An update on NHS dental services at our practice

As you will know, the Prime Minister has confirmed that public restrictions have been significantly eased on 19th July.

Under the Government’s guidance “Health and care settings will continue to maintain
appropriate infection prevention and control processes as necessary and this will be
continually reviewed. Guidance will be updated based on the latest clinical evidence this
summer.” You can find this online: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-
response-summer-2021-roadmap/covid-19-response-summer-2021#contents

In line with the Government’s guidance, England’s Chief Dental Officer Sara Hurley has
informed us that the infection prevention control measures in dentistry should continue to be
followed until further notice. These are important measures from Public Health England
aimed at limiting the spread of the virus in dental settings. We’re also continuing to follow
NHS dentistry’s standard operating procedure which helps us make this guidance work.

This means three things for patients:

  1. If you need to come into the surgery for an appointment, please remember that social
    distancing remains in place in the dental practice and to wear a face covering upon
    entering the building.
  2. We will continue to have restrictions on leaving time between patients to ventilate
    rooms if we perform an aerosol generating procedure. An aerosol generating
    procedure (AGP) is a medical procedure that can result in the release of airborne
    particles (aerosols) from the respiratory tract when treating someone who is
    suspected or known to be suffering from an infectious agent transmitted wholly or
    partly by the airborne or droplet route. In dentistry, for example, this means the use of
    something like a high speed drill. This impacts how many patients we can fit into a
    working day.
  3. We are also following the Chief Dental Officer’s advice that we should prioritise
    patients for treatment based on urgency and priority groups, such as those more at
    risk of dental disease or children.

Similar public health measures are still in place for hospitals and GP practices, too.
Every dental practice is working extremely hard to provide care to our patients within the
restrictions and guidance to ensure it’s safe to visit the dentist.

We hope that this helps clarify why these measures are in place for every NHS dental
practice.

Please do give us a call if you think you need to see us, we’re open for patients.

Best wishes,

The Dental Practice Fallowfield Team