARE NOT! When can we expect to be in receipt of dental care once again?
  • Posted by Yoshi May 08, 2020 at 13:01

    Agree, this has to be looked at as a priority, it’s a public health issue
  • Posted by DaveD May 08, 2020 at 14:11

    Agree with previous comments. I am using paracetamol & ibuprofen all day every day to control tooth pain and have been told that antibiotics are the next step once an abcess has been allowed to develop. Presumably the next planned step is to go to A&E when things get really bad. I don't understand why we're being encouraged to continue to use doctors & A&E for other health issues, but not dentists for tooth problems.
  • Posted by Anonymous1 May 08, 2020 at 19:40

    It’s hard to imagine how anyone thought a complete shutdown of dental treatment for months would be acceptable.
  • Posted by WBRnotes May 08, 2020 at 20:58

    I've great sympathy with this. It would be good to have dentists working again - at least for emergencies. Perhaps patients could be issued with cheap paper coveralls and dentists could wear proper N95 masks or similar? I'm not a specialist in this area but appreciate keeping surgeries and patients infection free would be vital.
  • Posted by Heron May 09, 2020 at 14:47

    Widen the type of treatments people can access through dentists. A small hole in a tooth that isn't treated now will worsen. It could cause an abscess and that could have serious health implications.
  • Posted by Sarah25 May 09, 2020 at 18:33

    Agree with dentists being made available. We are back in 1950s with this dentistry. Even just for more expanded emergency procedures other than extracting teeth!! People are in discomfort and cant rely on pain killers for weeks/months. Nor is the use of temporary filling kits which as name suggests “temporary” and do not last! SG is setting population up for possibly more future issues. Appears that SG are solely focussed on COVID19 which FM said herself is “a relatively mild illness for vast majority” and therefore the rest of healthcare is out of window.
  • Posted by Moj14 May 10, 2020 at 13:37

    Please re open Dentists as soon as physically possible. I have had a significant dental issue for weeks and not having dental care available is awful and debilitating for many I am sure and possibly ultimately dangerous.
  • Posted by Maggi May 10, 2020 at 15:12

    100% agree. Please re-open dentists asap. Dental health is critical to general health and wellbeing.
  • Posted by Ginger May 10, 2020 at 18:26

    It’s worse that 1950s or even 1750s. I would be quite happy to have my tooth out to get rid of the pain but even that isn’t allowed
  • Posted by StayAtHomeSaveLives May 11, 2020 at 05:35

    Absolutely. My dental prectice is well versed in PPE, but cannot open as there is a blanket ban. Rapid assessments & approval needed for good quality dental practices which are able to demonstrate previous training & capacity to safely handle aerosol-generating procedures
  • Posted by davidcoffield May 11, 2020 at 11:23

    This is one of the biggest failings of the SG lockdown and if you have, as you seem to, actual dentists on here telling you they can work safely then who on earth is in charge of this and why not. Mine always have PPE on anyway. Same for hygenists (if they do things more old school).
  • Posted by beachhut May 11, 2020 at 15:00

    Please open up our dentists ASAP, would easily pay extra for ppe
  • Posted by Greenside85 May 11, 2020 at 16:50

    As a dental practice owner I have a number of issues about reopening. 1) The increased cost of new, more rigorous PPE must be met by SG or the patient, not the individual NHS practices. There are talks of PPE for aerosol generating procedures (fillings, crown preparations, ultrasonic scalings) costing up to £40 per patient per visit. This is not sustainable for an NHS practice. 2) The potential increased ‘downtime’ between AGP patients has to be addressed. There are rumours of surgeries being out of action for 60minutes after an AGP procedure. This downtime will kill NHS practices unless we can have higher fees from SG or are allowed to charge appropriately. Please be aware this is not a statement looking to profiteer. Our NHS income is fixed by SG on a fee per item basis, if our costs increase exponentially then we will have no option but to go private and then there is no regulating the fees and the patients lose out. There are genuine concerns that dental practices, once reopened, could go out of business leading to redundancies for staff, less income for dental labs and no patient care in remote areas with only one dentist if bills cannot be paid.
  • Posted by PKWhite May 11, 2020 at 18:15

