The British Dental Association (BDA) is seeking an urgent meeting with Scotland’s chief dental officer Margie Taylor to address concerns about new decontamination regulations.
The call comes after the chief dental officer recently wrote to Health Boards with further guidance on the requirements that will come into force in 2009, including the provision of an area outside the surgery for decontamination processes. The BDA is concerned that the guidelines are not evidence-based and that many dentists will not be able to comply with them because of a lack of space in their surgeries.
Colin Crawford, chair of the BDA’s Scottish Dental Practice Committee (SDPC), said: ‘While practitioners are committed to high standards of decontamination, the BDA is concerned about the lack of an evidence base for these guidelines.
‘Implementing these measures will present serious challenges for high-street dentists across Scotland. The audit of sample practices by the chief dental officer that will establish exactly what will be required of each practice to comply is yet to be completed, but it is clear that the lack of space in many dentists’ premises means that implementing the guidance will be very difficult.
‘For dentists whose premises cannot be adapted to comply with the new regulations, there will be difficult choices to make. In some cases, this could even mean the closure of surgeries and patients losing access to their dental practitioner.’