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A dentist’s perspective on mental health

Nigel Jones gives his insight on the impact of stress on dental health and what dentists can do to help their patients.

The mental health issue raised by COVID

COVID has brought to light the importance of open communication about mental health. We have been encouraged to keep communication going with our own family and friends during lockdown. By socially distanced means of course.

For those who have had to self-isolate, stress about safety has been high. When combined with limited social interaction, the impact of the pandemic on the nation’s mental health is clear.

The ONS reports that more than two thirds of the UK’s adult population felt somewhat or very worried about the impact of the pandemic on their lives.

These are worrying statistics which can have a knock-on effect on physical health as well as mental health.

The link between stress and dental health

Stress is … Read the rest

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COVID-19: spike in waiting times for NHS dental care

Patient waiting times for NHS dental work are doubling as COVID-19 continues to cause interruptions. 

This is according to new data seen by the Daily Mail.

Following a Freedom of Information request, the news outlet found that waiting times have spiked – although overall numbers have not due to fewer referrals.

For example, the average waiting time at the Eastman Hospital in central London has almost doubled. In October 2019, it was 16 weeks – yet stood at 28 weeks at the end of August.

Significant spike

In total, around 7,700 patients are waiting for longer than 18 weeks between referral and treatment. But this figure was at 4,100 last year.

It is estimated that up to 14 million dental appointments could have been missed across the UK over the course of the pandemic.

Other hospitals have seen similar spikes in waiting times. For example, at Birmingham Dental Hospital … Read the rest

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Time running out for early bird discount on Skip Truitt’s online training course

Archformbyte is offering dentists a global first – the opportunity to attend Skip Truitt’s course on maxillofacial orthopaedics and orthodontics from your home.

Held on the 5 and 6 December, Skip will show attendees how to implement orthopaedic and orthodontic therapy into their own practice.

The course will cover:

  • Distinguishing between orthopaedic versus orthodontic therapy
  • Orthopaedic treatment options for patients with dental and skeletal imbalances
  • The concept of early interceptive orthopaedic treatment
  • Embryology and anatomy of the growing patient and factors influencing the development of the facial and alveolar bone
  • How to identify patients who require early interceptive orthopaedic treatment
  • How to obtain the necessary records leading to diagnosis and treatment of skeletal and dental imbalances
  • Step-by-step guide through case analysis and formulation of a treatment plan
  • Provision, maintenance and adjustment of the orthopaedic appliances
  • How to implement orthopaedic and orthodontic treatment into your own practice.

And now, Archformbyte is … Read the rest

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Solving the AGP issue in dental practices

Paul Riddick gives his thoughts on the current focus on air changes per hour and suggests dentistry is overlooking a potential solution.

Recent publications still constantly focus on ACH (air changes per hour) on the basis of ‘diluting’ the air of potential contaminants (after the event) to reduce fallow times.

As you probably already know, all dentists in the UK have to comply with the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) regulations 2002.

There are legal implications for not complying. However, SOP guidelines from both the Faculty of General Dental Practice (FDGP) and Scottish Dental Clinical Effectiveness Programme (SDCEP) constantly fail to mention this key point in relation to aerosol generating procedures (AGPs).

COSHH Regulations for Hazardous Substances in the Workplace

The COSHH Approved Code of Practice (ACOP) specifically allows the COSHH assessment to be part of the general risk assessment, which is required under regulation three of the … Read the rest

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Sara Hurley CDO speaks out on second lockdown

The chief dental officer for England has confirmed that NHS dental services will remain open during the UK’s second lockdown.

In her latest news bulletin, Sara Hurley said dental practices should remain open to treat patients over the next four weeks.

Dental teams should carry out treatments in line with the latest standard operating procedure (SOP) as well as recently-updated infection prevention control guidance.

The updated SOP allows for a reduction in fallow time if practices meet the necessary ventilation and mitigation requirements.

New national measures

When six to nine air changes take place each hour (ACH), a baseline fallow period of 20 minutes is recommended. Additionally, this can be reduced to just 15 minutes if there are 10 or more ACH.

