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Your common dental questions during Covid-19

As you know, since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, we have been following official government advice to help stop the spread of the virus and have been unable to offer routine dentistry. However, our teams are still available to answer your questions by telephone to provide advice and help with any dental issues you and your family may face. 

If you have had a dental emergency requiring urgent care, we are also able to help you to see a dentist face-to-face.

As soon as we are able to restart routine dentistry, we will contact you to let you know. In the meantime, many of you have written in with queries, so I wanted to answer some of your most frequently asked questions.

QWhat should I do if I am in the middle of a course of treatment?

If you are currently undergoing treatment you should speak to your usual dentist for advice on what to do. You can reach them by calling your usual {my}dentist practice and arranging a time to speak to your dentist directly.

If you have any temporary fillings or crowns you should take care to clean the area with gentle brushing and flossing. Once we are able to reopen, we will prioritise patients who are in the middle of treatment wherever possible, or patients who have suffered a dental problem during lockdown.

QWhat can I do if I have minor pain and discomfort, but that is not urgent enough to be seen face-to-face?

In the first instance you can try to manage your symptoms at home using our online guide. Of course, you can also call your practice for further help. They will discuss your symptoms with you and, if necessary, offer further instructions, painkillers or antibiotics, if appropriate.

QMy own, or my child’s orthodontic treatment is on hold. Will this affect their teeth long term?

As long as you or your child maintain good oral hygiene until you can see your orthodontist, it is unlikely that there will be an adverse effect on your teeth. However, as soon as we are able to do so, we will book you in for a review of treatment. It might be that your teeth straightening takes longer than originally planned due to the lockdown, but your orthodontist will advise. If you are concerned, you can contact your practice directly for further advice.

QI have gum disease and have missed my regular hygiene appointment. What can I do?

It is important that you practise very good oral hygiene at home to help manage your symptoms. This will include brushing, cleaning in between teeth using floss or interdental brushes, and using mouthwashes or any other products as advised by your hygienist or dentist. If you’re not sure what these products are, or how to use them, please call your practice for advice.

QThe government says dental practices are allowed to open. Why are your practices still closed?

We are following the official advice of the NHS and Chief Dental Officers of each part of the UK, which is that routine dentistry should not yet be taking place. However, in all cases, we can arrange for you to see a dentist face-to-face if you need urgent care.

QWhat are your plans to reopen your dental practices?

Safety of our patients and colleagues is our top priority, so we are closely monitoring the situation and will reopen as soon as we are able to do so. Once practices are open, it is likely that there will be a number of changes in place to further protect patients and staff. These will include enhanced hygiene procedures, having your temperature checked before entering the surgery, and the dental team wearing additional protective equipment to keep everyone safe. We will share more details on this soon.