The Chief Dental Officer for Wales has set out a plan to start to reopen dentists, starting on 1 July
Dr Collette Bridgman said: “Coronavirus has not gone away and it is likely we will be living with the virus and its consequences for some time to come. The return of dental services will be gradual, in line with the Welsh Government’s cautious, wider approach to easing lockdown.”
The three phases have been published to explain how dental services will be restarted:
- First phase: Urgent dental centres and dental practices will introduce more treatments and a full range of care, including fillings, will be available at some local dental practices to everyone who urgently needs them and has experienced problems during lockdown. This group of people will be offered assessment and care first.
- Second phase: A full range of care will be available in more practices and prioritised for people who need treatment, including those who have had treatment delayed because of the pandemic.
- Third phase: routine check-ups for people with no dental problems and good oral health will be resumed.
Dr Bridgman said: “To help reduce the spread of coronavirus, since March we have scaled-back normal NHS dentistry services to help protect the public, dental teams and our local communities.”
Dentists have been open for urgent treatment during the lockdown. Dr Bridgman said 10,000 patients have been seen in practices and 125,000 consultations have taken place via phone or video services.
She said: “The first phase will begin from 1 July, prioritised by need. Strict infection control measures, including social distancing will be in place to protect dental practice staff and people being assessed.
“As normal dental services resume, we will continue to work to improve access to dental services for all.
“Everyone attending a NHS dentist will receive a full review of their teeth and gums as well as a detailed assessment of any known risks, keeping them informed about good oral health and to prevent future issues.”