Scotland

Dentists to stop procedures due to coronavirus

dentist Image copyright Getty Images

Scottish dentists have been told not to perform some routine procedures because of the risks posed by coronavirus.

The Scottish government guidelines said aerosol generating procedures (AGPs) must stop with immediate effect.

Treatments including routine fillings, root canals and scaling and polishing will be stopped unless in the case of a dental emergency.

Certain procedures will still be undertaken but only for those without symptoms of COVID-19.

Delivery of urgent care to anyone with symptoms of coronavirus will take place at "designated urgent dental care centres".

Dentists have also been asked to reduce the number of routine check-ups by cancelling patients from "vulnerable groups" including those who are pregnant, elderly, or with underlying health conditions

Dentists who spoke anonymously to BBC Scotland said there have been widespread concerns within the profession due to their work in close proximity to the mouths of patients.

Earlier this week the British Dental Association said Covid-19 represented a "major risk" to the financial viability of dental practices due to staff shortages, patients not attending and potential practice closures if staff or patients become affected.

The Scottish government have agreed a financial support package for independent dentists as a result of disruption to service provision.

The chief dental officer for Scotland, Tom Ferris, said: "It is important to minimise the spread of the virus and to this end we have asked dental teams not to undertake dental treatments which create an aerosol and risk spreading the virus. This is the same approach being taken in Wales.

"The Scottish government has put in place a range of financial support measures for practices providing NHS dental services; to ensure they have a degree of financial protection during this difficult period."