Dental practices given the green light to offer aerosol-generating procedures in Scotland

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Dental practices in Scotland have been given the green light to provide aerosol-generating procedures (AGPs) for urgent cases from the 17th August.

As part of the latest phase of lockdown easing, dentists will soon be able to offer AGPs to patients who require urgent treatment. Previously, clinics could only provide non-aerosol treatments. 

The Scottish Government confirmed that practices that are ready to resume AGPs would be able to offer emergency appointments in a move that will be supported by the provision of additional PPE. Aerosol procedures are particularly high risk, as they produce and spread droplets. Under new guidelines for AGPs, dental teams will be kitted out with PPE, which will be fitted for each individual. It is hoped that the next step will eliminate the need for patients to visit urgent dental hubs, which were set up during the lockdown to provide emergency care while surgeries were shut. 

Tom Ferris, chief dental officer for Scotland, explained that patients have been able to access AGPs through urgent care hubs since the end of March, but from August 17th, they will be able to undergo treatment at local NHS practices. 

Many patients, especially those who suffer from dental anxiety, will be relieved that they can now visit their regular dentist if they require urgent assistance. 

The cost of dental treatment for NHS treatments will not increase for patients. There have been charges put in place by some private providers to cover PPE costs, but these fees will not be passed on to NHS patients in any part of the UK.

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