Are dentists open in lockdown 3? – The SunJanuary 5, 2021
DENTISTS across the country had to close as part of the very first lockdown restrictions early last year, except for emergencies.
They were allowed to stay open during the second national lockdown in November, but will they be able to remain open in the new national lockdown?
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Will dentists be open during lockdown 3?
Dentists will remain open during the new lockdown and accept patients for normal appointments.
People are allowed to leave their home for medical reasons and the Government has urged people to continue to use the NHS for treatment.
The latest guidance states: "The majority of public services will continue and you will be able to leave home to visit them."
This includes the NHS and medical services like GPs and dentists.
The British Dental Association tweeted: "Following the PM's announcement last night of a lockdown in England, we have received confirmation from the Office of the CDO that dental services in England are to remain open."
Dental practices were told to close during the first lockdown in March, before they opened up in June when restrictions were relaxed.
And they have stayed open since, despite England now entering its third lockdown and restrictions tightening.
Treatments including routine fillings, root canals and scaling and polishing had been completely stopped unless the patient had a serious dental emergency.
But now dentists can continue somewhat normal service by seeing patients face-to-face as long as strict measures are adhered to.
Dentists were only able to see five patients when they reopened in June and most practices have been running a "skeleton service".
One of the biggest concerns for dentists is a lack of personal protective equipment for their practices, which would stop them being able to safely carry out procedures.
Your dentist must have the right PPE in order to practice certain procedures, search as root canals, so you may be referred to a different surgery if they do not.
It is likely that routine appointments will not resume until 2021 as emergency care has taken priority.
What are the new rules?
A number of rules are in place to ensure social distancing, according to the General Dental Council.
In reception and waiting areas, markers have been placed two metres apart while perspex shields are being used as physical barriers.
Staff are expected to be screened daily and face regular risk assessments.
Patients' time at reception desks will also be minimised, meaning digital appointment booking systems to be in place and limit on receipts.
In the treatment rooms, appointment times have been amended so that there is enough time in between to ensure decontamination protocols are being followed.
Meanwhile, sanitising stations have been put in place for patients to use upon entry, while dentists are required to have sufficient PPE stock in advance with many already wearing during treatment.
Can I get orthodontic treatment during lockdown 3
Orthodontists are to remain open as well, joining dentists.
During the first lockdown it had only been operating on an extreme emergency basis where the patient would contact the practice or unit by phone and discuss ways of resolving their problem at home.
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