Survey reveals 96% of dentists believe lockdown has hampered oral health

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A new survey has revealed that 96% of dental professionals believe the Coronavirus lockdown has hampered oral health.

According to a poll carried out by mydentist, one of the UK’s largest dental chains, over 95% of dentists think that the lockdown has had a negative impact on standards of dental health across the country. Almost 90% (88%) are worried that restricting routine appointments as a result of the virus will have a detrimental effect on patient health in the future and 77% of participants are concerned that oral cancer cases will be missed. 

The survey also found that 60% of dentists think that patients will avoid making an appointment for minor symptoms, such as toothache and bleeding gums, which could lead to more severe complications further down the line, and over 40% believe that it will take at least a year for the oral health of the nation to recover following the lockdown. Just over 10% predict that it will take over two years to bounce back. 

Access to dentistry was an issue long before the lockdown, and patients are going to find it even more difficult to get an appointment at a local practice in the months ahead due to restricted patient numbers. Group clinical director at mydentist, Nyree Whitley, stated that the survey findings underline concerns within the profession. Although closing practices and suspending routine dental services was the right decision, there is no doubt that next few months will be very challenging for patients and dental teams as a result of the outbreak and subsequent lockdown. Ms Whitley has appealed for a review of dental access to support professionals and improve services for dental patients in the UK.

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