COVID-19 And Dental Care – Update

In response to the threat posed by Coronavirus, the Chief Dental Officer (CDO) for Scotland stood down all routine dental care on 23 March 2020 and instructed Boards to set up Urgent Dental Care Centres (UDCCs) to see those with acute dental problems.

A UDCC for Orkney was immediately established at The Garson Clinic in Stromness and has been seeing patients with severe dental problems since 23 March.

The CDO has now outlined a roadmap for the return to the delivery of routine dental care. In this new letter, dated 20 May 2020, he describes the way forward:

  • Phase 1: Increasing capacity of Urgent Dental Care Centres. (With immediate effect)
  • Phase 2: Restarting Dental Practices (Boards to progress to having Phase 2a in place by 31st July 2020)
    • Phase 2a: For urgent care not involving an aerosol spray
    • Phase 2b: For urgent and routine care not involving and aerosol spray
  • Phase 3: Introducing a full range of care at Dental Practices (no timeframe as yet)

In response to the letter from the CDO, Jay Wragg, Director of Dentistry for NHS Orkney, said: “I am pleased to confirm Orkney has already put Phase 1 into place and demand for appointments at Garson will be closely monitored to make sure that those needing to be seen are able to access care.

“I regret that this remains, for now, a very limited service, for acute dental problems only. However, the definition has been relaxed somewhat and I hope to see more folk being able to benefit from a dental care intervention.

“The Public Dental Service is testing the use of ‘Near me’ video consultations and will be developing their use further over the coming months. These will allow a consultation at-a-distance and reduce the need for you to attend one of our clinics when a conversation and advice is all that is needed.

“Throughout phases one and two, we must be very careful with dental treatments that include the use of an aerosol spray and these will continue to be provided at Garson UDCC alone.”

The process for accessing the UDCC remains the same and is as follows:

During working hours:

  • Patients registered at The Balfour or Garson should contact the Garson Clinic on 01856 850658 where you will be advised accordingly.
  • Any patient who is not currently registered and who has an urgent dental problem should contact 01856 850658 and you will be advised accordingly.
  • If you are registered with Deyanov Dental, or at Orkney Dental Kirkwall, Orkney Dental Stromness, or the Daisybank Clinic, then  please contact them direct for advice on the following numbers:
  • Deyanov Dental – 07717477629
  • Orkney Dental Kirkwall – 01856 872030
  • Orkney Dental Stromness – 01856 852815
  • Daisybank Clinic – 01856 870547

During out of hours:

  • Patients should use the same process as is currently in place and contact NHS 24 (111)

Jay Wragg added: “I would respectfully remind everyone that if your problem is urgent, you will be seen, if not, you will be asked to wait. As the situation evolves, we will be posting updates via social media (Facebook and Twitter) and on NHS Orkney’s website. We would encourage people to check those sources for the latest information.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of those involved with the delivery of oral health care for their amazing contributions. I would also like to acknowledge those who are patiently waiting at home for this terrible virus to ebb away, before they’re able to return to work.

“Finally, in what is such a difficult time for everyone, I would like to thank all members of our community for their patience and understanding while dental services have been limited. I look forward to being able to announce that we can take further steps in a return to the new normal, but ask that in the meantime, you consider the limited service available and use your discretion before contacting.”

For more information –