Following a Federal Cabinet meeting on Tuesday (April 21), the Australian Dental Association (ADA) says that more patients can get dental treatments done following the restrictions on dental practice being eased from Level 3 back to Level 2 restrictions.
The amended restrictions are expected to take effect from next week.
“It’s great news because it means dentists can open their doors again and attend to a broader range of patient needs and not just emergencies,” said ADA President Dr Carmelo Bonanno.
“Dentists have the highest level of infection control standards which is what makes it viable for them to work under the Level 2 restrictions.”
While the move to Level 2 restrictions still has limitations, additional treatments will be possible including examinations, fillings, and hand scaling.
“People concerned about any oral health issue can call their dentist and they will make an assessment of possible treatment under the eased restrictions,” added Dr Bonanno.
Closure of thousands of practices across the nation due to the need to control the spread of the virus, has impacted on the services that can be provided. Patients were faced with long delays for restorative and preventative treatment which could have resulted in their oral health deteriorating considerably.
Further, the economic impacts on dental practices were starting to have a significant affect as many faced short-term or permanent closure as well as staff redundancies.
The Australian Dental Association recognises however that this week’s announcement is not a compete return to full scope of practice services.
“This is a huge step in the right direction, and we thank the National Cabinet and the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee for recommending this decisive step which will help patients, dental practices and the economy.
“We look forward to the complete return of all dental services further down the track”