The British Dental Association calls for greater clarity surrounding dental practice reopening

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The British Dental Association is calling for greater clarity surrounding the potential reopening of dental practices.

On the 10th May, the Prime Minister outlined a series of phases and steps, which would gradually bring England out of lockdown. Following the broadcast, which was followed by the publication of a 50-page document on the 11th May, the BDA claimed that there was a lack of clear guidance for dental practitioners and patients. 

Martin Woodrow, chief executive of the BDA, has been using the organisation’s website to keep dentists updated throughout the crisis and suggested that, at present, the framework did not contain information related to dental practices in England or other parts of the UK. The announcement had prompted patients and dental professionals to ask questions about when surgeries would reopen. Currently, there are no plans to open up again for routine dentistry, and the advice remains for dentists to treat patients virtually or to refer them to an urgent dental centre if they require immediate assistance. 

England’s chief dental officer provided a “no change yet” statement on Monday 11th May, indicating that routine services will continue to be suspended to support public health measures and keep staff and patients safe. 

For the moment, patients and dentists have been urged to continue with lockdown measures. The easing of restrictions will be gradual, and social distancing is expected to be in place to some degree for weeks, even months to come. The government is reviewing the data constantly and ministers are expected to provide updates as and when it is safe to proceed.

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