Missed out on this week’s dental news? No problem, here’s what happened over the past seven days…
We’re continuing to discover more and more about the side effects of COVID-19. Another one to add to the list is tooth loss. The coronavirus may irritate gums through inflammation, causing some patients to lose teeth, a new report shows. It points out that patients who already have oral health issues can see these exacerbated by the virus. I’m sure I say it every week – good oral health is the key to tackling this pandemic. It’s time dentistry is prioritised in Westminster.
Mouth cancer referrals have plummeted by a third since the start of the pandemic, new figures show. This is prompting the Oral Health Foundation to encourage self-checks at home. It’s so important to catch mouth cancer early. One of the many legacies of lockdown might be a jump in mouth cancer rates, which patients and dental teams will be dealing with for years to come.
Sara Hurley is calling on dental teams to prioritise patients with suspected mouth cancer. In her latest update to the profession, the England CDO says she now expects practices to start proactively recalling patients to resume interrupted care. However, with the shift to NHS incident Level 4, she points out that providing urgent care remains the clinical priority. She is also advising dental teams to reassess their approach towards prescribing antibiotics now dentistry is open again.
Despite such strong links between oral health and COVID, 10% of dental hygienists and therapists are not back at work. And of those that are back, 56% are working reduced hours. As Christina Chatfield points out, this is a ‘catastrophe’. Not just for patients’ oral health, but also for struggling DCPs who need a reliable income and might be forced away from the profession completely.
And finally, moving away from COVID for a moment, a recruitment crisis in Wales is starting to show again. Two practices in north Wales have been forced to close after they couldn’t recruit more dentists. This was a worrying issue before the pandemic, and it seems the problem hasn’t disappeared.
With Christmas quickly approaching, you might find yourself with a little more free time than you’re used to. If you find yourself kicking your heels, why not browse through Dentistry Study Club‘s ‘on demand’ webinars! We have a whole catalogue of previous webinars available, as well as an exciting line up for this week. Here’s what’s coming up:
- Associate dentist secrets: six simple steps to quadruple your Invisalign cases – with Keely Thorne – Sunday 6 December at 19:00
- Conversations on caries and whitening – with Alif Moosajee – Tuesday 8 December at 19:00
- Why the Medit I500? The perfect bridge between patient, clinician and lab – with Niall Kindersley at 19:00.
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