    As a practitioner, our practice is keen to help our own patients (and any others) as soon as possible, especially as our volunteer dentists who have worked at the Urgent Dental Centres report they are only using the same PPE as we normally do so it is hard to understand why we cannot see our own patients at our own practice. From the policy document released by the British Association of Private Dentists - As dental professionals, we have existing expertise at implementing universal precautions and a consistently high level of cross infection control. (R. Shah, 2009) and there is currently no evidence anywhere in the world of excess SARS-CoV-2 infections within dentist and dental care professional (DCP) populations. (T. Cook, 2020) (C. Heneghan, 2020) (Chustecka, 2020). Additionally, there are no reports of Super Spreader Events (SSEs) or “hotspots” for patient or dental non-clinical staff member infections with SARS-CoV-2 anywhere, worldwide. (Kay, 2020) And- There is no evidence of SARS-CoV-2 transmission between dental professionals and patients. The most up to date study from Wuhan (Meng at al 2020) suggest no reported deaths from the provision of dental care to COVID-19 positive patients. Studies such as those conducted by Richards (2020) highlight the role of rubber dam in prevention of micro-organism spread, and consequently need serious consideration. This has been adopted by many countries as a reason to keep the profession providing a much-needed service. The UK has created a situation where dental practices have closed, without any scientific evidence supporting these decisions, risking patient health in the process. The financial impact of this is beyond the scope of this article; the reality is, however, dire for many practices nationwide. Many of these practices have the required PPE in place to provide a non-AGP emergency service from tomorrow, instantly easing the workload of UDCs and reducing the need for patients to travel. The financial impacts upon practices acting as a UDC have not gone unnoticed in the national press in recent days, as well as reports of inadequate PPE provision. It would seem standard PPE and procedures prior to the outbreak were working and so any changes to operating procedure should be evidence based and not based on a theoretical risk. Dentists and their staff should be assuming the patient is carrying something infective and used to thorough hand cleaning and cleaning of the surgery between patients. The only negative to all practices reopening and treating patients would be the pressures on already scarce PPE equipment. It is well established that patients, generally, would prefer to have their dental treatment carried out by their normal dentist who they have developed a trust in. Hopefully with reasonable and realistic risk assessment to protect staff and patients we can get back to something approaching normality in the dental profession. Our triaging so far has identified a growing backlog of patients with issues that will have to be addressed before routing care can be resumed.
  • Posted by rptcal May 11, 2020 at 18:19

    I think it is very important to resume dental treatment with adequate PPE and hygiene practices .
  • Posted by Panjam May 11, 2020 at 20:33

    Please open the dentists up again. Chipped teeth are only going to get worse if they're not seen to quickly.
  • Posted by Cararoberts May 11, 2020 at 20:39

    It’s hard to think of few things more essential to health and well being than basic dental care. The government have given the impression that the NHS is still “open and there for you” and that emergency hubs are available for treatment. It seems this is not the case. I am greatly distressed to discover the emergency hubs are providing little else but tooth extractions and that basic dental care is simply not available and that there is no timeline for services to resume. My busy 3 dentist surgery has referred nobody to the emergency hubs in 8 weeks since they don’t want unnecessary tooth extractions so have countless patients including myself having to cope with ongoing pain with no treatment options except advising us to take painkillers. Today my dentist told me on the phone it is like going back 200 years and that if he could see me he could solve the pain in 15 minutes. As it is I’m trying to juggle my key worker role and manage two small children with no support in constant pain. I’ve never felt so let down and frankly desperate. To me this is an essential service and the current situation feels bordering on the barbaric. Given the closures are about the risks to dentists and there is no end to this situation imminent then surely dental practices need proper PPE and whatever else they need to provide safe treatment as a matter or urgency.
  • Posted by IMcK May 11, 2020 at 21:03

    It's not yet clear that many dental procedures can be made safe whilst coronavirus is relatively common, even with unlimited PPE. I support the provision of emergency dental care, but believe that the majority of dental problems can be managed very well in the short term with telephone advice. Where this isn't possible, then of course provide treatment, but I don't think we're yet at the stage where routine dentistry is a good idea. Most dentistry can wait longer than you would expect.
  • Posted by Brett May 11, 2020 at 21:35

    Dental treatment out with a hospital setting is required for emergency and preventative care. Perhaps by increasing the number of locations in local areas through the pooling of resources into hubs. Before a gradual return to independent practice.
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