Dentists and their teams are included within the definition of an essential worker, it has been confirmed.
The chief dental officer for England, Sara Hurley, received confirmation from the Department of Health and Social Care.
The essential worker status applies to dental professionals actively involved in supporting and maintaining NHS dental care.
This is according to latest reports from the British Dental Association (BDA). As a result, dental professionals in England can receive prioritised COVID-19 testing.
The news comes as the UK today heads into its second national lockdown. Alongside other health services, dental practices will also keep their doors open as the Prime Minister encourages the public to stay home to save lives.
In one of her latest news bulletins, CDO Sara Hurley said dental practices should remain open to treat patients over the next four weeks.
Teams can carry out treatments according to the latest standard operating procedure (SOP) as well as recently-updated infection prevention control guidance.
Discussion on new guidance
The updated SOP allows for a reduction in fallow time if practices meet the necessary ventilation and mitigation requirements.
From today, people can only leave their homes for limited reasons. For example, for education – both schools and universities – work, outdoor exercise and medical appointments.
Additionally, at 16:30 today, Dr Hurley will host a webinar on the recent infection prevention control guidelines. Representatives from Public Health England (PHE) will join her.
Deputy chief dental officers Eric Rooney and Jason Wong will also be in attendance.
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