Dentists in England may resume working at their practice from June 8. But Dr Mark Porter knows that dental colleagues are “really struggling” with the idea.
Appearing on Good Morning Britain, on Friday May 29, Dr Porter addressed Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s plan to re-open dentists from June 8.
Dr Porter began by stating that although dental practices will soon be able to open, it doesn’t guarantee a smooth service.
“I’ve had a lot of dental colleagues bending my ear, and they’re really struggling,” he confessed.
This led to Dr Porter’s conclusion: “Although they’re allowed to open next week, I really don’t see a normal service resuming for a long time.”
He added: “I know a lot of people are desperate to get their teeth sorted, but it might be some time yet, I’m afraid.”
The British Dental Association (BDA) commented: “We understand that many dentists and their teams are frustrated with the way yesterday’s news was broken regarding dental practices re-opening from 8 June.
“We share that frustration. An announcement to the public at the same time as to the profession has put practices at a disadvantage in terms of their preparations and decisions about how and when they can start to deliver care.”
The BDA stressed that “there is now a huge job to be done in managing patient expectations over the coming days”.
New safety precautions because of coronavirus will result in reduced capacity in dentists across the country.
And the BDA believes it may minimise “access levels by as much as two thirds” – foreshadowing even longer waiting times and appointments.
BDA chair Mick Armstrong added: “A return of high street dentistry will be welcome news to millions of patients left with few options during lockdown.
“But we will need everyone to be patient as practices get up and running.
“Dentists won’t be able to provide a full range of care without the necessary kit.”
For sepcific care, it may be best to call your practice to see if they are able to perform the necessary service.
Meanwhile, Boris Johnson’s latest government press briefing, which aired on Thursday May 28, will lead to other changes in England too.
From Monday June 1, up to six people can meet in outdoor spaces, such as gardens and parks.
However, people meeting up from different households must uphold the “safe two metre distance” from one another.
Schools are allowing more pupils to walk through their gates from Monday – including reception, and years one and six.
And, from June 15, secondary schools will welcome back teenagers in years 10 and 12.
From the same date, other non-essential retail outlets will re-open if they can satisfy the government they are able to promote social distancing.
As England gradually eases lockdown measures, let’s hope that any risk of a second peak of infections is far behind us.
The last thing anybody wants is for the country to go back into full lockdown.