What’s the status quo with dentists during the pandemic?
I have seen an alarming number of pleas for help on various public forums from desperate people suffering dental pain and not knowing what to do. So, we thought we would try and shed some light and help if we can.
Dental practices across the UK have been instructed to close clinics during the lockdown. Dental practices should be available to contact for telephone/email triaging and we can remotely prescribe various medications should we feel you need it. Telephone consultations will also help your dentist decide if you are suffering a true dental emergency. In these cases, you may be referred to an Urgent Dental Centre, which have been set up with the appropriate personal protective equipment to treat those who need it.
If you do not have a dentist, or cannot contact your dentist, try and find another practice to contact (the majority of our calls are coming from people such as these). There is also a dental triage service which is sometimes available through 111, however, it is preferable to find a dental professional first.
The exception to the above advice is if you are having difficulty swallowing or opening your eyes due to a dental swelling. This needs urgent care and you should call 111 or attend A&E.
The longer this situation continues, the more creative we are having to be to help people as best we can whilst strict regulations are in place. This has been frustrating for patients and clinicians alike, however, we know that our sacrifices and compromises are for the greater good.
We appreciate it can be confusing to know what a genuine dental emergency is. Generally, it is something that will cause likely hospitalisation if not dealt with. At Chelsea and Fulham Dentist, we have come up with an advice sheet to help you manage some of your conditions at home, but to also help you decide when and who you should contact should you have any dental issues. To get a copy, or for more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org
The lift of lockdown is already underway. We are confident that we will shortly be able to open our doors once more. There will be a phased approach and we already have a lengthy waiting list, but we will be trying our best to address everyone’s concerns. Thank you for your patience.
We cannot wait to see you all again as soon as it is safe to do so, until then, call us is you need help.