The Probe - Proudly serving the dental profession for over 60 years

Waterpik – New definition and classification of periodontal disease GDC Development Outcome C

Course Dates: 19th March 2019 - 19th March 2021
Enrollment Dates: Enroll Anytime
Who can Enroll: Anyone
Course Language: English
Price: FREE

About the Course

• Understanding the new system for the definition and classification of periodontal disease following the 2017 World Workshop.

• Learning how to use the new system for the identification, treatment and prevention of periodontal disease

• Raising awareness and empowering patients to prevent disease

Course Structure

Instructors

The Probe

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Mental health during the pandemic

Course Dates: Open-ended
Enrollment Dates: Enroll Anytime
Who can Enroll:
Price: FREE

About the Course

Allison Large, DDU dento-legal adviser, lends her advice on managing stress.

The upheaval and social impact of the coronavirus has undoubtedly had an adverse effect on dental professionals’ health and wellbeing. According to a recent DDU survey of 224 dental professionals, 68% think their stress and anxiety levels have worsened since the pandemic began. And when asked about their health and wellbeing generally, half of respondents felt unable to do their jobs effectively or unable to spend adequate time with patients (49% and 52% respectively). Meanwhile, two thirds (67%) felt stressed or anxious on a weekly basis and 47% admitted going to work when they didn’t feel well.

It is very concerning that so many dental professionals’ health and wellbeing is suffering because of their work. The pandemic has magnified the problem with many facing additional stress, from financial concerns, worries about their health and their family’s wellbeing and not being able to care for patients in the usual way. Some colleagues are also working in the unfamiliar surroundings of an urgent dental care centre or volunteering to help the NHS in other ways.

On a positive note, 72% of respondents to our survey feel that they are making a positive difference to their patients and 88% share concerns with family, and 57% do so with colleagues.

In the DDU’s long history of representing members in adversity, we have seen how multiple pressures – money, career and family – can exact a heavy toll on someone’s health and wellbeing at any time. In our experience, colleagues are not immune from mental health problems and we encourage anyone in difficulty to make the most of their support network.

Besides friends, family and colleagues, there are many sources of professional advice and help available. These include: the NHS Practitioner Health Programme (PHP) which has set up a special Covid-19 wellbeing service with specific advice and resources for healthcare professionals; the Dentist’s Health Support Programme (DHSP) and the Samaritans. Some free mindfulness techniques are also available online from The Mindfulness initiative.

If you have concerns about your own health, it’s important to consult your GP or another healthcare professional. In our survey 42% of respondents said they would consult a GP about health issues which means a majority may not. Don’t be tempted to selfmedicate to alleviate symptoms such as exhaustion or anxiety or you risk making the situation worse. The GDC expects dental professionals to look after their own health in the interests of providing safe and appropriate care and it warns: “You must not rely on your own assessment of the risk you pose to patients. You should seek occupational health advice or other appropriate advice as soon as possible.” (para 9.2.2, Standards for the Dental Team).

In order to support those in difficulty, the DDU has launched a new e-learning course on health and wellbeing aimed at helping dental professionals to recognise the warning signs for anxiety, depression and burnout. The course aims to help with developing the skills to manage stressful situations. In addition, our team of expert advisers can provide dento-legal support to members. It’s worth pointing out that the team are dentists who understand the pressures you face.

In these testing times, it has never been more important for everyone in the dental community to support and look out for each other.

Dental practices in Wales reportedly ‘operating at less than a quarter of capacity’

Course Dates: Open-ended
Enrollment Dates: Enroll Anytime
Who can Enroll:
Price: FREE

About the Course

ITV News is reporting that dental practices are ‘operating at less than a quarter of capacity’ in Wales and that they will not be operating fully until ‘at least October’ according to some claims.

The report states that while services at dental surgeries across Wales are able to resume, as lockdown restrictions have been eased, stringent guidelines have made it difficult for them to operate fully. The Welsh Government allowed dental practices to resume from 1 July, however, a “phased approach” was taken due to the fact that, in some procedures, the risk of cross-infection is high due to the transfer of saliva.

Professor Mike Lewis told ITV News that this is why dentistry was going to be one of the areas of medicine that is going to “find it very difficult to return to normal because of the aerosol generation.”

Dental practices in England could fully resume on 8 June, while practices in Wales are currently operating under an ‘amber light’ in which some, but not all, procedures can resume.

A spokesperson for the British Dental Association said: ” The green status, where routine care returns, is unlikely to be reached till October at the earliest. Both nations are operating fallow time and maintaining 60 minute gaps between patients to reduce risk of viral transmission. This is a major barrier to access for all. It is not a return to business as usual in either nation. Most practices are operating at less than a quarter of their pre-pandemic capacity.”

Dental professionals turn to DDU for reassurance in record numbers during pandemic

Course Dates: Open-ended
Enrollment Dates: Enroll Anytime
Who can Enroll:
Price: FREE

About the Course

The coronavirus pandemic has led to record numbers of dental professionals seeking support and advice with dento-legal and membership queries, the Dental Defence Union (DDU) said today.

During the height of the pandemic, the DDU saw a 130% increase in dental professionals visiting its website for advice on areas such as performing remote consultations and returning to practice safely. Meanwhile, the DDU’s membership team dealt with almost 40,000 calls and 46,000 emails from DDU and MDU members between April and July. Many members whose work circumstances had changed, contacted us to adjust their subscription.

The DDU released the figures on the day its parent company, the MDU, published its  annual report for 2019. The MDU’s strong financial position was a key factor in allowing a quick and efficient response to members’ changing needs during the pandemic.

John Makin, head of the DDU, commented: “Our annual report looks back on the issues affecting members during 2019, but no one could have anticipated the events that would so dramatically impact all of us in 2020.

“During the coronavirus pandemic, dental professionals have had to adapt quickly to new ways of working while keeping up to date with rapidly changing guidance. Innovations such as the shift to remote consultations and telephone triage have happened virtually overnight and it’s no wonder that DDU members are looking for trusted information and advice from us on the dento-legal implications of this and all the other issues arising from the pandemic.

“Many members work circumstances have changed dramatically since the lockdown and this led to a surge in calls to our membership helpline. Over 1600 members told us about their changing circumstances after the initial lockdown ended, for example.

“We are proud to have maintained our excellent levels of service with our membership team answering over 82% of almost 40,000 calls within 20 seconds between April and July this year. This is important because members’ time is precious and we know they value a quick and accurate response to their queries.

“These are uncertain times and we recognise the immense pressure our members face in caring for patients. Our role is to alleviate some of the strain of clinical practice and this has never been more important than during the current health emergency.”

Other highlights from the annual report for 2019 include: