This guide, based on the SDCEP Emergency Dental Care and Management of Acute Dental Problems guidance publications, describes modified management of commonly presenting oral conditions for use during the COVID-19 pandemic. It aims to encourage a consistent approach to the management of acute dental problems, while recognising the challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic presents for provision of dental care. It can be used in conjunction with health board or other local procedures that have been established for managing patients based on their COVID-19 status. Refer to the SDCEP webpage Acute Dental Problems - COVID-19 for more information on this resource.
The management options presented here focus on dental triage, the relief of pain or infection and provision of care using remote consultation (i.e. by telephone or videocall1). Patients should only be referred for urgent dental care when there are severe or uncontrolled symptoms that they cannot manage themselves. It is essential to minimise the number of patients referred to designated urgent dental care centres2 both to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 to healthcare workers and patients, and to lessen the pressure on these services.
1 Triage using photographs or video, where available, might be useful for diagnosis.
2 The facilities used as designated urgent dental care centres will vary across the country.