Will Dental Practices ‘Escape’ Another Lockdown?

Our Epsom dental team look at the likelihood of further dentist closures

Clocktower Dental Implant and Facial CentreAlthough most dental practices in the UK are doing their best to catch up with lost appointments from the previous lockdown, the number of new Covid-19 cases is rising rapidly and measures are already starting to be put in place to try to control this.

Whilst, for the time being, this is largely aimed at household mixing, and possibly hospitality venues too, it is inevitable that some of our Clocktower Dental Clinic patients will be wondering whether our practice may have to close again.

First of all, it is worth noting that cases in the Epsom area are relatively low at the moment, although we shouldn’t take it for granted that they will remain so. Of course we should continue to take good care to observe any medical advice that is given to hopefully avoid a further rise in infections. More restrictions being put into place could feasibly result in the closure of some premises, although we hope this will be avoided.

Will dentists close again?

Although we wish that we could see into the future, the reality is that we can’t. The general feeling though is that a second closure of dentists is unlikely and that if they were to close, it would be a last resort. A lot more is known about the virus now and how the risk of infection can be minimised.

After we re-opened on the 8th June, we put into place many new systems and procedures that are designed to make the dental environment as safe as possible. In addition to the usual face masks and disposable gloves, we have installed additional air filters to purify the air, are widely using PPE as well as ensuring patient’s temperatures are checked on arrival and that social distancing is observed where possible. These are just some of the things we have put into place and you can read the full list here .

We feel then, given the potential impact on the nation’s oral health, and with all the new safety systems in place, it is unlikely that we will be forced to close again as far as we can see at the present time.

Keep your teeth and gums healthy

This should be good advice at any time, but in case there is another closure, it makes sense to keep on top of your oral health as much as you can so that you come out the other side of any lockdown in a good position.

The first thing to consider is whether you have any current dental problems. If, for example, you feel you might have a small amount of tooth decay or are having a little discomfort with a tooth, you really shouldn’t leave it until your next dental appointment (unless it is very soon of course). The fact is that dental problems nearly always get worse until the time that you are treated. So if you are concerned about an issue, contact us now so that we can examine and, if necessary, treat it as soon as possible.

Consider a professional clean

One of the best ‘one off’ things you can do to improve the health of your mouth is to have your teeth professionally cleaned via a ‘scale and polish’. This is a relatively inexpensive and quick way to give your teeth and gums a real health boost.

Whilst home brushing is essential (more of that later), it can’t remove the hardened tartar that becomes attached to the teeth and gum line. Tartar is made up from hardened bacteria and mineral deposits and forms a rough surface on the teeth. This rough surface then makes it easier for more bacteria to become attached as well as staining materials.

The first stage of this treatment is to ‘scrape’ away the excess tartar. Please don’t attempt to do this yourself as you may well damage the enamel of your teeth in doing so.  Once the excess has been removed, an ultrasonic tool is used to shatter the remainder. This is entirely painless. Finally, your teeth and gums will be given a thorough clean using a high speed brush. If you have had this done before, you will know how smooth your teeth feel when you run your tongue over them as well as how much fresher your teeth feel and look. Some surface staining is also removed from your teeth during this process. If you haven’t yet experienced this, now is a good time to contact the Clocktower Dental Clinic to arrange an appointment.

Home care

As ever, it is crucial that you look after your teeth well at home, avoiding excess sugar and acidic foods and drinks and most importantly, brushing your teeth morning and evening with a brush no more than 3 months old. Make sure to angle the bristles beneath the gum line when doing so. In addition to this, add flossing to your daily tooth care regimen if you don’t already do so.

In summary then, we think it very unlikely that dental practices will be asked to close again in the immediate future and probably not at all. It does make sense though to get your teeth and gums in as good a shape as possible as a precautionary measure.

If you need to see a dentist because of a problem or would like to book an appointment with our hygienist, please call our Epsom dental clinic on 01372 720136.