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COVID-19: Reopening practices and returning to work

Last updated: 15 September, 2020

Health bodies from the four nations have been working on transitional plans to allow dental practices to resume offering a full range of dental services.

This guidance is applicable throughout the UK:

Infection control and PPE

Your primary source of guidance on infection control and personal protective equipment (PPE) should always be the Public Health England (PHE) website.

On 21 August PHE released COVID-19: Guidance for the remobilisation of services within health and care settings - Infection prevention and control recommendations. This sets out the infection prevention and control (IPC) advice for health and care organisations as the UK moves to remobilise healthcare services.

For guidance on fit testing face masks to avoid transmission during the coronavirus outbreak please see the Health and Safety Executive website.

You can find nation-specific, and further general guidance, below.

NHE England - Transition to recovery

NHS England has produced a dental standard operating procedure: Transition to recovery - a phased transition for dental practices towards the resumption of the full range of dental provision.

Personal protective equipment (PPE)

Your primary source of guidance on infection control and personal protective equipment (PPE) should be Public Health England.

For guidance on fit testing face masks to avoid transmission during the coronavirus outbreak please see the Health and Safety Executive website.

The latest information can be found on our COVID-19: latest guidance for England page

Remobilisation of NHS Dental Services in Scotland

On 18 June, a letter from CDO Scotland confirmed that all dental practices in Scotland were able to open from 22 June for urgent, non-aerosal care. 

On 7 August, a letter from CDO Scotland confirmed that NHS general dental practices can offer urgent AGP treatment from 17 August.   

Scottish Dental Clinical Effectiveness Programme (SDCEP)

To support practitioners working in primary dental care, the Scottish Dental Clinical Effectiveness Programme (SDCEP) has developed a Practice Recovery toolkit which includes a guide and associated implementation tools. 

Personal protective equipment (PPE)

Your primary source of guidance on infection control and personal protective equipment (PPE) should be Public Health England.

For guidance on fit testing face masks to avoid transmission during the coronavirus outbreak please see the Health and Safety Executive website.

The latest information can be found on our COVID-19: latest guidance for Scotland page

Resuming routine dental services in Wales

The Minister for Health and Social Services has released a statement lifting the Red alert in dentistry in Wales from 22 June.

Dental services can now move to the Amber phase of de-escalation, meaning all dental practices in Wales were able to open from 22 June. 

Personal protective equipment (PPE)

Your primary source of guidance on infection control and personal protective equipment (PPE) should be Public Health England.

The latest information can be found on our COVID-19: latest guidance for Wales page

Steps to restore dental services

On 10 September, the Acting Chief Dental Officer announced updates to the Northern Ireland Operational Guidance around restoring dental services.

Personal protective equipment (PPE)

Your primary source of guidance on infection control and personal protective equipment (PPE) should be Public Health England.

For guidance on fit testing face masks to avoid transmission during the coronavirus outbreak please see the Health and Safety Executive website.

The latest information can be found on our  COVID-19: latest guidance for Northern Ireland page

The Faculty of General Dental Practice (UK) have produced guidance which aims to facilitate a safe and timely return to the practice of dentistry within primary care , help the dental profession to identify risks and mitigate them appropriately, and develop specific strategies for their individual practice needs.