Published by Mike Draper at 7:30pm 24th March 2020. (Updated at 7:43pm 24th March 2020)
A Salisbury dentist explains the extreme risks, and why they've decided to close, stopping all regular and non-urgent treatment, because of the pandemic.
Dr Patricia Cambell is part of the team working at 'THE dentist Salisbury' based on Bridge Street.
Spire FM News contacted Patricia amid 'grey areas' surrounding the information and guidelines coming from government and the professional bodies that govern dentistry.
She explained why they've chosen to shut their doors, and what makes dentistry extremely risky for both dentists and patients amid the rapid spread of COVID-19.
Dr Patricia Cambell
DENTISTS & COVID-19
Dr Patricia Cambell has said:
"We have made the decision to act responsibly and protect our patients as well as our staff."
"The risk is that any procedures that generate "aerosol" pick up any saliva particles from the patients mouth and spread around the room and settle on surfaces. Aerosol is a spray that is generated from using a dental drill or an ultrasonic dental cleaning procedure."
"These particles may contain the COVID-19 virus without us being aware as the patient may be asymptomatic. Similarly, if one of our staff is symptom free and positive for the virus, we also do not want to risk passing it onto our patients and our colleagues."
"WE ARE AT AN EXTREMELY RISKY POSITION WORKING SO CLOSE TO THE PATIENT'S MOUTH"
Patricia gives clear and potentially life-saving advice:
Another Hampshire based dentist, George Margaritis, told Spire FM News:
"In this pandemic, there is no such thing as a dental emergency."
"If a pub is going to have to survive this, then I'm sure dentistry can."
WHAT IF I HAVE A BROKEN TOOTH, FAILED CROWN OR DAMAGED DENTURE?
Listen to the guidance from Patricia Cambell:
Patricia from 'THE dentist Salisbury' explains:
"...unfortunately, in times like this, we have to prioritise what is important."
"The only life threatening condition potentially caused by a dental source is an infection which has caused a swelling, this may be a type of swelling that can affect your breathing or swallowing. In this case, we can possibly video call our patients and remotely prescribe antibiotics, or redirect the patient to A&E."
"Unfortunately, it is simply the case that no other dental condition is life threatening so if it is unnecessary, we need to be protecting our patients and our staff and postponing routine dental treatment for now. Simply, in these unprecedented times, everyone's health and safety is at the forefront of all our minds."
COVID-19: TAKING PRESSURE OFF THE NHS
'THE dentist Salisbury' has said it's committed to doing all it can do to help patients through this difficult time, via video calls and phone calls, as best it can, and it wants to do all it can to keep the pressure off their colleagues working at the hospitals, including Salisbury District Hospital.
Patricia Cambell explains why:
"One of the main reasons is that we only work with basic Personal Protective Equipment, and it is recommended that we have more high quality customized PPE. If we did have higher quality PPE that was more suitable for aerosol based procedures, we would not have to take these drastic measures. However these are of course needed for our frontline NHS staff who are doing an absolutely amazing job and we are so hugely grateful."