Coronavirus COVID-19

The coronavirus pandemic is impacting how we deliver our dental services.

Latest update (Wednesday 8th July 2020):

We are open, but currently prioritising appointments for patients with dental emergencies and other dental urgencies.

Dentistry has changed.

You will not be able to book an appointment in the usual way.

We are still operating a telephone triage emergency service, but can now see a very limited number of patients safely for some emergency and urgent dental treatment.

Find out more:

Stay at home as much as possible. We can help control the virus if we all stay safe. Stay alert - Control the virus - Save lives.

All routine appointments are postponed until further notice.

We are currently only seeing patients for emergency and urgent dental treatment.

We are operating at a greatly reduced capacity with limited treatment available. Our current priorities are to help our patients with dental pain and infection, and to help fix functional problems where possible, even if the fix is only temporary for now.

We are also aware that some patients may not have contacted us with suspicious lumps, bumps and patches during lockdown, but we strongly encourage them to do so now – since for many conditions, including oral cancer, early diagnosis and treatment is very important.

When and how to get help with dental and oral problems

We are still operating a telephone triage service providing telephone advice where possible and prioritising appointments for patients with conditions that need emergency or urgent attention.

Do not attend the practice – the door will be locked.

Appointments can only be booked through our telephone triage service.

When to call the telephone triage service

Please contact our dental triage team for further help and advice if you have any of the following urgent dental problems and dental emergencies:

  • Suspected oral cancer, or a suspicious lump, bump or patch
  • Dental or oral infections
  • Dental pain that cannot be controlled at home
  • Severe dental and oral trauma (e.g. a knocked out tooth, or broken tooth that is bleeding and/or severely painful)
  • Oral or facial swelling that is significant and worsening
  • Bleeding after an extraction that won’t stop after applying pressure for 15-60 minutes
  • Severe trismus (lockjaw)
  • Any dental or oral problem that might affect a medical condition (e.g. diabetes)

We now also have capacity to help patients with other dental urgencies such as:

  • Oral or facial swellings
  • Milder toothaches and pains that can be controlled at home with painkillers
  • Broken teeth and dental trauma
  • Lost or broken fillings
  • Lost crowns and bridges
  • Broken dentures
  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Bleeding gums

If you feel you have a dental emergency or urgency then please call the practice on 0161 438 0446 during our open hours (9.00-13.00 and 14.00-18.00 Monday to Friday) and one of our dental nurses will triage you over the phone and provide advice or arrange for one of our dentists to call you back if appropriate.

Dental checkups and routine treatment

The precautions we are taking due to the coronavirus pandemic mean we can only see a very limited number of patients each day and we are currently prioritising appointments for patients requiring emergency and urgent dental treatment. We do not currently know when we will be able to resume routine non-urgent dentistry.

We are not currently reminding patients when they are due a routine checkup, but when normal services resume, we will restart sending out our normal text message reminders, starting with children and those most overdue.

If you are seeking a dental checkup then please wait for your text message reminder. If you are seeking any non-urgent treatment then please check this page periodically for updates.

If you are currently having any dental or oral problems or issues then please read when to call the telephone triage service.

Please help keep our phone lines free for dental emergencies and check back here for updates rather than asking our telephone triage team.

Patients in isolation with symptoms and/or living with others with symptoms

NHS advice is currently that you should self isolate if:

  • you have any symptoms of coronavirus (a high temperature, a new, continuous cough or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste)
  • you’re waiting for a coronavirus test result
  • you’ve tested positive for coronavirus – this means you have coronavirus
  • you live with someone who has symptoms, is waiting for a test result or has tested positive

If you are in self isolation and you have a dental emergency then let us know when you call our telephone triage service.

At risk groups and Shielding

If you have a dental emergency but have have been told you are at high or moderate risk from coronavirus or asked to shield, then let us know when you call our telephone triage service.

Why has COVID-19 changed dentistry?

Social distancing means our normal busy waiting rooms and appointment schedules will have to be a thing of the past.

In dentistry, we are used to and very confident with strict cross infection protocols in our dental surgeries to avoid the spread of infectious diseases (like hepatitis and AIDs) between our patients and dental teams, but coronavirus (COVID-19) is different.

COVID-19 can spread from person to person much more easily than the other infectious diseases we are used to. Of particular importance for dentistry, it is feared that COVID-19 can spread in the clouds of water made by some of our dental drills and scalers. These aerosols of water (and virus) can stay in the air for some time, and cannot simply be cleaned away and disinfected in the same way splashes of water or blood on a surface can.

What has changed at Burton Dental Care?

Our community has been through a lot over the last few months, and all of us are looking forward to resuming our normal habits and routines. While many things have changed, one thing has remained the same: our commitment to your safety.

We are taking lots of new precautions to help keep our patients and dental team safe:

  • Our door will remain locked to help maintain social distancing. Our practice isn’t big enough for lots of people to social distance inside like a supermarket is, so we are only allowing patients to enter who have already booked an appointment via our telephone triage service.
  • There are far fewer appointments available each day to both help maintain social distancing and also to allow the air to change between patients after use of aerosol producing equipment like some of our drills and scalers.
  • You will be required to use hand sanitiser on entry and during your visit.
  • We have new specially designed infection control and prevention protocols to disinfect our surgeries and the rest of the practice before and after each patient and regularly throughout the day.
  • We will be wearing more protective equipment (PPE) especially for procedures that produce an aerosol.
  • The treatments we offer may be different to help reduce the risk of spreading coronavirus with aerosols.
  • We will give you a set of instructions to follow in preparation for your appointment to help keep everybody safe.

It will take some time before services can return to anything close to what you previously experienced as normal. We ask for your patience and understanding while we carve out a new normal, and we ask for your help in keeping everybody safe.

Dental practices and PPE

Previously medical protective equipment (PPE) was rightly being saved for use by our medical colleagues during the COVID-19 pandemic. The government gave dental practices in England only 10 days notice to reopen, and NHS England produced new guidelines for us to follow with less than 4 days to go.

Due to this poor planning and communication from the government and NHS England, there are now over 7,000 NHS dental practices (and thousands more private dental practices) scrambling to source the right protective equipment we need to provide safe dental treatment.

While we have managed to source most of the equipment we need, we are still waiting to receive some of the PPE required to safely provide the treatments that create an aerosol (eg those that use some of our drills and our scalers). The health of our patients and dental team is of paramount importance so without this vital PPE we are currently unable to provide aerosol generating treatment in our practice, and patients with dental emergencies that require this type of treatment will still need to be referred to our local COVID-19 Urgent Dental Care system.

See the top of the page for the very latest update.

Read our Dentists’ top tips to avoid toothache and dental infections during lockdown