The Director of Dentistry for NHS Lothian (Angus Walls) has provided information for Practices to share with their patients and says the following about the newly expanded range of treatments available on the NHS:-
“whilst the full range of care can now be delivered there are additional complexities that have come to the fore as a result of the last 8 months.
Firstly, and most importantly, safety for you as a patient and for the dental team needs to be maintained so social distancing, allowing any mist in the surgery to settle and the thorough cleaning of surfaces all takes a significant amount of time. This means that the time when the dental surgery can’t be used between appointments will be longer to support safe practice, resulting in fewer appointments being available in the normal working day.
Secondly, eight months of routine dental care has not been delivered between March and October, resulting in a substantial backlog of care that is required. The delivery of care by your dentist will have to be prioritised to ensure that people with pain or who have the potential to lose a tooth are treated first and procedures that are desirable but have a lesser priority in terms of the practice as a whole may need to be delayed until the backlog has been managed and this will take a substantial amount of time with the current restrictions.
Covid 19 has disrupted nearly all aspects of life and it looks like it will do for some months to come. This means that in dentistry, like every other aspect of healthcare in the NHS, appointments may take months to be available and a return to “normal service” will take a considerable time. As a result I must ask you to be patient as we endeavour to re-establish your dental care. Please be reassured that your dentist and NHS Lothian have your health at the centre of their thoughts and is striving to deliver your dental care as soon as possible.”