Dental news you’ve missed this week

Missed out on this week’s dental news? No problem, here’s what happened over the past seven days…

Tooth loss could be a symptom of long COVID, experts suggest

Tooth loss could be a new side effect of long COVID, dentists have warned

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.

COVID-19 – mouth cancer referrals fall by 33%

Mouth cancer referrals have fallen by one third since the start of the pandemic – sparking calls for urgent action

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.

CDO Sara Hurley – ‘prioritise patients with suspected mouth cancer’

The majority of dental treatments now carried out are tooth saving, it has been confirmed

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.

COVID-19 – 10% UK’s dental hygienists and therapists not back at work

More than half of the UK's dental hygienists and therapists are working reduced hours in response to COVID-19

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.

Private healthcare group shuts two dental practices due to staff shortages

A private healthcare company has shut two of its practices after struggling to recruit dentists, it has been revealed

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.

Latest webinars

Keely discussing Invisalign

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:

Catch up on last week’s news here.

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