The government is again calling for the public to stay home to save lives. Households can leave for limited reasons, including for education, work if it cannot be … Read the rest

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Out of office – Martina Hodgson on juggling time with the family and dentistry

This week Martina Hodgson discusses the difficulties of juggling a family life and running a successful dental practice.

Please introduce yourself

When I was asked to write an article on what I do outside of dentistry I was a little panicked! I love what I do so much that I wonder if I have a life outside of dentistry at all!

I am the owner of The Dental Studio. An unassuming yet multi-award winning private family practice in a small ex-coal mining community in Wakefield.

I have the privilege of being at the same practice for over 15 years, and owner for the last 13 years.

I am the co-founder of Inspiring Women in Dentistry. And I spend at least 90% of my time now carrying out Invisalign. It is an honour to speak for Aligner Consulting and appear as a key opinion leader for Dental Monitoring.

Although I still … Read the rest

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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…

One third of dentists experienced abuse from patients during pandemic

third of dentists experienced abuse from patients during the COVID pandemic, according to new Dental Protection statistics. And 5% say they experienced verbal abuse outside of the surgery. Healthcare professionals dedicate their lives to achieving the very best for their patients. The least they should expect is to be able to practise or live their lives without receiving abuse for it. The pandemic brought the best and worst out of people. But maybe this is a sign the pendulum has swung too far the wrong way.

ARF will remain unchanged for 2021

The GDC announced its Annual Retention Fee would remain the same for 2021. The dental regulator has history for taking advantage of those it regulates to replenish its … Read the rest

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Temporary VAT holiday on PPE set to finish

VAT on PPE is set to resume at 20% from the end of October after the Treasury ended its ‘tax holiday’.

The tax was cut on the 1 May to ‘relieve the burden’ on frontline workers of purchasing PPE. The Guardian believes the cut on VAT has saved healthcare workers £300m over the last six months.

With a reintroduction just around the corner, the BDA is calling on Rishi Sunak to change his approach.

‘A policy designed to relieve burdens on the healthcare sector is set to go when it is most needed,’ British Dental Association chair, Eddie Crouch, says. ‘The result is dentists, care homes and tens of thousands of other businesses will struggle with added costs.

‘A short-term extension is essential, but we need to see real imagination from government. Giving health and social care providers the ability to reclaim these costs could offer a viable way forward.… Read the rest

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Patient who stalked dentist with crossbow jailed after breaching restraining order

Tom Baddeley

A man who was discovered with a crossbow near his dentist’s home has been jailed after breaching a restraining order.

Thomas Baddeley – a former patient– secretly stalked dentist Ian Hutchinson for four years until he was stopped by police in November last year.

He was found with a crossbow, a large knife, hammer and bleach. But after sentencing in August, he was released on license due to the time he served on remand.

However, Baddeley was arrested earlier this month after a police officer spotted him attempting to disguise himself near Dr Hutchinson’s practice.

He pleaded guilty to breaching his restraining order. As a result, he has been jailed for two years.

Completely unacceptable

DC Ceri Parker, the officer in the case, said: ‘Tom Baddeley chose not to comply with the legal restrictions imposed on him and sought to further harass his victim.

‘Breaching a restraining … Read the rest

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CDO for England releases new SOP for dentistry

The latest standard operating procedure (SOP) for NHS dental services in England has been released.

Published yesterday, the updated guidance follows a review into AGPs in the climate of COVID-19 and the new COVID-19: infection prevention and control dental index.

Key revisions include the reduction of fallow time and changes to mask requirements.

The updated SOP means that fallow time can be cut if practices meet the necessary ventilation and mitigation requirements.

When six to nine air changes take place each hour (ACH), a baseline fallow period of 20 minutes is recommended. This can be reduced to just 15 minutes if there are 10 or more ACH.

Confirmation of mask requirements

Additionally, it confirms that FFP3 and loose-fitting powered hoods are recommended for AGP treatments. However, if a risk assessment shows an FFP2 mask is suitable, it is recommended as a safe alternative.

With this in mind, the Office of … Read the rest

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