Can I still go to the dentist? New rules for dentists and appointments in full

Government advice has told us all to stay indoors and minimise social contact - but can you still go to the dentist? What if you have a checkup scheduled?

Friday, 27th March 2020, 2:16 pm
Updated Friday, 27th March 2020, 2:18 pm
Should you still go to the dentist?

Official government advice has this week been issued to dentists following government guidance that everyone should stay home.

That advice makes it clear to dental practices that 'all routine, non-urgent care' should be stopped and postponed.

So if you have a check-up scheduled, the best thing to do would be to call your surgery and rearrange.

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But if your case is urgent and you need emergency treatment, you can still contact your dentist.

The guidance says:

"1. All routine, non-urgent dental care including orthodontics should be stopped and deferred until advised otherwise.

"2. All practices should establish (independently or by collaboration with others) a remote urgent care service, providing telephone triage for their patients with urgent needs during usual working hours, and whenever possible treating with: • Advice • Analgesia • Antimicrobial means where appropriate

"3. If the patient’s condition cannot be managed by these means, then they will need to be referred to the appropriate part of their Local Urgent Dental Care system.

"These new arrangements will involve providers working with defined groups of patients to manage urgent dental care needs only, with appropriate separation arrangements in place to manage patient status and professional safety.

"These will be established via NHSE/I regions to manage urgent care dental needs in the specific groups of patients.

"Some practices and community dental services may need to become designated providers of urgent dental care as part of these Local Urgent Dental Care systems during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"This will be determined and agreed with each practice as part of the regionally-organised system.

"4. All community outreach activities such as oral health improvement programmes (e.g. Starting Well, routine non-urgent work in care homes) and dental surveys should be stopped until advised otherwise."

So for now, keep brushing your teeth and looking after your oral health, but don't head to the dentist - call them if you have an emergency.

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