When will dentists do fillings again?

29th June 2020 | Posted by: Vanessa Giraud

Male dentist and assistant wear blue PPE standing in SpaDental surgery

Looking cheerful, Greg and Bradley smile for the camera and are happy to be helping patients who need fillings again.

July 2021 note:

Dentists are doing fillings routinely now, but in full protective kit.

More than any other treatment,  our patients ask, “When will dentists do fillings again?” Procedures to control the spread of Covid-19 means even a filling is no longer the standard procedure it used to be. Placing a filling now requires a new level of planning and protection.

During our phased return to work, placing fillings is a vital step we need to make for our patients, but it’s one we don’t want to rush.

The good news is, today, SpaDental Tewkesbury dentist, Gregory Martin, and nursing assistant Bradley Jenkins put on their full PPE, and completed their first filling for a patient since the coronavirus lockdown began. 

Why is so much PPE needed for a simple filling?

A filling is not as simple as it might seem. It’s what we call an “aerosol generating procedure” or AGP. The combination of a high speed tool with water to cool it, means that spray from the patients mouth can go into the air. To help prevent this aerosol effect, high powered suction is used but some droplets can still manage to escape. If, therefore, the patient is carrying the virus the dentist is vulnerable.

So that dentists can do fillings again, they must wear full PPE and the surgery must be left empty for an hour afterwards before being thoroughly bleached. 

Greg and Bradley both said they felt comfortable in their PPE, especially as the masks are tested and fit well. With the windows open, they were not as hot as they’d expected either. Moreover, there was no problem moving around, once they got used to the rustling.

What differences will patients notice?

The most obvious difference is, of course, the PPE. This may be a bit intimidating for patients when they first go into the surgery, and communication may feel a bit awkward, but the team will do their best to help you relax and feel comfortable.

The surgery also looks different. As much as possible, surfaces and walls have been cleared. Although it may look spartan, patients can be reassured that it’s clean.

Another significant change is that the practice will seem much quieter. To protect patients and staff the team is restricted. Also, with the amount of time surgeries need to be closed between patients and the enhanced cleaning processes, appointments are more spaced out. It means that a dentist cannot see as many patients in a day as before.

How are appointments affected?

SpaDental teams are in contact with patients who got in touch during lockdown. At this stage of reopening we prioritise patients with urgent needs.

Beginning to do AGPs again is an exciting step towards being able to offer our patients all the treatments they need. We will keep you updated with the phases of our gradual reopening.

If you would like to enquire about an appointment, due to demand and reduced staffing, we appreciate if you contact us through the website or by email.

Patients also ask:



POSTED IN: Covid-19, Filling, Tewkesbury


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