Non-urgent dental treatment halted

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SAFETY FIRST: Dentist Andrew Pyta at Goodison Dental preparing to greet emergency patients only. PHOTO: Kieren Tilly

ALL non-urgent public dental procedures across Victoria has been placed on hold for the next three months to limit the spread of coronavirus and to protect patients and staff.

Victorians can continue to access emergency and urgent dental care at the Royal Dental Hospital of Melbourne, and many community-based dental services across the state including Northeast Health Wangaratta (NHW) Dental Service.

Health screening procedures will be in place at these clinics to protect staff and patients.Suspended services include general dental care, routine denture services, specialist care, oral health promotion, teaching clinics and day surgery procedures.

All patients with existing dental appointments in the next three months will be contacted to discuss their treatment plans and make new appointments when services re-commence.

David Kidd, director partnerships, well ageing at NHW said NHW’s dental service began contacting its patients last week to notify them it would be providing emergency services only.

He said anyone who has a dental emergency is asked not to attend NHW in person but to make an appointment by calling 5722 5325 Wangaratta or 5761 2201 Benalla.

“All cases will be assessed for urgency and COVID-19 assessed and if deemed an emergency service, they will be booked as soon as possible with a clinician,” Mr Kidd said.

Normal hours of operation of 8.30am – 4.30pm will apply.Adults attending appointments are asked to attend alone or with only one other accompanying person.

“If they are unwell but require urgent dental care, we asked that they please do not attend the clinic,” he said.

“Please call to discuss your dental emergency and let the staff know that they are unwell.

“They will be contacted by our senior dentist to further investigate their dental needs and medical history.

“We have put into place various measures to assist patients requiring urgent treatment to protect both our patients and our staff.”

Tony Goodison from Goodison Dental said his practice had already been restricting some treatments but expected the government to take it to the next stage.

“We will continue to do emergency surgery, but it has impacted our business,” he said.

“We have one surgery operating instead or our usual five so we are rotating our 15 employees.

”Mr Goodison said the surgery had already changed its usual practises due to COVID-19.“We encourage people to call us on 57221377 if they need any information or advice,” he said.

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