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by | Tuesday, April 14th, 2020 | News

New urgent dental care centre opens in Plymouth

 

  • Service will treat urgent and emergency conditions
  • By appointment
  • Access via your dentist or NHS111 out of hours
  • Helpline 03330 063300 for people without a dentist

 

A new service has opened in Plymouth for people who need urgent dental treatment while dentists are closed due to Coronavirus.

The Plymouth Urgent Care Dental Centre is one of 15 created in the South West for people who need help for urgent and emergency dental conditions, including severe pain and infection.

Plymouth Community Dental Services, a Livewell Southwest company, has been  commissioned by NHS England and NHS Improvement to run the service in the city.

The service is available strictly by appointment. To get access, people should phone their own dentist to be assessed and, if they meet the criteria, they will be referred. If you are a general dentist and have followed the NHS England Urgent Care Hub Pathway and have identified patients who require urgent dental treatment, please complete our referral form found here.

People not registered with a dentist or who cannot get through to their usual surgery should call the local helpline 03330 063300 or email accessdentalhelp[email protected]

The initial phone assessment will help the dentist decide whether someone needs to be seen immediately or within 24 hours, or can be booked in later for an appointment.

Conditions needing immediate treatment might include:

  • Dental infection/fever/swelling, especially if it might affect the airway
  • Uncontrolled bleeding
  • Injury

 

Out of usual surgery hours, people should call NHS111. People are reminded NOT to attend A&E if they have dental pain as dental services are not provided by acute hospitals.

Ian Biggs, Director of Primary Care and Public Health for NHS England and NHS Improvement in the South West, said: “We’re really pleased to get the dental centres up and running, so people have somewhere to turn to for urgent care when their own dentist’s doors are shut.

“These are difficult times for everyone, patients and dentists alike, so I apologise if anyone has been struggling to get treatment in the last couple of weeks. I’m grateful to all those who have worked so hard to build a new service from scratch in such a short time.”

Plymouth Community Dental Service has been providing phone and video consultations to patients since all face-to-face dental treatments were halted by the Government because of the Coronavirus outbreak.

Manager Claire Roberts said: “The staff have done a massive amount of work to get to the point where we are ready to open two sites to see the patients most in need, in a way which is safe for them and for our staff.

“Colleagues in infection prevention and control have been brilliant, ensuring our staff are appropriately protected as specified for this work in national guidelines, so our patients can feel assured it is a safe environment.

“I’m hugely grateful to my colleagues who are now providing face-to-face treatment, supporting not only patients but enabling other dental colleagues to stay safe.”

The dental service will continue to give phone advice and video consultations alongside the urgent treatment. And they are working closely with pharmacy colleagues to issue prescriptions electronically to reduce journeys and risk of contamination.

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