Advice for Orthodontic Practices in Primary Care Settings

Guidance is aimed at NHS & Private Orthodontic Practices in the UK

Review Coronavirus (COVID-19): UK government response


We recommend you review the links to the up-to-date guidance for healthcare professionals


View the BDA Advice pages for Live Blog, FAQ’s



This is an unprecedented time for healthcare delivery in the UK. The landscape is changing quickly and the advice from government sources and the dental authorities is being updated regularly.

The BOS is providing this advice as a resource for its members but must stress that information is quickly going out of date and practitioners MUST check with their employers and the online resources BEFORE undertaking any action regarding patient care.



Coronavirus and practice management


  • It is important that each practitioner ensures they are up-to-date with all developments at all times and communicates this information to their staff, colleagues and patients regularly
  • The letter from the CDO issued on June 2020 advises that all routine care including orthodontics should be STOPPED.
  • The following stakeholders should have been informed:
  • Inspecting body: You will need to notify the relevant inspectorate if you close the practice for more than 24 hours, this is the CQC in England, the HIW in Wales etc.
  • Relevant authority: In England, you must send a closure notification to your regional NHS England team to prevent breaching your NHS contract. We recommend informing them of your arrangements for emergency patients. In Wales, the Health Board should be notified. In Northern Ireland, the HSCB and RQIA should be told.
  • Patients: We also advise that you contact patients if the practice has to be closed. This can be done with a sign on the door, contacting patients directly via SMS, phone, email or letter and also via your social media pages
  • Practices should review the advice of their Health Protection Team regularly. They will conduct the necessary risk assessments and advise you of what additional precautions to take. If this happens, the CQC should be notified.
  • NHS practices with a Designated Account  will get updates regarding for COVID-19 by the NHS England and NHS Improvement Regional Team.
  • Appoint a COVID-19 lead to coordinate training and implementation of PHE guidance.
  • There will be BOS factsheets on managing your practice both financially and on managing staffing during this period.


Coronavirus and orthodontic emergencies

  • If the patients condition cannot be managed at home, and this should be in the minority, then they will need to be referred to their Local Urgent Dental Care system. These have not been set up everywhere and your regional NHS teams should keep you informed of the arrangements.  Current advice is to advise the patient to call 111 and the NHS team will triage and assess the options to refer to a local urgent dental care team but this channel of referral may change.


Regularly review the following hyperlinks


Coronavirus (COVID-19) latest information and advice


PHE COVID-19 Interim Guidance for Primary Care


NHS – patient facing information


NHS resources for Hospitals, GPs and pharmacies and other NHS facilities



Coronavirus and Self isolation


  • If you live with others and you are the first in the household to have symptoms of coronavirus, then you must stay at home for 7 days, but all other household members who remain well must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill. See the explanatory diagram
  • for anyone else in the household who starts displaying symptoms, they need to stay at home for 7 days from when the symptoms appeared, regardless of what day they are on in the original 14 day isolation period. The ending isolation section below has more information, and see the explanatory diagram

Clinical Governance Directorate

British Orthodontic Society

March 2020

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