Like all healthcare providers we are very closely monitoring the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and operating in line with any emerging advice and guidance including from NHS England and Public Health England. The care of our patients, our people and others across communities is our utmost priority.

Therefore across both our West Country Dental Care and Brighter Dental services, we have ceased routine dental care in order to focus upon the delivery of non-aerosol-generating urgent and emergency dental care until further notice in a reduced number of locations. Demand for this service is and remains high, and this includes both special care and paediatric care. Huge thanks to our team for their ongoing commitment to patient care and those clinicians supporting the triaging of patients who are contacting our Call Centre on 0333 405 0290 (West Country Dental Care) or 0333 405 0291 (Brighter Dental). Our Brighter Dental team on the Isles of Scilly continue to provide urgent and emergency care for the islanders.

Longer appointment times allow for more extensive clean-down procedures between patients who are requested to arrive on time to minimise their presence in public waiting areas and adhere to our new reception protocols including around social distancing and hands-free (ideally cashless) payment.

All orthodontic treatment has now ceased other than extreme emergencies. Additionally, minor oral surgery and treatments for patients under general anaesthetic have ceased in line with Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust’s own COVID-19 plan.

Our specialist dental laboratory DPS remains open to support both our and other dental practices’ emergency requirements and repair any broken dentures, and you may see our Smile Together vans out and about collecting our and others’ instruments for decontamination, operating of course to even more stringent infection control procedures.

With our focus on delivering urgent and emergency dental care during the evolving COVID-19 (Coronavirus) crisis, demand for our service is and remains high. We therefore have opportunities for dentists and dental nurses/therapists to support this service delivery for patients across Cornwall through a zero hours contract. This hopefully also represents an opportunity for us to support our fellow clinicians in some small way if your practice is similarly reducing/ceasing routine dental care provision. You’ll need an NHS Performer Number, occupational health and DBS clearance, plus proof of indemnity cover.

Brighter Smiles, Cornwall’s oral health programme visiting primary schools, nurseries and family hubs has been postponed as well as our BASCD (The British Association for the Study of Community Dentistry) team surveying child dental health in all primary schools and nurseries.

We have management cover in every operational location but in line with Government advice our professional support colleagues are all working remotely supported by ‘work from home tool kits’ and robust IT provision, and only virtual meetings are being held including of our Board.

There is plenty of dental care advice and guidance on our Patient Information Zone including more information about COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and we are reviewing our service delivery on a daily basis. In the meantime thank you for your patience and understanding during these unprecedented times.

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