Dentist and Mouth Cancer Foundation Ambassador has a few words of advice to help Dentists.   “Those of us in general dental practice face challenging times. Although we all hope things will return to normal soon the chances are that we can expect long periods of closure before we can carry out routine services again.

Advice from our regulators seems to change on a daily basis and there is still much confusion, for example on how to provide emergency care. Many colleagues will experience financial difficulties. As I write this (25-03-2020) there is still no clear guidance on how the self-employed might be helped through this period.

My advice for now would be:

  • Follow all official guidelines.
  • Pursue any financial help the government or banks make available. It’s vital our practices remain viable, not only for our own sakes but also for the sake of our patients.
  • Communicate with patients through Facebook business pages and other social media, your websites and if you have the appropriate permissions by email, letter or telephone. Our patients need to know we’re still here and are doing everything we can to ensure as good a service as possible for them. Give them advice on oral hygiene, prevention and what to do in an emergency.
  • Use some of the ‘down time’ for professional education. It’s a great opportunity to find out more about oral medicine or mouth cancer for example!
  • Keep in touch with other team members informing them of any developments and assuring them of your continued support.
  • Prepare to become very busy when ‘normal service is resumed’ and have systems in place to deal with the backlog of treatments, examinations and hygiene appointments which will need to be addressed alongside all the usual day to day issues.
  • Most of all, don’t get depressed! It weakens the immune system and we all know how important that is at present. Without good health we can’t provide a service so stay safe and keep well!”