Restrictions on available NHS dental treatments are due to be lifted across Scotland from 1 November. However, patients are being advised not to expect services to return to ‘business as usual’ due to ongoing health protection measures in place to keep staff and patients safe.
The restrictions put in place earlier this year for the COVID-19 pandemic limited the range of treatments and number of patients that could be seen. From 1 November, the restrictions on available treatments will be lifted and the normal NHS patient charge will be reinstated.
NHS Tayside Director of Dentistry Morag Curnow has advised that patients should continue to expect some constraints to how services are provided.
Dr Curnow said, “It is very important for patients to be aware that the services will not yet return to ‘business as usual’ due to the continuing COVID-19 safety measures that need to be taken in practices.
“The number of available appointments will be reduced and it will be necessary for dental practices to prioritise appointments for patients who require urgent dental care, those at greatest risk of oral disease and those patients who could not be seen during the lockdown period.
“Practices will also look very different due to the public health measures that will be put in place to keep staff and patients safe. Waiting rooms may be closed and dental teams will be wearing suitable Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).”
Throughout the pandemic, NHS emergency dental treatment has continued to be provided for patients.
Information on visiting your dental practice for treatment:
- You should only attend your dental practice if you have an appointment. You should do your best to attend only at the time agreed with the dental team as failure to do so can result in a breakdown in physical distancing measures.
- During your appointment, it is essential to maintain physical distancing to ensure your continued safety. Each dental practice will have an approach to physical distancing. This information will be provided to you if you require an appointment.
- It is important that you follow any advice given, such as needing to wear a face covering, as this information is provided for your safety and the safety of the dental team.
For more information on accessing dental services, you can visit the NHS Inform website (Coronavirus- COVID-19): Accessing Dental Services.