What does the new NHS infection prevention guidance mean for dentistry?

by Fitcoachion | Last Updated: August 25, 2020

New infection control guidance has been issued for healthcare settings in the UK, including dental practices. 

In the latest information from the NHS and Public Health England (PHE), dentistry has been labelled a ‘medium-risk pathway’ in the face of COVID-19.

Definitions of this area are any care facility where:

Other examples of ‘medium-risk pathways’ include GP surgeries, non-elective admissions, primary care facilities and care homes.

Same PPE guidance

Additionally, the personal protective equipment (PPE) requirement for staff in high and medium-risk pathways has not changed. An FFP3 or hood should still be worn by dental professionals carrying out AGPs.

Requirements for environmental cleaning and disinfection include:

This new guidance supersedes any previous coronavirus advice. Read the full document here.

Appointment backlog

This comes as the British Dental Association (BDA) estimates a 10 million-strong backlog of dental appointments following lockdown.

As a result, it predicts it could take months or even years to reduce the figure.

‘It’s a struggle dealing with the backlog, let alone new cases,’ said Mick Armstrong, BDA chair.

‘Ministers must ensure this does not become the new normal.’

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