The lack of dentists is causing serious health problems

(15 Posts)
madcatladyforever Wed 17-Jun-20 12:30:10

I think it's absurd that you can't see a dentist. How come they aren't allowed to use drills etc with full PPE.
I'm asking because I've asked my dentist time and again why they are not able to help me and I'm getting no explanation of any kind.
If they could explain to me why I wouldn't be so cross.
I've had a painful abcess since February and have had repeated antibiotics which haven't worked and now have osteomyelitis in my jaw bone.
I've had this before due to a root canal that went wrong and repeated infection and ended up on IV antibiotics had teeth removed and then had to pay for sinus implants and implants which I had to take a loan out for.
Now I've got osteomyelitis again which is very serious and all I'm getting is antibiotics, I may have to go into hospital again and will no doubt have to cough up for more implants, if this abcess had been treated back in February we wouldn't have got to this stage.
I taker very good care of my teeth and I don't have gum disease as I go to the dentist every three months for hygiene etc.
I think it's disgusting this has been allowed to happen and the lack of basic treatment has meant repeat thousands of pounds worth of work to replace teeth that isn't available on the NHS.
I'm 58 and so my old filling are coming apart and if I have to wait many months for replacement fillings this is what happens, when I break a tooth I always go in right away to have it sorted.
I think it's pretty poor it's come to osteomyelitis and still my dentists isn't open for business.
Why don't they have the right PPE? Dentistry is important it's not a luxury treatment.

OP’s posts: |
Lampan Wed 17-Jun-20 12:34:19

I imagine they are probably keen to get back to work but behind the scenes there is likely to be a lot going on. The NHS, their professional bodies and their insurers all need to develop new guidance etc. I know it doesn’t help you but I don’t think it’s as simple as them just getting started again.

catsandlavender Thu 18-Jun-20 08:02:20

Because drilling etc causes fluid from the mouth to become aerosolised, a face mask won’t do anything to protect them. This is not their choice. Dentists are not allowed to do procedures that will cause aerosol. I don’t know whether procedures that take place in hospitals etc would cause this.

I’m going to the dentist today, but obviously if I need anything “done” I won’t be able to have it. He’s just going to look at a soft tissue problem.

I feel bad for you because you’re obviously in pain but do you actually think dentists are just chilling, not bothering to do procedures? I honestly highly doubt you haven’t been told about the issues with aerosol fluids. My dentist told me that immediately- it is literally the reason why they can’t do it.

RobinHumphries Fri 19-Jun-20 23:08:18

We can use drills now if we have full PPE unfortunately the definition of full PPE is very different to pre Covid.
Firstly we don’t have the right PPE because at the start of lock down we were asked to donate all our existing masks etc to hospitals as they had a greater need and we were told to not work otherwise we would lose our registration. Those masks protect the patient from us. They did nothing to protect us.
During lock down we struggled to source PPE as the masks which we had given away were now deemed to be useless so we have to use ‘better’ masks as well as now gowns, shoe covers, caps etc which are in short supply as they have all gone to the hospitals. The cost of PPE has soared due to demand. The new masks aren’t one size fits everyone so have to be fit tested. There’s a lot of fake masks out on the market at the moment in that it isn’t passing safety checks.
Also as a profession we found out that we would be able to reopen on a Thursday evening when Boris told everybody. So four days including a weekend.
Add to that the chief dental officer being very slow in issuing guidance....

pintin Sat 20-Jun-20 01:16:41

I'm a dentist. Can't work, loving lockdown. Sipping cocktails. Turning folk away and laughing at their woes!!!!

Or not. Had to put a hold on my business loan, might have to sell my house. Working on third staff redundancy as can't pay my overheads.
Spent a full week working day and night trying to produce a risk assessment strategy ( 53 page document) in order to try and justify opening up again.
Lack of PPE. I donated all our stock to a nursing home at start of lockdown. The price has risen by 100% and it's almost impossible to source.

I've got patients in tears, angry, anxious and in pain on the phone, and we can't do anything. We might not be able to use a drill again for many months.

It's truly dire. Please don't be angry with us personally. It's a total disaster.

There are urgent care hubs and also oral surgery departments that will see you, especially if you have the symptoms you describe. Contact your dentist during working hours to arrange referral or call NHS24.

pintin Sat 20-Jun-20 01:18:26

Oh and to add, we have actually been threatened with police action or being reported to GDC if we break the rules

pintin Sat 20-Jun-20 01:28:10

And to add more. Our practice have to call back about 700 patients that have called us during lockdown and try and fit them in somewhere. We are only allowed to see 10 in total per day. Instead of the usual 130. Going to be awhile..


MiniMum97 Sat 20-Jun-20 01:42:07

Write to your MP. It's disgusting that dentists do not have the appropriate PPE to do their job and people like you are suffering. In fact, everyone should be writing to their MPs. It's a fucking disgrace.

Notashandyta Sat 20-Jun-20 01:53:11

Lost tooth here (mostly crown, hardly any tooth left). One next to it already gone, this one is the tooth behind canine. Looks bloody awful and I'm only 41. Putting me off of doing anything on zoom or going anywhere.
Luckily no toothache as I've had a root canal treatment on it. Anyone with terrible toothache right now has my utmost sympathy and could gladly go ahead of me in the queue (not that we are open for business at all in wales yet). Doesnt get any worse than toothache

Browzingss Sat 20-Jun-20 02:12:30

To be honest OP, I think you should call 111 and explain. Your area may have a dental hub, where some forms of emergency treatment are carried out (the staff will have full PPE), 111 can get you seen if necessary

Twinkle19 Sat 20-Jun-20 06:13:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

DishRanAwayWithTheSpoon Sun 21-Jun-20 22:15:50

Why didnt you get your abscess treated back in february? Whay did the dentist say then?

Who has diagnosed you with osteomyelitis? Was it your dentist? If the dentist has diagnosed osteomyelitis I think they need to refer you onto to the hospital to get it treated asap. You dont just leave someone with osteomyelitis

If you had an abscess on it, realistically you were going to lose it anyway. The cost of the implant isnt as a result of lockdown.

herethereandeverywhere Sun 21-Jun-20 22:24:13

Dentists are all working in Germany. I work for a healthcare-related business and we can source PPE pretty much anywhere in the world with 30 days lead time.

I understand that there have been significant issues but it seems to be a peculiarly British problem that no-one has been able to see a dentist for 3 months and counting.

vanillandhoney Sun 21-Jun-20 22:24:14

But we didn't go into lockdown until March, so surely the fact that your abscess wasn't treated in February is nothing to do with COVID?

Dentists were still operating normally then.

tippexed Sun 21-Jun-20 23:42:03

Good point. Wondering why it wasn't treated in February. It is a British problem. We are following the phased reopening of the country and are restricted, mostly I feel, due to funding than anything else.

Watching other countries closely as well.

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