NHS Dental appointments are currently limited.
Dental practices across Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan continue to follow COVID-19 infection control measures put in place by Welsh Government. These measures are for the safety of patients, staff and the wider community but have an impact on the throughput of patients in a dental setting.
Dentists are required to prioritise access to treatment on the basis of clinical need and risk.
For patients who have a General Dental Practice, when your routine check-up appointments become available, your dentist will contact you.
Patient access to routine dental services may be limited while Covid19 infection control measures remain in place, although practices with sufficient capacity may be able to start recalling patients sooner.
If you are do not have an NHS Dentist, patients in Cardiff and the Vale can join the Centralised Waiting List. To access this form, please click here.
You should contact your dentist during their usual opening hours if you require urgent dental care, for out of hours emergency treatment, information can be found under the Emergency Dental Service (EDS) section.
If you have been used to regular check-ups every six months, this is not always the case anymore. The time between routine check-ups can be longer or shorter depending on how healthy your teeth and gums are. Your dentist will discuss this with you and decide on the length of time needed until your next check-up. When you visit your dental practice for your routine check-up, your teeth and gums will be assessed and depending on how good your oral health is, a course of treatment will be agreed with you.
If you normally pay for NHS dental treatment, you will pay one of the three standard charges. The amount you pay will depend on the treatment you need to keep your teeth and gums healthy.
If you are exempt from NHS charges, your treatment will be free. Find out more information about NHS dental charges and whether you are eligible for free dental treatment.
Different members of the dental team including dentists, hygienists, dental therapists and dental nurses may be required to deliver your treatment.
When you see your dental professional, for an examination, your mouth, teeth and gums will be assessed, and you will be advised you how to look after them.
At the appointment, the dentist will:
As part of your treatment plan, you may be required to see different members of the dental team to improve your oral health.
Dental care is developing; Dentists can now delegate a greater proportion of their duties to other highly trained and skilled dental care professionals, this may result in you visiting a therapist for a filling, rather than seeing your dentist. A Dental Therapist can carry out certain dental procedures, including fillings and dental hygiene.
This delegation of treatment is seen throughout other healthcare settings, for example you may see a practice nurse for a medical appointment rather than the doctor, or you may be referred to a physiotherapist for rehabilitation after an injury. Dental care professions have a scope of practice; that is a list of treatment that they can provide as stated by the General Dental Council (the Dental Regulator).
They evaluate the patients’ dental health and focus on identifying and treating any gum disease. A dental hygienist is trained on how to take care of teeth and gums by removing plaque and tartar.
Apart from helping patients to take care of their dental health, hygienists also offer valuable advice on how to maintain a healthy diet, so patients can use the instructions received to prevent tooth decay and maintain a healthy mouth.
The role of a dental nurse is to work alongside and assist dentists, therapists and hygienists in the care of patients. It is a varied job and can include everything from supporting with routine examinations to advanced specialist treatments.
A very important aspect of the role is making the patient feel relaxed and comfortable during appointments. Other responsibilities include preparing materials for treatments, removing saliva from the patient’s mouth during treatment, record keeping for the dentist, sterilising instruments, stock control and maintaining the highest standard of cross infection in the dental surgery.
Some dental nurses carry out extra qualifications after completing their basic dental nursing course in order to take responsibility for more advanced tasks such as; taking x-rays, assisting with sedation, carrying out oral hygiene education, taking impressions or photographs or applying topical fluoride.
A dental receptionist is your first point of contact at the practice. They will arrange your appointments, take payments and assist you with any paper work. The receptionist may also be a dental care professional at the practice.