Guidelines to dentists during a pandemic

The Welsh Assembly Government has issued guidelines to dentist on providing dental care to patients during a pandemic.

The rules are available on its website.

In light of the swine flu pandemic, the guidelines serve as a timely reminder.

The list suggests that during a pandemic period, at the time they make an appointment patients should be advised to contact the practice should they have any flu-like symptoms.

It also recommends that patients should be contacted at least 24 hours before their appointment to ensure that they are symptom free.  

Experts also say that ‘as a routine, where facilities exist, all patients should be actively screened for symptoms of influenza on entry to the practice and before they enter the waiting room or clinical area’.  

The guidelines also suggest that in the event of pandemic influenza, dentists should expect to see a marked reduction in the number of patients attending for dental care. Patients may defer routine dental care until after the pandemic, contacting the practice only for pain relief or other emergency treatment.  

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