1 June 2020
The FGDP(UK) and newly formed College of General Dentistry have convened an expert task force to review the evidence base for dental practice during the COVID-19 outbreak and have today launched the official guidelines ‘Implications of COVID-19 for the safe management of general dental practice – a practical guide’.
The UK wide task force panel includes 30 senior members of a number of organisations, including the British Dental Association, the Faculty of Dental Surgery
of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow, the Faculty of Dental Surgery of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, the Association
of Dental Groups, the Association of Dental Implantology and the newly-formed British Association of Private Dentistry and has received support and
input from groups across the profession including the British Society of Dental Hygiene & Therapy and the British Association of Dental Nurses.
It supports dental professionals to take a risk and evidence-based approach to providing safe care in the current circumstances and allows the flexibility
of setting minimum requirements whatever the national COVID-19 threat level.
Ian Mills, Dean of FGDP(UK) comments “During the initial stages of the pandemic it was important that all but emergency dentistry procedures were paused.
However, we are now at a point where the risk to the oral health of the population will be impacted unless practices are able to reopen, albeit with
the correct protection for patients and the dental team.
This guidance has been developed as a framework to enable the confident and safe return to practice, now and also into the future as the situation with COVID-19 continues to evolve. It is the result of the collaborative effort of a team of dedicated individuals from across the profession who have spent the last few weeks committed to reviewing the evidence, assessing the risks and finding a way forward.”
In line with other FGDP(UK) Guidance and Standards publications, the guidance adopts the ABC (Aspirational, Basic, Conditional) approach to measures with ‘basic’ measures being a minimum standard.
The guidance is divided into five sections – four of which reflect the patient journey and the fifth concerns general management of the practice. These sections are assigned a risk status and ABC based risk mitigation measures to ensure safe practice and include:
Onkar Dhanoya, Chair of the Task Group, commented “These guidelines have been developed to address the specific needs of primary dental care. This includes the recognition that whilst safety of patients and team members is the priority, closure of practices is in itself harming patients, their oral health and psychological wellbeing. The use of the risk matrix tables within the guidance allows us to reflect the varied needs of practices and the fluid nature of the current situation.”
Roshni Karia, Junior Vice Dean, FGDP(UK) comments “The COVID-19 pandemic has brought uncertainty to a number of aspects of daily life. This guidance aims to help develop specific strategies for primary dental care with a realistic approach to what can be achieved in practice. It also provides guidance for supporting patients and staff who may be in greater risk categories. By working together as a team, we can all proceed with confidence and help to sustain trust in dentistry overall.”
For further information and to access a full copy of the guidance please visit
Note to editor:
Wider task force members include:
|Richard Ablett||Clinical Director, Association of Dental Groups|
|Mick Armstrong||General Dental Practitioner, Chair British Dental Association|
|Toni Batty||Dental Practice Manager, Honorary Lecturer Peninsula DS|
|Maria Clark||Patient Representative|
|Vanessa Davies||Independent Policy Advisor|
|Onkar Dhanoya||Chair, General Dental Practitioner, Board Member FGDP(UK)|
|Jacqueline Elsden||President British Association of Dental Nurses|
|Rebecca Harris||Professor / Honorary Consultant Dental Public Health|
|Mick Horton||General Dental Practitioner, Trustee of College of General Dentistry|
|Helen Kaney||Lead Dento-legal Consultant & Head of Dental Services, Scotland for MPS, Board Member FGDP (UK)|
|Roshni Karia||General Dental Practitioner, Vice-Dean FGDP (UK)|
|Tashfeen Kholasi||General Dental Practitioner, Board Member FGDP (UK)|
|Jonathan Lack||Specialist Periodontist|
|Ian Mills||General Dental Practitioner, Dean FGDP(UK)|
|Donald McNicol||General Dental Practitioner, Council Member FDS Glasgow|
|Govin Murugachandran||Chief Executive Officer, Flynotes|
|Susan Nelson||General Dental Practitioner, Board Member FGDP (UK)|
|Eimear O'Connell||General Dental Practitioner, President of Association of Dental Implantology|
|Dominic O’Hooley||General Dental Practitioner|
|Abhi Pal||General Dental Practitioner Senior Vice Dean FGDP (UK)|
|Andrew Paraschchak||General Dental Practitioner, Board Member FGDP (UK)|
|Mark Richardson||Chief Dental Officer (RAF and Defence), Board Member FGDP (UK)|
|Diane Rochford||President Elect British Society of Dental Hygiene Therapists|
|Jason Smithson||General Dental Practitioner, Executive Committee of British Association of Private Dentistry|
|Sami Stagnell||General Dental Practitioner, Specialist Oral Surgeon, Board Member FGDP (UK)|
|Suzanne Sykes||Special Care Dentist, Board Member GDP (UK)|
|Phil Taylor||Professor of Prosthodontics, Dean Elect of FDS Edinburgh,|
|Chet Trivedy||Consultant in Emergency Medicine|
|Jason Wong||General Dental Practitioner, LDN Chair|
The British Society of Dental Hygiene and Therapy (BSDHT) is a nationally recognised body that represents over 4,000 Dental Hygienists and Dental Therapists across the UK and beyond.
BSDHT maintain an on-going dialogue with the General Dental Council (GDC), the Departments of Health and all of the main groups representing dental care professionals, and attends meetings of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Dentistry, bringing dental hygiene and therapy to the attention of government ministers and MP’s.
Visit www.bsdht.org.uk for more information.
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