Dental practices to reopen from 8 June

Dependent on having the appropriate safety measures in place, dental practices in England have been told they can reopen from 8 June.

Having been suspended since 25 March, any patient with an emergency dental problem is supposed to be referred to an Urgent Dental Care (UDC) hub for treatment. More than 550 of these centres have been created to provide emergency treatment while meeting social distancing requirements.

In a letter to all practices, NHS England's chief dental officer, Sara Hurley, said: "Today, we are asking that all dental practices commence opening from Monday, 8 June for all face-to-face care, where practices assess that they have the necessary IPC and PPE requirements in place."

The British Dental Association has said that ,while dentists would be relieved by the announcement, the ability of practices to reopen would depend on the availability of personal protective equipment (PPE).

Mick Armstrong, chairman of the BDA, said: “It is right to allow practices to decide themselves when they are ready to open. Dentists will be keen to start providing care as soon as is safely possible, but we will need everyone to be patient as practices get up and running. Dentists can open their doors but won't be able to provide a full range of care without the necessary kit. Longer term, practices can only stay afloat with ongoing support, while social distancing continues and the costs of providing care are sky high."

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