COVID-19: Update: Dentistry still in lockdown

COVID-19: Update: Dentistry still in lockdown

Nothing has changed in relation to the guidance offered by the various UK administrations on the provision of dentistry. Although it might appear that new regulations permit the reopening of dental practices in England, this is not the case, says the BDA. Additionally, Dentists must not be pressured into overprescribing antibiotics,’ says Susie Sanderson.

The BDA continues: “The permitted dental care in the restrictions regulations refers to emergency-only care. The unfortunate lack of clarity in the restriction regulations is causing understandable confusion. We will keep you updated as things progress.”

The Office of the CDO in England has reinforced the ’no change yet’ message. They have stated: ‘the temporary cessation of routine dentistry addresses the safety of patients and of dental teams as well as supporting the public health measures required to slow community transmission of COVID-19’.

The BDA says that for the time being, the distinct existing advice for practices in the four UK countries still applies. This means practices are still to treat initially via advice, analgesics and antibiotics where appropriate, and to triage care into the various urgent care systems.


Dentists must not be pressured into overprescribing antibiotics

Susie Sanderson, leader of the task force on antibiotics in dentistry for the Council of European Dentists, has called for us not to lose sight of the importance of antimicrobial resistance. Acknowledging the extraordinary pressures dentists are now under, she has said: “This pandemic has demonstrated the havoc a pathogen can unleash when we have no protection against it. Inappropriate use of antibiotics at this time, even if motivated by the best of intentions, increases the likelihood that resistant bacteria will evolve. I’m sure you’ll agree, that with a global viral pandemic underway, the last thing we need is to add to these risks.”

The BDA advises dentists to read this piece: Coronavirus: When to prescribe antibiotics. Or see the joint letter from Public Health England, the Royal College of Surgeons and the Faculty of General Dental Practice to support dentists in appropriate prescribing of antibiotics in urgent dental care.


To keep up to date with developments from the BDA, dentists should visit their Coronavirus update page[i], which is available to all whether or not they are members and is continuously revised.



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