Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Senior Moray dentist calls for practices to be allowed to reopen

The Forres Dental Care surgery in Falconer Avenue, Forres.
Picture by Sandy McCook.
The Forres Dental Care surgery in Falconer Avenue, Forres. Picture by Sandy McCook.

A Moray dentist believes restrictions imposed on the sector to limit the spread of coronavirus could be having the opposite effect.

Dental practices are due to remain closed for face-to-face patient consultations until phase two as part of the Scottish Government’s plan to ease lockdown rules.

Problems securing appointments have led to some resorting to performing their own operations during the pandemic despite urgent care continuing to be provided at regional centres for those identified as needing attention quickly.

And Gordon Smart, a director of Forres Dental Care, believes “corralling” patients in one location works against the aims of attempts to slow the spread of the virus.

Cases referred by Mr Smart are currently seen in Elgin alongside those from other practices from across Moray.

The dentist, who has been more than 30 years of experience, has written to Scotland’s chief dental officer to ask for practices to be allowed to reopen with the same safety measures used in the current regional centres.

He said: “In my opinion the management of unscheduled dental care during the Covid-19 pandemic has lost all sight of patient focus.

“The corralling of patients towards centralised services is in complete contradiction to a common sense approach to social distancing and has put patients in danger.

“In my experience most, if not, all dental practices carry an adequate stock of PPE that would allow them to have continued to provide and appropriate, safe unscheduled care service to their patients for a number of weeks.”

Mr Smart said he was currently providing about four telephone consultations a day to patients who are seeking treatment before a decision is taken about whether to refer them to one of the urgent care regional centres.

The dentist has written to Scotland’s chief dental officer, Tom Ferris, to ask for assurances that patients are still receiving quality care despite the practitioners they are seeing having no access to their clinical notes.

Mr Ferris wrote to dental practices across the country last week to outline plans that would increase capacity at the regional centres providing urgent care.

The official explained there was no timeline for reaching phase two, but added that he expected progress to have been made before the end of July.

However, he said reopening practices would be dependent on the availability of PPE.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]