What are the new dentist rules as practices reopen in the UK?

8 June 2020, 12:14 | Updated: 8 June 2020, 13:52

What will dentists look like post-lockdown? (stock images)
What will dentists look like post-lockdown? (stock images). Picture: Getty

Dentists will reopen for some patients on June 8, but will look very different for patients. Here's what you need to know.

As the UK starts easing lockdown measures, many businesses will be allowed to reopen this month.

One of the sectors that is allowed to resume operation again is dentistry, with some practices opening their doors to patients from today (June 8).

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However, visits to your dentist will look very different under social distancing guidelines, and only around a third will open today because some are struggling to implement new rules.

Around a third of dentists will reopen on June 8 (stock image)
Around a third of dentists will reopen on June 8 (stock image). Picture: Getty

Dentist Dr Monik Vasant appeared on This Morning earlier today to speak to Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield about the new guidelines.

He explained that many dentists won't be reopening because of struggles to acquire necessary PPE, adding: "This message has got to be put across to patients that there will still be some practices who are getting themselves ready, but hopefully it won’t be long until we’ve got things up and running.

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Who can go to the dentist? Is it just for emergencies?

The services offered will depend on each individual practice, with many offering a 'skeleton service' due to the guidelines.

Nine in 10 dentist have said that they lack the necessary PPE for routine appointments, and the British Dental Association has said that they will struggle to perform procedures that use drills, such as fillings, according to the Daily Mail.

Dr Vassant said: "If you’re having a problem, you need to contact your practice. Don’t take things into your own hands.
A lot of practices will be easing their way into things and seeing patients who have issues first, then slowly introducing more routine things as time goes on."

Dr Vassant spoke about the new dentist rules on Monday's This Morning
Dr Vassant spoke about the new dentist rules on Monday's This Morning. Picture: ITV

What will dentists look like during lockdown?

Many dentists will have processes in place to ensure the safety of staff and patients.

Dr Vassant added: "Most practices are carrying out risk assessments with patients. Online form to our patients with an updated medical history and Covid screen. And also filtering what sort of issues and symptoms they have.

"When they come in on the day, strict social distancing policies will be in place. Clear zoning, clear marking. One patient in at a time, waiting room is out of action, bathroom is out of action unless there’s an emergency, protective screens."


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