Scottish dentists inundated with calls, as practices reopen

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Scottish dentists have been inundated with calls, as practices open their doors for the first time in months. 

First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, confirmed that dental practices would be able to reopen from Monday 22nd June in a press briefing on Thursday 18th June. The news triggered an influx of calls, with many patients eager to make an appointment.

Despite making positive steps forward, dentists are urging people to be patient, as not all services will be available and patient numbers will be restricted while social distancing measures are in place. Most practices will be seeing urgent cases as a priority, and it could be some time before patients are able to make bookings for services like routine check-ups.

A dentist from Paisley said that the phone has been ringing non-stop since Nicola Sturgeon confirmed that Scotland would be moving to the second stage of lockdown easing from Monday 22nd June. The trouble for dentists is that they cannot yet provide routine services, and at the moment, they are very limited in terms of the treatments they can offer and the range of patients they can tend to. Another dentist in Glasgow described the unusual situation, saying “we’re open, but we’re not open-open.”

Currently, with the virus still active, dentists have been advised to continue referring patients who need aerosol-generating procedures to urgent dental centres. NHS practices have been provided with sufficient PPE to treat 10 patients per day. 

Patients who need urgent assistance are advised to contact their local dentist, but for now, those who are hoping to make an appointment for a routine check-up are encouraged to wait.

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