Gransnet forums


Anyone need a dentist?

(94 Posts)
maddyone Thu 21-May-20 11:59:46

When will dentists be allowed to return to work do you think? I’ve had a metallic taste in my mouth for a couple of days, and a very slight achey feeling. I’m concerned that I have a leaking filling. It’s not too bad at the moment, but I’m very concerned that it might develop. I missed my last general check up as it was due in March, after the lockdown. I’ve heard some horrific stories on the news about people in pain, so much so that one person pulled his own tooth out. Surely we can’t allow this situation to continue indefinitely, it’s seems inhumane to refuse an entire population any dental care for so long. Surely emergency patients should be seen. The dentist and dental nurse could wear full PPE and receptionists work from behind a screen, like the doctors receptionists do. Our GPs are still working, despite the risks. When will we have dentistry back do you think?

MissAdventure Thu 21-May-20 12:33:20

I got toothache a couple of days into the distancing, and was told that for abscesses, swelling, infection, antibiotics can be prescribed by 'a' dentist.

After the infection is gone, there are hubs that people can go to, for extractions only.

I'm not sure if too much has changed, because there were several people on here who weren't sure what to do, and one who was waiting for a phone call (I think she was told the same as me)

dragonfly46 Thu 21-May-20 12:37:16

You can buy filling repair kits on Amazon!

craftyone Thu 21-May-20 17:41:12

PPE is not enough, read about aerosol effects and how that can send virus around so that all surfaces and air become contaminated. Dentists being told not to work is very much for patient safety. The profession has been ignored by government. The dentists I know do want to get back to work and help their patients

kittylester Thu 21-May-20 17:43:32

I would ring your dentust and talk to them - preferably the actual dentist.

heath480 Thu 21-May-20 17:46:39

I lost a tooth a few weeks ago,I phoned my dentist.He said he could only give me pain relief or antibiotics.He wouldn’t see me.

In my area there is an Emergency hub,they will only extract a tooth,then only in a dire emergency.

I find it incomprehensible that this is the situation in 2020!!!

There are thousands of people desperate for dental treatment.

Sepsis from bad teeth was a big killer in days gone by.

Let’s hope they will reopen soon,thinking of having all mine extracted and getting dentures,when this is over.

BlueSky Thu 21-May-20 17:48:48

I lost a large filling right at the beginning of lockdown luckily it doesn't hurt but I'm aware of it. I was going to go for a routine check up just before all this so I'm eagerly awaiting for dentists to start up again.

MayBee70 Thu 21-May-20 21:56:11

Hopefully, now that testing is getting more reliable dentists and their patients will be soon be able to get either or both antigen and antibody testing done which will safeguard everyone. As with eye/dental check ups etc I dread to think how many other health problems aren't being picked up at the moment. And, on the subject of eye tests, I dropped my newest glasses on the floor and, for only the second time ever the lens dropped out. And my dog broke my next newest pair. Thankfully I have a spare of booth of them but are terrified of breaking them so am using my third oldest pair. I do have glasses going right back to a pair I was prescribed in my late teens which I have never worn.

suziewoozie Thu 21-May-20 23:25:31

I think dentists will only go back to work when infection rates are almost non existent. Testing can’t really help can it? I think many dentists are in real financial difficulties and feeling very neglected (with real justification). My take on it is that it’s a really difficult problem and so everyone just shrugged their shoulders. Apparently dentists are going back in Denmark and Norway

crazyH Thu 21-May-20 23:32:43

Yes Dragonfly, I ordered a Filling Kit from Amazon.....still haven't used it, due to other more pressing issues. I might try it tomorrow.

maddyone Thu 21-May-20 23:53:08

Thank you to everyone for replying. Today I rang my dentist who referred me on to a city DentalHub and the dentist will ring me back tomorrow. I’m hoping to get some antibiotics because the tooth is getting more painful and painkillers aren’t really helping a lot. I’ve been told not to take any more Ibuprofen as apparently I’ve taken a bit too much today.
I actually think it’s immoral in a civilised society to leave people entirely without dental care, particularly as a tooth infection can cause Sepsis which is a very dangerous condition, and frequently kills. I agree with you heath480 in this day and age it’s incomprehensible. Surely with full PPE dentists could treat dental emergencies. Obviously routine check ups should be suspended for now, but no emergency treatment is a disgrace. The lady I spoke to today told me that there will be information dispensed tomorrow, and it’s possible that private dentists will be allowed to practice. If that is the case, I shall certainly make an appointment to see anyone who will treat me privately, but I’m acutely aware that not everyone will be able to do that. I normally see my lovely NHS dentist, but if I can’t, and I can see a dentist privately, then needs must.
I hope I can manage a good night’s sleep, here’s hoping.

maddyone Thu 21-May-20 23:58:33

It’s encouraging to hear that dentists want to get back to work. I agree with you suzie that it is a difficult problem and the authorities have simply shrugged their shoulders. I wouldn’t wish tooth pain on anyone, but I do wonder how quickly a member of the government or their family would wait for dental treatment. My best guess is not long.

suziewoozie Fri 22-May-20 00:15:27

The legal position as I understand it is that certainly private dentists are allowed to practice. What is stopping them is what regulatory and professional risks they would be exposing themselves to for so doing. I’ll see if I can find the link I was reading. I’m very pessimistic indeed about anything more than emergency extractions being available for the foreseeable. maddy I hope you get some treatment that at least allays your understandable fears of infection.

craftyone Fri 22-May-20 05:12:31

It is dire for everyone, dentists are indeed losing out financially and struggling, most dentists are not such big earners btw, they are just normal earners. The dentists I know are actively looking to leave the profession, in spite of 5 years of training and many many hours of added knowledge, sedation and so on. They feel very let down and ignored by the government with not a single £ of help

kittylester Fri 22-May-20 09:37:36

The NHS Dental Providers earn quite well crafty. And are still being paid their uda rate and will not be penalised for not reaching their targets.

The BDA have been largely ineffectual at policing their membership (unlike the BMA) but also have not fought for the dentist when the findings of the Review Bodies have been ignored by different governments.

Governments consistently changed the Fee Per Item of Service for years which encouraged dentists to change their advice to patients, they swapped to capitation and then Units of Dental Activity with various stops along the way.

And, while it has been difficult for NHS dentists to provide a fully comprehensive service it is still possible to make a very good living.

None of the dentists I know are thinking of leaving the profession.

kittylester Fri 22-May-20 10:15:42

And, btw, what is a 'normal' earner? There are currently adverts ariund for postmn/women earning £11 ph.

suziewoozie Fri 22-May-20 10:21:19

There is a great deal wrong with the way NHS dentistry has developed in this country over many years now ( not just the last 10) . But the issue facing us today is that no real thought at all has been given to the provision of dental services during the pandemic apart from the totally inadequate emergency provision.

kittylester Fri 22-May-20 11:41:59

Which is my point really. Since soon after the inception of the nhs right to the present day!

suziewoozie Fri 22-May-20 12:02:12

But regardless of how nhs dentistry is funded , it doesn’t change the basic fact that what’s on offer at the moment is unacceptable. It just was not thought about

kittylester Fri 22-May-20 12:29:04


maddyone Fri 22-May-20 13:32:44

Thank you ladies for all your kind responses. Today the dentist has just phoned. He was so kind and caring, and it seems he has replaced one of the dentists who has left from the practice I normally go to. Anyway he has diagnosed the problem from our discussion and he was looking at my notes. It seems he thinks I have an infection in the gum where I had an extraction a few years ago. During the extraction the dentist couldn’t quite remove all of the root as it was too near an implant I have, and so unfortunately I couldn’t have another implant or even a bridge and have had to wear a small plate instead. The dentist said it’s not uncommon for these bits of retained root to become infected. He has prescribed antibiotics and my husband can go to pick them up this afternoon. He told me that if the antibiotics don’t work or the infection comes back, then I will need to go to the DentalHub in the city (we live about ten miles outside the city) and I suspect they will remove the bits of root. He reassured me that they have all the correct PPE and it’s safe to go there. He was so kind and whilst I felt somewhat abandoned yesterday, I feel better that I’m being looked after today. My dentist, Louise, has just left the practice and I was disappointed as I liked her so much, so now that it appears Mohammed has joined our practice, I’m now hoping my care will be taken over by him, once the dentists reopen.
I’m staying in my bedroom today as I’m not feeling very well with this tooth problem, but once I start the antibiotics I’m hoping to quickly begin to feel better.
If any of you Gransnetters begin to get a tooth problem please ring your dental surgery, and you will be given a number to phone. They triage you and get a dentist to ring you back. In my area it was one of the dentists from my practice, unless of course all practices have taken all their notes to the central hub, but that seems a bit unlikely to me. I know if the antibiotics don’t clear it, I’ll go to the city DentalHub.
Although I’m happy about my treatment up to now, I do feel very strongly that the government need to get dentistry going again fairly quickly. And of course dentists, just like doctors, must be given sufficient PPE.
I still agree with you suzie not enough is on offer at the moment and much more thought needs to go into how the dentists can work again safely.

Dreamkeeper Fri 22-May-20 13:55:10

My husband has suffered with toothache for over a week.
He is a very ill man and in fact has a terminal disease.
We were advised to contact his GP which we did simply to be told they do not deal with teeth.
We then contacted our usual Dental Practise and he was advised his own Dentist would be in next morning.
On phoning yesterday he was immediately asked along later that morning,beforehand he explained how we were both being "shielded" and in Lockdown.
On arrival he had to first knock the door whereupon a Nurse in full PPE answered,ushering him into a well scrubbed room.
The dentist herself wore full PPE.
Within soe 10 minutes the procedure was completed and he was sent on his way with a prescription for Antibiotics.
Our bigger problem was finding a "clean" car and driver to take us there and back.Fortunately a friend stepped into the breach,again wearing appropriate gear.
So I hope this gives hope to those of you suffering in similar circumstances.

It is obviously a serious situation that needs resolving without further delay.
My appointment in mid March was cancelled and I have no idea when "normal service" will be returned.Meanwhile all the caring of my teeth is being neglected ..........and this of course is being repeated everywhere.

Sussexborn Fri 22-May-20 14:04:44

It seems understandable that caution is needed as the virus is spread via the nose and mouth so even with the correct PPE, not many people want to spend too much time with their fingers in a patient’s mouth.

Perhaps robotic dentistry should be investigated!

The only poor dentist I knew kept having affairs with his assistants then marrying them when they became pregnant. Last I heard he had been married six times and one of his daughters (my DD ‘s friend) had lost track of how many siblings she had!

There’s been a dental service in the West Midlands quite early on in lockdown. Extractions only though to date when I last heard Lots of dentists around as well pre lockdown, most with banners offering NHS services. .

I had read somewhere that cloves or clove oil are helpful for toothache. My middle BIL found it took the edge off the pain when he had toothache over Christmas some years ago before we had a 24/7 society.

craftyone Fri 22-May-20 21:10:35

There is some (new) hope that dentists will be operational soon

robotic dentistry grin 5 years+ training and great skill also needed, an ability to put patients at ease, diagnose and also be able to apply sedation

none of my information is guesswork or from the media btw

kittylester Fri 22-May-20 21:36:29

Nor is mine And, I reiterate, that none of the dentists I know are rushing to leave the profession.

I thought it was quite telling that, in the briefing today, they talked about consulting the CMO no mention of the CDO. It was ever thus.