Dear all patients and friends.
I hope you are well and safe.
During this turbulent and uncertain times of lockdown, a world pandemic has suddenly changed the way we live our lives. Even a simple visit to the supermarket becomes a stressful checklist of precautions, to avoid getting infected by this invisible enemy, the COVID-19.
Since the last week of March, all the Dental Practices in the U.K. were forced to close their doors by the government, as part of the measures taken to reduce the risk of transmission of the virus, to protect our NHS capabilities of coping with the most severely affected patients. Until the day I am writing this blog, the Chief Dental Officer (CDO) guidance states that the dentist should have a telephone advice service, to carry out the AAA (Advice, Analgesia and Antimicrobials). As more and more Urgent Dental Care (UDC) hubs have been set up, to see some of the most severe cases of dental emergencies, we now have the option of referring some cases to these hubs for face-to-face treatments. The main limitations of these UDCs are: very demanding criteria to refer patients, not many slots available, incurring in long waiting times and, most worryingly, teeth that could have potentially been saved by performing Root Treatment Therapy end up being removed. In addition, some of these newly set hubs are already closing their doors, mainly due to lack of funding by the government.
In this difficult context, the British Dental Association (BDA) and the British Association of Private Dentistry (BAPD) are working very hard to make sure all Dental Practices in the U.K. can resume their clinical work, to deal with the massive backlog of patients struggling with dental problems.
We are anxiously waiting for the government to update the “bounce back” guidance,so will have a better idea of the timeframe to reopen the Dental Practices.
In the meantime, I will write about some of the measures we will be taking to carry on providing Dentistry to the same high and safe standards as pre-lockdown.
1. Tele Dentistry
2. Dental appointments and social distancing
3. Dental procedures and COVID-19
4. Rubber Dam