The Minister for Public Health, Sport and Wellbeing confirmed that, from 1 November 2020, your dental practice will again be able to start to provide the normal range of NHS dental treatments.
Following this, the Chief Dental Officer wrote directly to NHS dentists. In his letter he stated that "You should be assured that I fully recognise the position that a return to pre-COVID levels of patient volume will not be achievable under the current health protection measures. I am aware that it will still be necessary for you to prioritise appointments for patients requiring urgent dental care, those at greatest risk of oral disease and the backlog of patients from during the ‘lockdown’. This is not business as usual"
Please remember that we are all still in the midst of a pandemic. The over-arching priority for your dental team will continue to be the safety of their patients and staff as well as the public in general. By maintaining the highest standards of health and safety and infection control we can reduce the risk of COVID-19.
The current health protection measures require your dental practice team to await settling of the fine mist produced during some dental treatments to avoid spread of the virus. This amounts to at least 20 minutes (and often more) after those procedures that the surgery is inaccessible. This means that the normal throughput of patients in your dental practice will be severely restricted.
Over the next few weeks, your dentist will need to prioritise those patients that need access to dental services and this may mean unfortunately a further wait for some patients until more “routine” appointments can be offered. Routine checkups may be some way off for some practices still unfortunately.
This is not business as usual for dentistry and will not be for some time to come. Please be assured myself and your dentist have the same singular aim to provide you with the best level of dental service in the safest way possible and thank you for your patience as we negotiate the next stage of this public health emergency.
Chief of Dentistry – NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde