Dentists to provide emergency treatments only

dental treatment restrictions COVID-19

As COVID-19 continues to spread, the Federal Government has ordered all dentists to adhere to strict guidelines, which includes turning away more patients and only treating cases that meet “emergency” criteria.

Dentists had already been taking precautions in light of the pandemic, but these were ramped up last Friday.

Level 3 restrictions mean dentists can no longer treat patients for things like broken or chipped teeth, bleeding or sore gums, denture concerns, crown and bridge issues, or jaws that click and grate. It also rules out the routine scale and clean.

Treatments that are allowed to continue must not generate aerosols unless for patients with acute pain, or the management of significantly damaged front teeth.

Dentists also can continue to manage medically compromised patients and those who are deemed at higher risk of rapid progression of dental disease.

For general dentistry, the changes will be significant, given a scale and clean is usually a gateway treatment.

The Australian Dental Association is running webinars for its members and providing support and information about these changes as well as mental health support as COVID-19 upturns how they operate.

The original version of this story was published on the 10 daily website.

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