Residents with painful toothaches can finally get an examination and treatment in York, following the opening of dental hubs offering emergency care.
People have been unable to get face-to-face dental treatment in the city for several weeks since the lockdown started because of the coronavirus pandemic.
An NHS spokesperson said that a number of urgent dental care hubs had been established across Yorkshire and the Humber, which could see patients following triage and referral by general dental practices or NHS 111, with further sites planned as appropriate to meet the needs of patients.
“In the York area, two dental hubs are now operating, with more planned and we are working hard to ensure all our hubs have ongoing access to PPE,” they said.
“Dental practices across Yorkshire and Humber remain open. In line with current national policy, people can expect telephone triage from their dentist in the first instance, while face-to-face dental treatment will only be offered where absolutely necessary from designated urgent dental care hubs.
“If patients cannot access a dental practice, or if they require help out of hours, they should contact NHS 111.”
York Central MP Rachael Maskell said it had taken a ‘significant’ amount of time to set up emergency dental services in York, and it was really important that comprehensive dental services were provided to all who experienced problems.
“Dentists must be provided with the right standard of PPE to undertake their work safely, but I am concerned that some elements of dental treatment may not be available in the initial stages due to a shortage in equipment,” she added.
The British Dental Association said treatments involving close contact between dentist and patient should not take place, and tools such as drills should not be used because they create a lot of ‘spray’ from patients’ mouths requiring the dentist to wear protective clothing and equipment.
“The personal protective equipment dentists wear when using high-speed tools is currently required by hospitals treating coronavirus patients,” it added.
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