British Dental Association issues warning over spike in DIY dental cases

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The British Dental Association has issued a warning over a potential spike in DIY dental cases in the coming weeks.

Currently, across the UK, dental practices are closed as the country attempts to battle the Coronavirus pandemic. With routine appointments cancelled, the BDA is worried that patients will resort to DIY dental techniques to ease pain and tend to emergencies. 

Dentists were advised to cancel non-essential procedures in the middle of March, with many closing soon after to try and reduce the spread of infection. For the foreseeable future, patients will not be able to access general dental services, but emergency care will still be available. NHS England is currently in the process of setting up and opening a series of urgent care hubs, which are designed to treat patients with dental emergencies in a safe and secure setting.

Chair of the BDA, Mick Armstrong, said that the organisation has received a number of calls from dentists who are concerned about patients being unable to receive treatment while practices are closed. There have been delays in launching emergency hubs, and Mr Armstrong suggested that it was “inevitable” that some patients would attempt DIY repairs over the course of the next few weeks. 

NHS England has issued a statement confirming that 50 urgent dental centres were open last week, with up to 110 expected to be operational by the end of this week (Friday 17th April). 

Patients who require urgent treatment are encouraged to contact their dentist to undergo a telephone assessment, rather than to try and treat symptoms at home. If the individual needs an appointment, they will then be directed to a local hub for treatment.

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