From April - September 2021, dentists are required to deliver at least 60% of normal activity. However, the dental commissioners have reported that it will take a few months before dental services return to providing the same amount of care that patients are used to.
The following advice has been provided by the local dentistry commissioners for patients to use.
Dental advice to patients
- Please only visit your practice if you have an appointment and telephone to book an appointment only if essential – dentists are currently prioritising the vulnerable or those with the most urgent need.
- Appointments for some routine treatments, such as dental check-ups, may have to be delayed for a later date.
- Your practice will look a little different than usual as they will be operating in a way that observes COVID-19 social distancing and hygiene rules to ensure everyone’s safety.
- If you develop an urgent dental issue telephone your regular dental practice (or any NHS practice if you don’t have a regular dentist) for advice on what to do next.
- Dental issues will be triaged over the telephone, initially. If the dentist thinks that you need face to face care, you will be given an appointment either with the practice or at an urgent dental care centre and advised to attend as long as you do not have any COVID-19 symptoms.
- Anyone clinically triaged as requiring treatment will be given clear instructions by the dental practice on what they need to do prior to their face-to-face appointment and once they get to the practice.
- If after a telephone triage the clinician decides the issue is not urgent, you may be given advice on how to self-manage the dental problem. You will be advised to make contact again if your situation changes/worsens
For out of hours care:
- Toothache should initially be managed with over the counter pain relief until an appointment can be made with your general dental practice. A pharmacist can advise you what is the best pain control to meet your needs.
- Lost fillings, crowns or bridges, broken teeth or braces are not usually deemed to be clinically urgent and patients are advised to contact their local dental practice when they re-open.
- Only ring NHS 111 out of hours when your dental needs cannot be met by self-care and cannot wait till your practice is open to contact them for advice.