DENTAL patients are being advised on how to access help when they have an issue during the COVID-19 pandemic.
All dental practices are now open and have resumed face-to-face care, although many are working at reduced capacity and may not yet be able to offer the full range of services due to increased infection, prevention and control guidelines.
Anyone needing dental help or advice should contact their dental practice over the phone first, rather than in person. They, or their child, will be assessed over the phone and may be given advice, medication or a face to face appointment if needed.
Their dental practice will look different to normal, as it will be operating in a way that observes COVID-19 social distancing and hygiene rules as part of measures taken to ensure patient safety and that of the dental team. For all face to face care, additional infection prevention and control measures and personal protective equipment requirements are in place to ensure patient and staff safety.
While dental practices work to ensure that those who need dental care most can receive it, they may be unable to offer routine examinations and other non-urgent care for some time.
Patients who started a course of treatment pre-COVID will be prioritised alongside high risk patients and children.
Urgent dental services have been established across Greater Manchester during the
COVID-19 pandemic. They are continuing to see and treat patients who have been referred
from their regular dentist who may not be able to offer the specific treatment required.
Dr Asad Ali, NHS Tameside and Glossop Clinical Commissioning Group, Co-Chair said: “If you, or your child, are in pain or in need of support, help or advice, please telephone your
dental practice in the usual way.
“If you don’t have a usual dentist and have an urgent need you can call the Greater Manchester dental helpline: 0333 332 3800.
“You will be assessed and given advice over the phone, which may result in a remote consultation with a dentist or a face to face appointment.”
To support NHS services, it is important that people do not visit hospitals or doctors’ surgeries with dental problems unless they are advised to do so.
Residents who don’t have a usual dentist, can find one by going to: www.nhs.uk/dentists