CDO releases guidance for dental practices as Wales introduces first local lockdown

The chief dental officer for Wales, Colette Bridgman, has issued a statement on the local lockdown rules for dentistryThe chief dental officer for Wales, Colette Bridgman, has issued a statement on the local lockdown rules for dentistry. 

This comes as the country introduces its first localised lockdown in Caerphilly county, after a spike in COVID-19 cases.

More than 130 people tested positive in the last week, prompting the new measure to come into force from 6pm yesterday (8 September).

According to the BDA, Dr Bridgman reminded practices that Wales remains in amber alert, meaning certain requirements still apply.

For example:

  • Face masks
  • Social distancing
  • COVID-19 risk assessments before appointments
  • Enhanced PPE
  • 10 minutes for disinfecting surgeries after non AGP procedures
  • Fallow times – one hour, although 20 minutes is appropriate if a surgery is ventilated with at least 10 air changes each hour.

Local variations

The CDO says practices can swing between the high and low amber statuses, depending on the COVID circumstances in local areas.

The red alert in Wales was lifted on 22 June. This saw the resumption of more treatments, including aerosol generating procedures.

For those practices where a local lockdown is imposed, teams need to focus on urgent care. Additionally, patients should not be asked to travel in or out of local lockdown areas for routine care if it can be safely delayed.

Other general requirements for those in Caerphilly county include:

  • Not entering or leaving the area
  • All people over the age of 11 must wear face coverings in shops
  • Friends and family cannot meet indoors or stay overnight
  • Finally, extended households cannot meet up.

Change in fallow time

This month, Wales was the first UK country to take steps in reducing the fallow time.

A minimum of 16 minutes fallow time is considered appropriate for short AGP treatments – those less than 10 minutes in length.

But this only applies to surgeries with the necessary ventilation systems where at least 10 air changes take place.

For AGP treatments that last 40 minutes, the fallow time increases to 18 minutes.

Additionally, the Independent Dental Association (IDA) Wales has put together a local lockdown Q&A. This can be viewed below.

Follow on Instagram to keep up with all the latest dental news and trends.

Get the most out of your membership by subscribing to Dentistry CPD
  • Access 600+ hours of verified CPD courses
  • Includes all GDC recommended topics
  • Powerful CPD tracking tools included
Register for webinar
Add to calendar