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COVID-19 – pandemic led to estimated 19 million missed dental visits

The dental profession is calling on urgent government support amidst reports that 19 million dental appointments have been missed since March.

The British Dental Association (BDA) has urged the Department of Health and Social Care to produce a package of capital funding.

In an open letter to Matt Hancock, it states that it is the only hope of resuming routine services to millions of patients across the UK.

‘COVID restrictions have left dentists firefighting with huge backlogs, unable to see more than a fraction of our former patient numbers, especially in the NHS,’ said BDA chair Eddie Crouch

‘We now face a Catch-22. New rules could bring back a dose of normality. But also come with a multimillion pound bill for new kit that practices simply cannot afford.’

Clock is ticking

He added: ‘On paper we have a chance to restore services to millions. But without support from government it … Read the rest

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Cosmetic corner – lockdown part II

In the middle of a second lockdown, Nafisa Mughal explores what we can do to stay in touch with our patients and remain busy when practices reopen.

Here we go again… With the second lockdown in force throughout England, a sense of deja-vu and dread is rising.

We all have a shared frustration with this lockdown, which seems to have such unclear boundaries compared to March.

We are able to treat people within dentistry, a much higher risk area when compared to aesthetics. Logically, it makes no sense. However, the main difference cited is that most forms of cosmetic treatments are ‘non essential’. That’s where the sticking point is.

It’s come at one of our busiest times of the year within the aesthetics sector – the month before Christmas. But I can’t say it’s too surprising since nothing this year has been conventional!

Learning from part I

When we went … 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…

COVID-19 vaccine more than 90% effective, trials suggest

I don’t know about you, but I’m starting to look forward with a little bit of hesitant optimism. News of a 90% effective COVID-19 vaccine hints at an end in sight. Even if this isn’t the panacea, other vaccines are also just around the corner! Dentistry might never look the same, but at least those nervous patients will start returning to the practice.

UK’s chief dental officers release update on COVID-19

The chief dental officers across the UK have come together to release a joint letter in response to the growing number of coronavirus cases. The letter warns of a tough few winter months ahead. It asks dental teams to use their ‘professional judgement’ to ensure patients receive safe care. This is a little … Read the rest

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‘Huge concern’ – significant spike in the prescription of antibiotics by dentists

There has been a steep rise in the number of antibiotics prescribed to dental patients, a study has revealed. 

Data shows a 25% spike in the prescription of antibiotics by dentists in response to this year’s COVID-19 lockdown.

From late March to 8 June, dental practices across the UK closed their doors as part of the national lockdown to slow the spread of the virus.

The study – published in the British Dental Journal – reveals prescription rates were highest in London. The city saw an increase of 60%.

‘Huge concern’

In comparison, the lowest spike – less than 10% – was found in the south west.

This comes as the World Dental Federation (FDI) releases a paper on antibiotic resistance to mark World Antimicrobial Awareness Week.

Antibiotic resistance (ABR) is a major threat to the state of global health. For example, if rates continue to rise, it is … Read the rest

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Zak Lee-Green – a life in dentistry

Zak Lee-Green speaks to us about his unusual path from rowing with the GB team to a career in dentistry and what he’s picked up along the way.

Talk us through your early years, how did you get into rowing?

Zak Lee-Green: I first got into rowing through school in Cardiff.

One of the teachers was a keen oarswoman, she had previously rowed at the local rowing club.

It was just a normal state school, except we spoke Welsh.

On Wednesdays, the final lesson was a club lesson where you could choose to do one of a number of different activities.

In year eight I decided to give rowing a go. Due to a limit on numbers only about 10-12 people could go.

We went to the local rowing club and spent most of our time crashing into each other, capsizing boats and getting soaked. It was great fun.

Our … Read the rest

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UK’s chief dental officers release update on COVID-19

The UK’s chief dental officers have released a joint letter in response to the growing number of coronavirus cases. 

As the nation adjusts to the restrictions of the second lockdown, the CDOs of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have spoken out to the profession.

While dental practices can remain open, they acknowledge that teams are likely to face renewed pressure over the winter months.

Local variation

‘Unfortunately, as we all know, COVID-19 cases are rising again and there is already sustained additional pressure on parts of the NHS,’ it states.

‘Pressure will inevitably be exacerbated by staff shortages due to sickness or caring responsibilities.

‘Due to the actions of the whole population of all four nations the initial peak of pressure will be significantly lower than it would have been.

‘But it may well be prolonged throughout the winter period, with wide local variation and fluctuation in cases. These … Read the rest

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Government considers total ban of online adverts for high sugar products

The total restriction of online advertising for high sugar products could be considered by the government. 

In a new consultation, the Department of Health and Social Care is looking for views on a complete online ban for products high in fat, sugar and salt (HFSS).

This comes as part of the government’s strategy to drive down obesity rates, particularly among children.

Currently, those aged five to 15 years old spend around 20 minutes more online every day in comparison to a television set.

Ramped up exposure

Evidence suggests this shift is also reflected in food and drink advertising. For example, there was a 450% increase in spend on online display between 2010 and 2017.

Professor Graham MacGregor, chair of Action on Sugar, welcomes the consultation.

‘We very much welcome this consultation on whether we should only advertise healthy food and drink online. It gives opportunity for ministers to hear from … Read the rest

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COVID-19 vaccine more than 90% effective, trials suggest

The first COVID-19 vaccine can stop 90% of people getting infected with the virus, according to the manufacturers.

Large-scales trials of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine suggests it marks a major breakthrough in the global effort to stamp out coronavirus.

The manufacturers called it a ‘great day for science and humanity’.

So far, no serious side effects have been reported.

Evidence of vaccine’s ability

This comes as regulators confirm they would approve a vaccine that is just 50% effective.

The vaccine was tested on more than 43,500 people across six different countries.

According to the Guardian, Dr Albert Bourla – the Pfizer chairman and chief executive – said: ‘Today is a great day for science and humanity.

‘The first set of results from our phase three COVID-19 vaccine trial provides the initial evidence of our vaccine’s ability to prevent COVID-19.’

Critical milestone

He added: ‘We are reaching this critical milestone in … Read the rest

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Out of office – Kunal Patel on a passion for cricket

This weekend we speak to Kunal Patel about his passion for cricket, difficulties in finding a work-life balance and his love for a KFC Zinger burger.

Please introduce yourself

Based in Surrey, England, born in north London. I am husband to Lucy and father to my 12-year-old step daughter, Keira and two-year-old son, Kyan.

Also owner and founder of Love Teeth Dental since 2014.

Claim to fame was my selection as the poster boy dentist for the NHS 111 campaign, which is still running nationwide in GPs, pharmacies, hospitals and dental clinics.

Recently I was invited to speak on behalf of dentists on the BBC during the COVID pandemic.

My parents have always been hard working. Both recently retired, Dad was a shop keeper and my mother owned a building company. I got my social qualities from my father and the ‘anything is possible’ mentality from my mother.

Both gave … 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…

What does a second lockdown mean for dentistry?

And so here we are again (for those in England), lockdown part two. What does a second lockdown mean for dentistry? Well, not much. It seems officials have learnt their lesson from the first lockdown and dental practices are able to remain open, providing they follow the CDO’s additional measures for dental practices. How the lockdown will impact the flow of patients to the practice is another matter. But at least this time dentists and dental professionals can offer to help their patients rather than just prescribe antibiotics.

Clinical Dentistry – the brand new publication for the dental profession

The secret is out! This week FMC grabbed the dental profession’s attention by launching Clinical Dentistry magazine. It will keep professionals of all ages, … Read the rest

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