Allow dentists to go back to work now | Letters

Dental surgeon Niall Hutchinson says people are needlessly having to live in pain, while Fay Ballard says government policy is barbaric

Let all dentists return to work now, and let patients see them for urgent treatment without delay (Dentists say lockdown measures are causing ‘unnecessary suffering’, 14 May). Dentists are essential healthcare professionals with huge expertise in cross-infection control. Dental pain is currently suffered by over a million people unable to access care due to directives issued without scientific evidence.

At the moment, the chief dental officer and Care Quality Commission have stopped dentists in the UK from seeing any patients in person. This is regardless of government guidance exempting dental practices from lockdown closure. The urgent dental centres have a limited remit, which means most patients cannot be seen despite their pain and discomfort. Let dentists see these patients. It is the compassionate thing to do.
Niall Hutchinson
Dental surgeon, Crowthorne, Berkshire

• My dentist warned me weeks ago that the NHS dental hubs were offering pain relief and extraction only. This was confirmed when I called one recently. Government policy is barbaric. My living tooth needs to be repaired, not yanked out.
Fay Ballard
London

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