Skip links and keyboard navigation

Health alert: Novel coronavirus (COVID-19)

Dental Health (COVID-19)

at Beenleigh Community Health Centre

Metro South Oral Health Services changes due to COVID-19

In response to the COVID-19 in Metro South Oral Health, to minimise unnecessary transmission risk to patients and staff, and to support the Queensland Health system to provide timely and appropriate care to the people who need it most at this time, public dental clinics in Metro South Health have been advised to postpone all non-urgent dental treatment in line with the recommendations of the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) Advice to National Cabinet on 25 March 2020.

This Information may answer why your dental care appointment might have been changed in response to COVID 19.

Q: What dental services have been stopped / restricted

Routine and other non-urgent dental appointments are being postponed as part of Queensland Health’s coordinated response to the coronavirus pandemic. This means appointments for treatment like check-ups, routine fillings and denture services, and preventive appointments for scales and cleans, will be postponed.

Q: What dental services are available?

Only emergency and urgent dental care will continue to be available at Metro South Oral Health. Logan Central Oral Health Clinic will be opened during the coronavirus pandemic.

Q: Why has my routine dental care been stopped?

Routine and other non-urgent dental appointments are being postponed as part of Queensland Health’s coordinated response to the coronavirus pandemic. This means appointments for treatment like check-ups, routine fillings and denture services, and preventive appointments for scales and cleans, will be postponed.

Q: Can I get a voucher to visit a private dentist?

No. Private dentists are facing the same restrictions to routine and non-urgent as Queensland Health.

Q: Why are these changes in place?

Dental equipment like drills used for fillings and ultrasonic scalers used for cleaning teeth, produce aerosols and require close and often prolonged contact between dental staff and patients. Aerosols are tiny droplets or sprays of saliva or blood in the air. Because aerosols contain saliva and blood, they are an infection risk.

Throughout the COVID-19 situation, people may have the virus but not know they have it because they feel well. Even if you feel well, you could still transmit the virus. Strict management of aerosol-producing procedures in dental clinics reduces transmission risk, which is why these changes to dental services have been introduced.

Q: I need urgent dental care. Can I get an appointment?

Emergency and urgent care is available, however some treatment options may not be available. If you’re not sure about what your options are, call us on 1300 300 850 and our staff will be able to help with more information.

Q: I have an appointment tomorrow/next week. Are staff taking any extra precautions?

Extra precautions, such as health screening steps, will be in place at dental clinics to provide extra protection for clinic staff and patients.

If you are unwell, contact the clinic to reschedule your appointment. Do not attend your appointment if you are unwell.

Q: What happens to me if I’m waiting on a waiting list?

Patients currently on the waiting list will remain on the list. When services return to normal, patients will be contacted for an appointment when it is their turn.

Q: When everything returns to normal will I be able to get my teeth fixed?

Yes. As soon as it is safe to return to normal service delivery Queensland Health dental clinics will be fully functional.

 Q. How long will these service restrictions be in place?

Recommendations about what is and isn’t restricted may change over time. At this stage we do not know how long the restrictions will be in place, but we will resume full services as soon as it is safe to do so.

Q. What can I do to look after my teeth in the meantime?

While we wait for things to return to normal, there are many things you can do to take good care of your dental and general health. Eating well, drinking tap water and brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste are simple steps to maintain healthy teeth and a great smile.

While dental services are restricted, we recommend avoiding hard and super sticky foods that could crack a tooth or pull a filling out, such as peanut brittle, popcorn and toffee.

For more information visit https://www.health.qld.gov.au/oralhealth/healthy_smile

Q. I would like to know more about COVID-19.

To stay informed and read the latest announcements about COVID-19 and up-to-date advice for your situation, go to www.health.qld.gov.au/coronavirus.

Q: Who is making the recommendations about reducing / restricting services?

Changes to Queensland Health dental services are consistent with advice from the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee, and the Australian Dental Association’s recommendation to prioritise emergency treatment during the coronavirus pandemic. This is also in line with the Australian Government’s direction for hospitals to reschedule non-urgent elective surgery and focus on emergency and urgent surgery.

Q: Who is the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee?

The Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) is the key decision-making committee for health emergencies. It is made up of all Australian state and territory Chief Health Officers and is chaired by the Australian Chief Medical Officer. Dr Jeannette Young, Queensland’s Chief Health Officer, is a member of the Committee.

Q: Was the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee set up for coronavirus?

No. The Australian Health Protection Principal Committee has an ongoing role to advise on health protection matters and national priorities. The Committee is also tasked with the role of mitigating emerging health threats related to infectious disease, the environment as well as natural and human made disasters.

Q: Will the recommendations change? How long will they be in place?

Recommendations about what is and isn’t restricted may change over time. At this stage we do not know how long the restrictions will be in place.

Q: What can I do to look after my teeth in the meantime?

While we wait for things to return to normal, there are many things you can do to take good care of your dental and general health. Eating well, drinking tap water and brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste are simple steps to maintain healthy teeth and a great smile.

While dental services are restricted, we recommend avoiding hard and super sticky foods that could crack a tooth or pull a filling out like peanut brittle, popcorn and toffee.

For more information visit https://www.health.qld.gov.au/oralhealth/healthy_smile.

Last updated 16 April 2020
Last reviewed 16 April 2020