NSW residents can once again see their dentist for all treatments, with restrictions due to COVID-19 now eased further.
Australian Dental Association New South Wales (ADA NSW) President Dr Kathleen Matthews said all NSW and ACT dentists can now safely help patients with a full list of treatments available, although precautions while visiting dental practices may still apply.
"All treatments such as check-ups, cleaning and fillings can be offered safely and we have additional patient screening in place to protect everyone," Dr Matthews said.
"Dentists are experts at infection control as part of regular dental practice.
"We can help patients stay healthy by ensuring their oral hygiene and health is where it should be and now a visit to the dentist is possible."
NSW and ACT dentists can now safely help patients with a full list of treatments available, although precautions while visiting dental practices may still apply."
During the COVID-19 pandemic additional guidelines, primarily focused on reducing aerosols (airborne material) the result of drilling or cleaning, were designed to keep dental patients and dental team members safe.
"Industry Level One restrictions now exist and patients can talk to their dentist about any concerns they have about routine or overdue treatment," Dr Matthews said.
Like most businesses, most dentists had limited opening hours or were closed to ensure everyone was safe. However, the dental industry in NSW and ACT did remain open for emergency treatment to help people who were in pain or distress to access assistance.
"We played an important role in steering patients away from the hospital system despite some serious possible risks that were present during the rapid rise of the COVID-19 pandemic," Dr Matthews said.
While most dental practitioners in NSW and ACT have re-opened, responses may vary regarding the lifting of restrictions according to local prevalence or COVID-19 hot spots over time.
The ADA NSW's Dental Directory (https://www.adansw.com.au/ded.aspx) is the best way to find a dentist close to home.
"ADA NSW continues to work closely with NSW Health and ACT Health to support our members and to ensure treatment for the public remains safe," Dr Matthews said. "Level One restrictions involve screening patients for COVID-19 risks, and introducing social distancing in waiting rooms, among other changes patients can expect to see at their next appointment.
With more than 17,000 patients in NSW suffering potentially preventable hospitalisations for dental conditions in 2018-19 and with oral health vital to overall well-being, ADA NSW is encouraging patients everywhere to look after their oral health.
"This includes brushing teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, minimizing sugary treats, flossing and drinking plenty of tap water," Dr Matthews said.
For more information visit www.adansw.com.au.