1. ITV Report

Dentists: Emergency hubs open to most serious cases during lockdown

  • Video report by ITV News Meridian's Andy Dickenson

As lockdown rules mean dental surgeries still have no opening date, emergency dental hubs have opened to treat the most in pain.

Patients at these dental surgeries are greeted with hand sanitiser and a temperature check.

Credit: ITV Meridian

Colin Smith has been waiting to have his tooth removed since before the lockdown began.

He says: "I have gone through a lot of discomfort which has obviously brought me here. But obviously these guys in terms of the coronavirus, they're at risk."

Dentist Emmanuel Lazanakis Credit: ITV Meridian

Dentist Emmanuel Lazanakis says extra precautions are taken when treating patients during the pandemic.

He says: "All patients at this moment in time are presumed to be potential carriers of the coronavirus. So we're taking universal precautions to protect our staff and the patients from possible infection. We're very much overwhelmed by the demand there is."

With the vast majority of dentists closed during lockdown, emergency hubs are providing a lifeline, however they say with such high demand, they are already struggling.

Obviously where we're saving teeth, we're not saving lives. And as a consequence we understand that, where there's a queue for that PPE, we may be towards the end of that queue. But many of my colleagues are finding it incredibly difficult to survive financially. Many of them aren't protected by the Chancellor's self employed schemes. And as a consequence my worry is that some dental practices may close as a result of this problem, and if they do it will put an incredible pressure on the NHS going forward."

– Eddie Crouch, British Dental Association

Dental bodies are warning patients not to try their own DIY dentistry during lockdown, while some dentists say if they can't reopen soon, they may not reopen at all.

Credit: ITV Meridian