As dentistry is attributed as highest risk profession in terms of spread of coronavirus, all non-emergency dental services are postponed across the globe.
Many procedures in dentistry generate aerosols and involves close contact with the patient. In such a scenario, the use of proper personal protective equipment is a must for any dentist.
Dentists are unable to offer ‘regular’ dental care services because of lack of PPE in various hospitals. This has led to a situation where dentists are worried that patients may ‘LOSE TEETH’ because of high demands of PPE.
This scenario has led to some patients already fending for themselves when treatment is not available. One women said that she replaced a filling with ‘Blu Tack’ as a result of limited services.
Llandovery dentist Tom Bysouth said that dentists are facing ‘horribly difficult ethical dilemmas’.
“It may boil down to the question of is it better to save a tooth , or is it better to save a life.” Mr.Bysouth, who sits on the Welsh General Dental Practice Committee said. Safety gear requirements were continually reviewed so that it could go where it is needed the most.
Many emergency dental hubs have stopped face to face appointments because of very limited supply of safety equipments.
Though treatment is limited only to very urgent cases, phone consultations provide antibiotic and pain relief prescriptions for temporary relief.
Patients have started adopting DIY approaches to combat this situation.
Marilyn Jones, of Aberystwyth, said she lost a filling the day after dental practices closed. So, instead, she used Blu Tack to fill the gap.
Mrs Jones, 66, said: “You have to improvise, necessity is the mother of invention.
“I thought, ‘What can I use?’ The only thing I had was Blu Tack.
“My husband offered me his chewing gum but I decided on the Blu Tack.
“I wasn’t very happy with a little black stump.”
The mother-of-two and grandmother-of-four has since fixed it with a dental pack from Boots – but she still needs proper treatment.