‘A benchmark of 15 to 30 minutes’ – this is the new fallow time recommendation endorsed by the Faculty of General Dental Practice UK.
In its updated guidance, the FGDP(UK) and the College of General Dentistry amended its fallow time advice.
This follows the publication of a review on AGPs by the Scottish Dental Clinical Effectiveness Programme (SDCEP). It argues that not all AGPs carry equal risk, suggesting fallow time is calculated using a multifactorial approach. As a result, times range from 10 to 30 minutes.
Currently, Public Health England (PHE) recommends a fallow period of 60 minutes if less than 10 air changes take place per hour following an AGP.
‘Our revised guidance incorporates the fallow time recommendations arising from SDCEP’s thorough review of evidence on the generation and mitigation of aerosols in dentistry,’ said Onkar Dhanoya, vice dean of FGDP(UK).
‘It will enable general dental practices to increase delivery of patient care. While maintaining the safety of both patients and members of the dental team.
‘This in turn should help improve access to dentistry. Additionally, it should address some of the unmet oral health need which has built up in recent months. And support the viability of dental practices as the pandemic continues.
‘Thanks are due to all the members of the task group, which represents a huge range of organisations and professional disciplines, for once again pulling together for the benefit of our profession at this critical time.’
Sensible and pragmatic
As a result, FGDP(UK) has put together a fallow time calculator.
Also supported by Practice Plan and Wesleyan, it is built upon the latest recommendations.
Ian Mills, dean of the faculty, said it offers a ‘sensible, pragmatic and safe approach’ to managing fallow time.
Available at www.myftc.co.uk, the tool is regularly updated in line with advice and offers a full audit trail.
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