Norfolk dental expert shares advice to help patients during lockdown

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A Norfolk dental expert has shared advice in the local press to help patients during lockdown.

Retired dentist and member of the Norfolk Local Dental Committee, Nick Stolls, has been answering questions to help people who experience dental problems while high street dental surgeries are closed. 

Mr Stolls, who worked as a dentist for 40 years, explained that a decision was taken to close practices on a temporary basis when lockdown measures were introduced in March. The aim was to try and reduce the spread of COVID-19 and to protect dental professionals and patients. While practices are closed, dentists are still available to assist patients in need. Many dentists are offering online consultations and they can provide advice over the phone. Your dentist should also be your first port of call if you think you need an emergency appointment. If this is the case, the dentist will carry out a phone consultation and refer patients to a local urgent care hub.

The advice for patients at the moment is to seek help if you have severe dental pain, you have symptoms of an infection or you sustain a dental injury. For minor ailments, for example, toothache, patients can take over the counter pain relief. Self-help techniques such as applying ice can also help. Dentists can also prescribe antibiotics for dental infections without the need for a face-to-face appointment. 

Patients who are not registered with a dental practice will be able to access emergency care during the lockdown through NHS 111. Operators will provide triage services similar to those provided by dentists for patients who are registered and if an appointment is needed, they will direct the individual to an urgent care centre.

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