RE: Resumption of dental services in England
The goal for patients and professionals is to resume the safe and effective provision of the full range of care in all practices, as rapidly as practicable.
In developing this approach, we recognise:
• clear safety standards, including personal protective equipment (PPE) and infection prevention and control (IPC) protocols are required to safely deliver dental care, as recommended by Public Health England (PHE)
• that given the dual impacts of IPC requirements and changed patient behaviour during the pandemic, previous operating volumes will inevitably phase back in
• that remote consultations will continue as part of a practice’s revised operating model
The sequencing and scheduling of patients for treatment as services resume will take into account:
• the urgency of needs
• the particular unmet needs of vulnerable groups
• available capacity to undertake activity
Please do not attend the practice if you do not have an appointment.
We have been working in partnership with NHS England as an Urgent Dental Centre for our area and this will continue after the 8th June. Any of our own patients requiring urgent dental treatment may still contact us as usual (preferably by email to request a call back from a dentist).
In order to get back to “normal” we must phase our approach, not only for patient safety, but staff as well.
With this in mind, over the next few weeks we will be contacting those patients who have treatment outstanding, giving those who are in pain priority.
We will be encouraging the following patients to attend:
1. Patients with active gum disease (at this time we will not be able to deep clean teeth due to COVID-19 protocols). We will assist you with hand scaling and highlighting the areas you are missing.
2. Continuation of denture work, crown work and crown repairs where eating/talking is causing you a problem.
3. Dr Allen will be contacting the remaining Invisalign patients individually about their course of treatment.
We cannot offer any cosmetic work at this time and we will keep you updated as to when this can start.
All routine check ups will not go ahead at this time, we have articles on oral hygiene and handy tips on our website here.
Previous advice that is still in effect:
- Guidance will set out that individuals will still be asked to self-isolate for 7 days from the onset of COVID-19 symptoms but any individuals in the household will now be asked to self-isolate for 14 days from that moment as well. (https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-guidance-for-households-with-possible-covid-19-infection)
- Travel history is now irrelevant
- Anyone with a high temperature or continuous cough who is WELL can stay at home and does not need to engage with NHS111 or be tested.
- Anyone with a high temperature or continuous cough who is UNWELL should go to NHS111 online first for advice, rather than approaching their GP practice or pharmacy (111.nhs.uk/covid-19)
- This applies to staff as well as patients
Emergency appointments for people with COVID-19 or symptoms will be referred to a specialist dental centre.
- You may email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to request a call back for triage
- All routine, non-urgent dental care including orthodontics have been stopped and deferred until advised otherwise. Please minimise the use of the answering machine and phone line for urgent needs only.
- We will be providing telephone triages and will be giving advice to patients with urgent needs.
- We are being sent urgent patients referred to us from the emergency dental services for our area as part of our Local Urgent Dental Care system.
Routine NHS Work examples:
- Mild or moderate pain, pain not associated with an urgent care condition and that responds to pain relief
- Minor dental trauma – such as banged primary tooth, bitten lip etc.
- Post extraction bleeding that patient is able to control
- Loose or displaced crowns that are not causing any issues
- Fractured loose fitting dentures that are not causing any issues
- Fractured posts that are not causing any issues
- Fractured fillings and/or teeth with mild or moderate pain that are not causing any issues
Urgent Dental Problems examples:
- Dental and soft tissue infections without a systemic effect
- Severe dental and facial pain, pain that cannot be controlled
- Fractured teeth with pulpal exposure or severe pain
Dental Emergency examples:
- Trauma including facial oral laceration / dental alveolar injury for example avulsion of a permanent tooth
- Facial swelling that is significant and worsening
- Post extraction bleeding that the patient is not able to control
- Dental condition resulting in acute systemic illness or raised temperature
- Severe trismus (lockjaw)
- Oro dental conditions likely to exacerbate medical conditions such as diabetes and cancer patients.
The Emergency Dental Services number for non-registered patients is
0300 1234 010
When routine dental care resumes later in the year, it is ultimately the patients responsibility to book an appointment. Our best efforts have been made to move patients appointments to later in the year, so that you remain registered. Any patient who does not attend the practice within a 2 year period for a check-up will be de-registered.