Are dentists open during lockdown?

10 March 2021, 14:16

Dentists are allowed to remain open during lockdown
Dentists are allowed to remain open during lockdown. Picture: Getty Images

What are the rules on dentists and when will the reopen?

England is currently on a national lockdown, with the regulations gradually starting to ease at the end of March.

Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland also have similar rules in place, with the government urging people to 'stay at home'.

While most schools are now back open, non-essential shops, pubs and restaurants are still closed for a few more weeks.

But have dentists closed? And can I make an emergency appointment? Here's what we know...

Dentists are open for emergency and non emergency appointments
Dentists are open for emergency and non emergency appointments. Picture: Getty Images

Are dentists open during lockdown?

Unlike the first lockdown, dentists have been allowed to stay open for regular appointments since last year.

Read More: When will theatres reopen in Government's roadmap out of lockdown?

As dentists are considered an essential service, they can see patients for both urgent and non-urgent appointments.

The government guidance for England states: "The majority of public services will continue and you will be able to leave home to visit them. These include the NHS and medical services like GPs and dentists."

There are also strict social distancing rules in place in order to keep staff and patients safe.

The British Association of Private Dentistry said that services will be carried out in line with the current standard operating procedure with "remote consultation, triage and risk assessment remain key prior to patient attendance for face to face dental care".

It added: "Social distancing measures remain in place and PPE levels as stated for low, medium and high risk assessed patients remain."

If a dentist practice does not have the right PPE they will not be allowed to perform some procedures so may refer you to a specialised care centre.

According to the General Dental Council, other new rules include markers on the floors to encourage social distancing, perspex shields and regular screening for staff.

There should also be sanitation stations in and around the dentists for patients and staff to use as well as sufficient PPE for the dentists.

Orthodontists are also allowed to remain open during the winter lockdown.

Now Read: When can hotels open in England after lockdown?