Concerns for Welsh dental practices, as experts warn some could collapse in ‘weeks’

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The British Dental Association has warned that some dental practices in Wales could be ‘weeks’ away from collapse.

Dental practice across the UK were advised to shut temporarily to try and reduce the spread of COVID-19. With appointments cancelled, and no reopening date in sight, some owners are worried that their clinics will not survive the pandemic.

The BDA has recently carried out a poll, which highlighted the degree of uncertainty facing dentists and dental practice owners in Wales. More than half of participants believe that they are only sufficiently financially stable to survive for less than three months and 10% fear they can only last for one more month. Less than a third of respondents said they were confident about returning to the same levels of patient access once lockdown measures are lifted and 22% of practices have already applied for a business interruption loan. 

The survey revealed that private practices are most exposed to risks associated with Coronavirus, with over 60% of those with little or no NHS commitment fearing that they could collapse within the next three months. This figure was higher than practices with NHS capacity.

Mick Armstrong, chair of the BDA, said that many practices in Wales are now “weeks away from a cliff edge” and at risk of falling into levels of debt that they could never repay. Although the right decision was taken to cancel routine appointments and procedures, the BDA believes that practices need more support and reassurance to survive the difficult weeks and months ahead.

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