According to the British Dental Council, if the shortage of face masks caused by coronavirus outbreak continues, some of the dentists in the United Kingdom will have to “down drills”.
Current guidelines suggest that dentists must wear face masks when treating patients. All practices in UK are now restricted to ordering only 100 masks per day. While this may be sufficient for smaller clinics, larger hospitals with several dentists are running out of supplies.
While the dentist trade union is getting calls from members regarding shortage of masks, ministers said that centre stockpiles of masks were available.
China is the world’s major manufacturer for masks and the outbreak of coronavirus has lead to the increase in price by as much as three times and also increase in use of face masks by the civilians has led to acute shortage.
” Our imminent interest is the safety of our patients, who face imminent disruption to thier care.” the president of British Dental Association, Mick Armstrong said.
“Unless we see a rapid increase in supply, dentists without face masks will have little choice but to down the drills.” he added.
The BDA said it had been contacted by concerned dental practices, some of whom had upto 13 dentists mentioning that dentists would be running out of masks very soon if the situaion prevails.
“One of the things that we were thinking about, as far as what we could do if we did run out – we would probably use reusable masks that you would wash and sterilize and use again.,” said Stacey Sabin, a clinical administrator in Oregon
If a critical shortage of equipment occurred, dentists would be asked to “only take those cases that are urgent or require emergency intervention as per the statement of Ontario dental Association.
Various global health organizations are working together to anticipate and address any shortages that may occur.