Bognor Regis dentist urges the government to provide clearer advice for dentists

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A Bognor Regis dentist has called for the government to provide clearer advice for dental professionals as the number of coronavirus cases continues to rise across the UK.

Davinder Raju, lead clinical dentist at Dove Holistic Dental Centre, has urged ministers to clarify advice related to social distancing, as dentists worry about how they’re going to provide emergency care while practices are closed. 

NHS England encouraged practices to start postponing and cancelling routine appointments as tougher distancing measures were introduced, and once a lockdown was confirmed, many practices closed. The trouble for dentists like Mr Raju is that they are now unsure what to do when contacted by patients who require urgent treatment. 

Guidelines linked to emergency care suggest that dentists triage patients and then carry out a risk assessment and take appropriate action, but Mr Raju is worried that some dentists don’t have access to PPE (personal protective equipment). Mr Raju has a supply of filtration face masks, but his insurance provider has advised against carrying out face-to-face treatment because he has not been trained in how to use the equipment. 

The latest government advice suggests that emergency dental centres are being set up across the country to ensure patients who need urgent treatment have access to care. So far, Mr Raju has no knowledge of any facilities in West Sussex, and he is encouraging NHS England to provide further information to help dentists and patients.

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