Lockdown has left a lot of people looking extras from Monty Python and The Holy Grail, but you can prepare to kiss goodbye to peasant-chic as dentists prepare to open their doors on June 8. You'll have to keep the wild mane and overgrown body hair for a bit longer though.
The lockdown exit strategy detailed earlier this month will see a phased reopening of non-essential shops starting next week, and dentists have made the cut - as long as they get their premises covid secure.
As it stands, people with dental emergencies are being referred to the Urgent Dental Care (UDC) hub, but soon you'll be back to enjoying such frivolities as getting your cavities filled, and plaque scraped off until the cows come home. Sara Hurley, NHS England's chief dental officer, contacted all dental practices, saying:
"Today, we are asking that all dental practices commence opening from Monday, 8 June for all face-to-face care, where practices assess that they have the necessary IPC and PPE requirements in place."
Chairman of the British Dental Association (BDA), Mick Armstrong, said:
"It is right to allow practices to decide themselves when they are ready to open. Dentists will be keen to start providing care as soon as is safely possible, but we will need everyone to be patient as practices get up and running.
"Dentists can open their doors but won't be able to provide a full range of care without the necessary kit. Longer term, practices can only stay afloat with ongoing support, while social distancing continues and the costs of providing care are sky high."
Practices will need to have adequate PPE in order to start running again, and considering the trouble the NHS had with getting hold of kit throughout the pandemic, this is going to add extra demand, so we'll see have to see how that pans out. You can also expect to see social distancing measure in place, like spaced-out seating, a cap on the number of people in waiting areas at once, and screens up at reception. [BBC News]
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