When will dentists reopen? Dental practices in England set to open doors from today as parts of government lockdown exit plans
Dental practices in England reopened on Monday 8 June, as part of the Government’s phased plans to ease lockdown restrictions
Dental practices in England were able to reopen on Monday 8 June, if they put appropriate safety measures in place.
Here’s everything you need to know.
What is the latest government advice to dentists?
Dentists around England are now reopen.
Prior to this, all routine dental care in England was suspended on 25 March, with dentists having to provide patients with advice, analgesics and antibiotics over the phone where appropriate, with those then in need of emergency treatment being referred to urgent care hubs which have been set up in various spots around the UK.
The British Dental Association (BDA) recently welcomed the announcement, but said that key questions remain.
In a letter to all practices, when the 8 June reopening date was announced, NHS England's chief dental officer, Sara Hurley, said: "Today, we are asking that all dental practices commence opening from Monday, 8 June for all face-to-face care, where practices assess that they have the necessary IPC and PPE requirements in place."
The BDA has said that the ability of practices to reopen would depend on the availability of personal protective equipment (PPE).
BDA Chair Mick Armstrong said: “It is right to allow practices to decide themselves when they are ready to open. Dentists will be keen to start providing care as soon as safely possible, but we will need everyone to be patient as practices get up and running.
"Dentist can open their doors but won't be able to provide a full range of care without the necessary kit. Longer term practices can only stay afloat with ongoing support, while social distancing continues and the costs of providing care are sky high."
When will dentists reopen throughout the rest of the UK?
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon revealed Scotland's phased route map out of lockdown on Thursday (21 May), explaining that measures will begin to be relaxed from 29 May.
The plan features a phased return of NHS dental services in Scotland.
The Scottish Government’s phased return of NHS dental services in Scotland was outlined in a letter to the British Dental Association from Scotland’s Chief Dental Officer (CDO) Tom Ferris on 20 May.
He stated: “As you will be aware this is an extremely complex process. We need to be mindful of the oral health needs of patients balanced against the wider situation with Covid-19, and the essential requirements that we reduce the risk of community transmission and protect both patients and dental teams.”
The letter goes on to explain that aerosol generating procedures, which produce airborne material during dentistry procedures, carry an extra risk of transmission.
Wales is also looking at what adjustments will need to be made to NHS dentistry after lockdown.