Dental practices across Forth Valley are continuing to resume services on a phased basis in line with national guidance however most dentists are currently not able to offer routine examinations, ultrasonic scale and polish, crowns, veneers or routine fillings.
Practices can now undertake certain Aerosol Generating Procedures (AGPs) for patients who require urgent dental care. This includes treatment to reduce pain or swelling, extractions, dressings of broken teeth and repairs to dentures. Because of the additional decontamination requirements, only a very small number of patients will be able to be treated in this way and not all dental practices will be offering AGPs initially as it will be a gradual process of reintroduction.
The three Urgent Dental Care Clinics in Forth Valley will continue to accept referrals from dentists to provide urgent dental care for patients unable to have their treatment within their local dental practice.
- Patients will continue to notice changes when they attend their dental practices. The front doors will remain closed and patients can only attend if they have an appointment. Where possible patients should attend the practice alone.
- Practices will have limited surgeries operating at the same time and the number of patients attending daily remains reduced.
- When calling to book an appointment, staff will complete a Covid-19 assessment with the patient and this will be repeated when the patient arrives for their appointment. Individual practices will have their own processes in place, so please make sure you follow them.
- Patients should always contact their own dental practice for advice. During out-of-hours, patients with urgent dental problems should continue to contact NHS 24 on 111.
- Please visit your dental practice’s website or social media channels for updates.
- If you are not registered with a dentist, please call NHS Forth Valley’s dental help line on 01324 614 670 for dental advice during normal working hours. Out-with normal working hours, if you require advice for an URGENT dental issue you should contact NHS24 on 111 whether you are registered with a dentist or not.
For managing dental problems at home please read this advice sheet. For further information, please visit the British Dental Association. For the latest information on accessing dental services, please visit NHS inform.
You should examine your mouth regularly
If you notice any of the following:
- an ulcer that does not heal in three weeks
- a red and white patch
- a new lump or swelling in you neck
you should seek help to arrange to have this checked.
Advice for People with Braces
Orthodontic appointments have restarted at Forth Valley Royal Hospital however priority is being given to patients who require urgent treatment and it will take some time for the department to rearrange appointments for people whose appointments were suspended due to Covid-19. Having braces in place for longer than planned should not have a negative effect on your teeth, as long as you maintain good oral hygiene and avoid food and drink that can damage your teeth and brace. Advice and video refreshers are available on COVID-19 advice section for patients on the British Orthodontic Society. The FAQ section also provides advice on looking after your brace.If you have a problem with your brace, please try to manage this at home to avoid the need to attend a healthcare facility. Advice on how to deal with common emergency situations is available in the Orthodontic Emergencies Protocol Fact Sheet, also available on the British Orthodontic Society website.
If there is an exceptional emergency e.g. pain that cannot be managed at home with the advice above, is not relieved with wax and pain killers, and repeatedly affects sleeping and eating you may require further advice and treatment. Work is underway to set up remote video consultations however in the meantime photographs of the brace can be emailed to the departmental at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include the person’s name, day time contact telephone number, date of birth, description of the issues and confirm if the individual has any symptoms of COVID-19. An example of the type of photographs to be taken can be seen in the video on the British Orthodontic Society website.
If it appropriate, arrangements can be made for you be seen at an urgent care dental centre. More information and updates can be found on the orthodontic services section of the website.
Registering With a Dentist
If you are new to the area or, for any other reason, are not already registered with a dentist, we recommend that you do so. You can obtain details of the NHS dentist nearest your home by using the local service finder section of this website.
If you wish to change your dentist, you should ask the new dentist whether he/she will accept you as an NHS patient. You do not have to give a reason for changing your dentist.
Once you are registered, you can stay with the same dentist for as long as you wish. However, your dentist may decide to end your registration, for example if you miss your appointments. You may find if difficult to get your dentist to see you in these circumstances. Regular attendance is needed to stay registered with your dentist.
People who are not registered and who have been unable to obtain registration with a General Dental Practitioner can contact the NHS Forth Valley Dental help line on 01324 614670 for advice.
Dental Treatment Charges
You will be charged the standard NHS rate for any dental treatment you receive, so please bring a means of payment with you.
You will not have to pay if you are usually exempt from charges, but you will need to bring the correct form of proof with you. People normally exempt include those under 16 (18 and under if in full time education) and women who are pregnant or who have given birth in the past 12 months. You may be exempt if you receive certain state benefits. For more information visit NHS Inform.