Open wide! this week I chat with Dr David Suitor who has been a dentist in Belfast for over 17 years. We chat about the general state of dentistry in Nothern Ireland as well as the specific challenges of Covid-19.
Normally dentists can see 4 or 5 patients per hour but Covid-19 precautions have dramatically reduced the number of patients they can see. This has repercussions for the ability of patients to get treated as well as the financial viability of dental surgeries.
If a procedure uses water spray such as during a filling or even cleaning the teeth and gums there is a danger that Covid-19 can spread in the water droplets. Dentists are advised to leave one hour between patients to let the droplets in the air fall. Then they also need enhanced personal protective gear that is single-use and can cost £15-£20. It costs a dentist around £120 and hour to keep their surgery running so either they will need to dramatically increase the price they charge patients or they will need some kind of financial assistance from the government.
We also talk generally about the state of teeth in Northern Ireland as well as some practical tips of keeping your pearly whites in good shape.
David is actually my dentist and I would highly recommend him, especially if you are a nervous patient. I did not go to a dentist for seven years as like most people I hate the experience. Now I don’t mind my trips as he cleans all the tea and coffee stains off to give you a dazzling smile. You can find him at Creative Smiles in Belfast, and they also take NHS patients.
Have a listen and let me know what you think in the comments.
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I help to manage Slugger by taking care of the site as well as running our live events. My background is in business, marketing and IT. My politics tend towards middle-of-the-road pragmatism, I am not a member of any political party. Oddly for a member of the Slugger team, I am not that interested in daily politics, preferring to write about big ideas in society. When not stuck in front of a screen, I am a parkrun Run Director.