Dentists concerned about growing demand for emergency care

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UK dentists are concerned about the growing demand for emergency dental care while high street practices are shut. 

The vast majority of dental practices are currently closed, which has contributed to a spike in calls to NHS 111 and high street surgeries offering advice and information over the phone. Dentists are worried that the demand will soon exceed the supply, with a risk of urgent dental hubs being overwhelmed. 

There are now over 625 urgent dental centres up and running in the UK, but dental professionals are worried that the number of patients requiring care is increasing. The hubs have been set up specifically to provide treatment for individuals who need emergency assistance, with dental injuries, infections, severe swelling and excessive bleeding among the most common symptoms treated. 

There have been issues with PPE, which have limited access for patients, but a spokesperson for the NHS suggested that all dental staff have access to the PPE they need now and that patients can make use local services if they need urgent dental care. The hubs have been set up rapidly as a result of local practices shutting to patients, and it was inevitable that there would be teething troubles. With many now ironed out, the main concern for dentists is the rising number of people needing help. Many are hoping that practices will be able to open again in the coming weeks to provide additional support for patients and reduce the risk of surges in demand for emergency treatment in the future.

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