IF you're experiencing toothache during the coronavirus outbreak you may have to wait a while until you're able to get treatment.
The British Dental Association (BDA) has advised dentists that they should close their doors for all but emergency cases.
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It comes after Prime Minister Boris Johnson last night ordered a three-week lockdown of the UK in a bid to tackle the coronavirus "national emergency".
Consistent with Government advice to limit social contact, dentists across the country will therefore be closing to prevent the spread of the bug.
Treatments including routine fillings, root canals and scaling and polishing will be completely stopped unless the patient hasa serious medical emergency of dental cause.
The BDA said: "Given the uncertainty and reflecting the practical consequences of the current official advice, we recommend that practices cease routine dentistry and operate an advice and emergency service only."
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The British Orthodontic Society is also advising that no orthodontic patient should attend any clinic at this time.
In an extreme emergency, the patient should contact the practice or unit by phone and discuss ways of resolving their problem at home.
Telephone advice will still remain available during normal hours at the majority of dental surgeries.
Certain emergency procedures will still be undertaken but only for those without symptoms of Covid-19 – which are usually a high temperature and a new, continuous cough.
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Delivery of urgent care to anyone with symptoms of coronavirus will take place at "designated urgent dental care centres".
Dentists who spoke anonymously to the BBC last week said there have been widespread concerns within the profession due to their work in close The BDA have also said Covid-19 represents a "major risk" to the financial viability of dental practices due practice closures.
Chief Executive Martin Woodrow revealed that the BDA had been in touch with the team at NHS England yesterday to urge the importance of agreeing financial support for practices.
The number of cases of Covid-19 in the UK has risen to 6,650 – with the death toll currently standing at 335.
The PM last night said people must stay at home except for shopping for basic necessities, exercise, medical need and traveling to and from work for key workers.
Mr Johnson threatened the nation with fines if they did not obey the new rules.
His statement came after the weekend saw tens of thousands flock to beaches and parks, while today commuters packed on to Tube trains to go to work.
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