Dental practices in the East of England to reopen in phases from next week

Dental practices in the East of England will begin to reopen from Monday (8 June) for face-to-face appointments that are pre-booked by phone or email.

For many practices, the reopening will be phased in gradually as they undertake the work required to prioritise the safety of patients and staff. In this early phase, practices will be assessing and prioritising patients with the most urgent need for dental care, and some patients may be referred elsewhere for some treatment.

Patients must contact their usual dental practice by phone or email if they need dental care and will then be given advice or offered an appointment, if appropriate.

Anyone who is told to visit their dentist may notice some changes have been made to keep you and your dental team safe. This might mean:

  • Your practice will look different as it observes social distancing and hygiene rules.
  • The dental team may also be wearing different protective equipment to what you are used to seeing.
  • The range of treatments you will be offered may be different to what you received previously.
  • Treatments offered may vary from practice to practice.
  • This will depend on the staff and equipment available at the time and is to ensure your safety and that of the dental team.

Rachel Webb, director of primary care and public health for NHS England and NHS Improvement in the East of England, said: “It’s great news for patients that further dental practices will start to open from Monday, although practices will need to prioritise patients with the most urgent needs first.

“Practices will look quite different, as measures have been put in place to provide a safe environment for dental services. These precautions will mean that clinicians will not be able to work as quickly as usual, and we are grateful to patients for their understanding and cooperation while we move to a more routine level of dental and hygiene care.”

Please do not visit your dental practice unless you’ve been advised to. This will ensure the practice can continue to provide essential care safely.

If you think you need urgent dental treatment:

  • call your dentist
  • if you cannot contact your dentist, or you do not have one, use the NHS 111 online service

if a clinical appointment is necessary, this may take place at your dental practice or at an urgent dental care centre.