Another day, another pathway

Bridging the gap between practitioners and the public


On the 25th th of March 2020, the Office of the Chief Dental Officer wrote out to the profession asking them to take provisions in line with the government’s standing. An excerpt of that letter;

A. Changes to Primary Dental Care services (General Dental Practices and Community Dental Services)

1. All routine, non-urgent dental care including orthodontics should be stopped and deferred until advised otherwise.

2. All practices should establish (independently or by collaboration with others) a remote urgent care service, providing telephone triage for their patients with urgent needs 1 during usual working hours, and whenever possible treating with: • Advice • Analgesia • Antimicrobial means where appropriate

3. If the patient’s condition cannot be managed by these means, then they will need to be referred to the appropriate part of their Local Urgent Dental Care system. These new arrangements will involve providers working with defined groups of patients to manage urgent dental care needs only, with appropriate separation arrangements in place to manage patient status and professional safety. These will be established via NHSE/I regions to manage urgent care dental needs in the specific groups of patients.

The service model is described in section D, “Developing local Urgent Dental Care systems” below. Some practices and community dental services may need to become designated providers of urgent dental care as part of these Local Urgent Dental Care systems during the COVID-19 pandemic. This will be determined and agreed with each practice as part of the regionally-organised system.

4. All community outreach activities such as oral health improvement programmes (e.g. Starting Well, routine non-urgent work in care homes) and dental surveys should be stopped until advised otherwise.

5. In order to provide accurate information to the public we are asking that all dental practices: • Update their messaging and websites; • Contact their regional commissioner should practice availability hours alter as a result of staffing levels; and • Inform the commissioner of these changes and the arrangements for cover.


The advice from the UK government each day is being monitored and your dental practice will continue to update you by email or social media channels.

If you are not following your dental practices’ social media channels, then we recommend that you follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter (depending on which channels they are on). Most practices will now, almost certainly have a presence on at least one social media channel.


If you are unsure, please refer in the first instance to;