Gradual reopening of Welwyn Hatfield dentists may leave many with toothache
PUBLISHED: 11:45 11 June 2020 | UPDATED: 11:45 11 June 2020
Welwyn Hatfield dentists are gradually reopening but many patients could still be left with toothache for a little while longer.
Some NHS dental practices in the borough did reopen for face-to-face appointments from Monday, June 8 but several practices are likely to still restrict themselves to urgent care appointments only – meaning you can be seen if your oral health is likely to deteriorate significantly or you are in severe pain, according to NHS England.
Welwyn Garden City’s Peartree Clinic has said that it cannot reopen to the public right now as it was given very short notice on the government’s plans and therefore needs to make changes to fit new health and safety requirements.
This includes modifying its practice waiting rooms and surgeries, sourcing new equipment and PPE, organising fit testing, carrying out full risk assessments and policy write ups and training its staff.
Similarly, Experdental – which owns a practice in Hatfield town Centre and at Hilltop – has also not reopened widely.
The lack of dentists has left many patients in limbo and in danger of losing teeth they may not ordinarily have had to.
One patient, who had to travel in May from Welwyn Garden City to Hemel Hempstead, said: “My experience wasn’t great. I was in severe deliberating pain for nearly three weeks, and I eventually lost a tooth, that may have been saved by root canal surgery in normal times. I am not alone, this is the situation across the UK. It’s quite astonishing.”
Though some such as Greenleaves Dental Practice in Potters Bar and Panshanger Dental Practice in Welwyn Garden City, have reopened.
On the reopening Rachel Webb, director of primary care and public health for NHS England and NHS Improvement in the East of England, said: “Practices will look quite different, as measures have been put in place to provide a safe environment for dental services. These precautions will mean that clinicians will not be able to work as quickly as usual, and we are grateful to patients for their understanding and cooperation while we move to a more routine level of dental and hygiene care.”
If you think you need urgent dental treatment: Call your dentist, if you cannot contact your dentist, or you do not have one, use the NHS 111 online service and if a clinical appointment is necessary, this may take place at your dental practice or at an urgent dental care centre.
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