Although restrictions around COVID-19 have now been eased thanks to the vaccination programme, health and social care services are busier than ever.
Major adaptations were required in areas such as dentistry in order to address safety risks posed by the coronavirus, and many of these restrictions remain in place while work is undertaken to tackle a considerable backlog of treatment.
NHS Dumfries and Galloway Manager for Dental Services Julie Hunter said: “Dental Practices across Dumfries and Galloway are experiencing high volumes of demand for NHS care.
“Due to lockdowns and safety measures limiting the numbers of patients that can be seen daily, practices are finding themselves with very large backlogs of patients requiring appointments.
“So while dental practices in Dumfries and Galloway are open, a priority is being given at present to dental problems that are emergency or urgent in nature.
“The backlog of patients owing to the COVID-19 pandemic and the continuing additional measures required to deliver safe care for patients may result in longer waiting times for routine care.
“While every effort is being made to reduce these backlogs, it means that some practices may not be in a position to offer new patient registration appointments.
If you are already registered with an NHS dental practice, then the practice is required to provide care for you in an emergency or if you have an urgent dental problem. You should make contact with your dental practice as early in the day as possible.
If you are registered with a practice, please contact the practice directly who will advise when you can expect to be seen.
However, emergency dental support is available for anyone not able to access help.
In the case of an emergency on a Monday to Friday:
- 8am – 6pm Call the Dental Helpline – 0845 6026417
- 6pm – 8am Call NHS 24 – 111
On a Saturday or Sunday:
- Call NHS 24 – 111