This page contains information and statements concerning the COVID-19 Pandemic and it will be updated regularly.
Readers are also encouraged to monitor our Twitter and Facebook accounts for further information.
Please note that following an Taoiseach’s advice to minimise social contact and to work from home in as far as it is possible, the staff of the Dental Council are now working remotely. Our office phone number will be answered but we would ask that people wishing to contact the office would do so by email, unless absolutely necessary. Our contact email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
On behalf of the staff of the Dental Council we would like to thank you for your co-operation and patience with these arrangements
Participating in the COVID-19 Vaccination Programme
The Dental Council welcomes the signing of regulation SI 81 of 2021 by the Minister for Health which allows dentists to take part in the national COVID-19 vaccination programme as vaccinators. Many dentists have contacted us enquiring about assisting the national vaccination programme and the Dental Council recognises that the dentists can contribute significantly to this important public health initiative. The statement includes guidance for dentists participating in the programme, in addition to the obligations set out in the in Code of Practice regarding Professional Behaviour and Ethical Conduct.
10 March 2021 @ 11.32
COVID-19 Vaccination Programme
Please see the below attachement for information based on a significant number of queries from the profession concerning the national vaccination programme against COVID-19
05 February 2021 @ 13.30
Withdrawal of Dental Council’s Interim Infection Prevention and Control Guidance
The Dental Council welcomes the HPSC’s revised ‘Guidance on Managing Infection Related Risks in Dental Services’ which was published today. This remains as the authoritative national advice to the profession on providing dental services in the pandemic. The guidance is relevant at all levels of the ‘Resilience and Recovery 2020-2021’ plan published by the Government in September. This guidance has updated information on how the virus is spread, and especially on symptomatic and asymptomatic transmission. The guidance gives practical advice on managing patients and on measures to enhance the protection of the dental team.
To coincide with this publication, the Dental Council has decided to withdraw the interim sentence inserted in April 2020 at the bottom of Section 18.104.22.168 of its Code of Practice regarding Infection Prevention and Control. This sentence recommended using FFP2 masks when performing aerosol generating procedures and this recommendation is now deleted from the Code. This section now reads:
‘The use of PPE must be guided by risk assessment. It must be used to protect DHCWs from exposure to or contact with infections or potentially infectious microorganisms. Items of PPE include gloves, gowns, face masks, goggles and face shields. These must not be worn outside the area in which they are used. Hand hygiene must be carried out after removal and appropriate disposal of PPE. Most PPE items are regarded as single use (but refer to the manufacturer’s instructions).’
Your professional judgement remains key and you should continue to follow your professional judgement and assess risks when deciding on the best care for your patients.
The Dental Council would like to thank all dental health care professionals for their commitment to providing safe clinical care in a difficult and constantly evolving situation. The Council recognises that this continues to be worrying and stressful time for all members of the dental team.
15 October 2020 @ 10:15
Extention to Emergency Covid-19 Register
The Minister has made an order to extend the period of our emergency covid Register from it’s cessation date of 31 July 2020 until 31 December 2020
The Minister does not intend on making an order which would extend the Register beyond that date.
Those regisered in this emergency Register will need to apply for general restoration if they wish to practice beyond 31 December 2020.
24 July 2020 @ 14:40
Advice for Patients
Now that the Government has announced that some of the restrictions placed on society as a result of Covid-19 are being lifted from May 18th, including some of the general restrictions on dental care, the Dental Council would like to advise patients that dentists are now resuming practice.
Dentists and their staff will seek to provide a safe and caring environment for their patients and, as a result, you should be aware that your dentist will probably be seeing a reduced number of patients daily. However, we would strongly encourage you to contact your dentist if you need dental treatment.
As the risk of COVID-19 remains, many of the restrictions that were introduced to delay and mitigate the spread of the virus are likely to remain in place for some time and as a result you will see some changes when you attend your dentist. These measures are being put in place to ensure both your safety and the safety of the practice staff.
20 May 2020
Statutory Instrument to Support Provision of Routine Dental Care
The revised Statutory Instrument required to lift the restrictions on Irish society as part of Phase 1 of the Government’s Roadmap to Reopen Society and Business has been published. This regulation, SI 174 of 2020 amends regulation SI 121 of 2020 that introduced the emergency measures on 7 April. Under the amending regulation, dental service is now classified as an essential service for Irish society and this enabled routine dental care to resume from 18 May. The Statutory Instrument allows:
- dental professionals, including dental technicians and other support staff, to leave their residence to provide or assist in the provision of dental services (the word ’emergency’ has been deleted).
- the public to attend for dental appointments or accompany someone to a dental appointment (and travel beyond the current 5km restrictions for this service).
- the public to seek essential dental care outside of an appointment.
In relation to the last point, it is important to note that this provision allows the public to leave their residence and to travel without restriction to seek care which the member of the public deems to be essential. This is a necessary legal provision to allow the public to seek assistance for emergency and other unanticipated dental care, and it is important to note that this is not a restriction on the care that can be provided by dental healthcare professionals.
There is also no restriction on where the practice of dentistry can be undertaken. This is an important fact for provision of care outside of the dental practice, particularly for those in residential settings or ‘cocooning’.
Links to the two regulations:
20 May 2020
Lifting of Restrictions on Accessing Dental Services from 18 May 2020
The Minister for Health has announced that dental practices can open from 18 May subject to adherence to the HPSC guidelines on Managing Infection Related Risks in Dental Services.
The Dental Council welcomes the easing of the restrictions and it commends the HPSC guide to the profession as the authoritative national advice on managing a return to a more routine form of dentistry. The measures are important to ensure safety in the dental surgery and to provide an assurance to patients that it is safe for them to attend their dentist.
The Dental Council would like to thank all dental health care professionals for their commitment to providing safe clinical care in what is an unprecedented situation. The Council recognises this continues to be worrying and stressful time for all members of the dental team.
16 May 2020 @ 18.25
Continuation of Emergency Measures
The Taoiseach’s announcement last Friday and the roadmap published by the Government on reopening society and business envisages that, subject to the progress to suppress COVID-19 continuing, that routine dentistry will recommence either on or shortly after 18 May (Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the plan). In the interim, the emergency measures remain in place and dentistry is limited to the provision of emergency dental services. The Dental Council will issue advice to the profession nearer the time routine dentistry is due to recommence.
6 May 2020 @ 11.40
Update – Dental Council Examination For Non- EEA Trained Dentists
- Due to the difficult circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, we have taken the decision to defer Part 2 of the Dental Council examination which was due to be held on 29th June – 3rd July 2020.
- Due to the uncertainty of the current situation, unfortunately, it is not yet possible to set future dates.
- Priority will be given to candidates who are already in the system. Therefore, the decision to defer the Examination will not count towards an attempt for these candidates.
- This decision has been taken in the interest of public safety, including the safety of candidates.
- Updates will be provided on our website as they become available.
16 April 2020 @ 14.45
Advice for patients during COVID-19 Pandemic
Please see the Dental Council’s advice for patients during this difficult time.
14 April 2020 @ 13.48
Addendum to Dental Council’s Code of Practice on Infection Prevention and Control
The Dental Council has agreed to insert an interim sentence of guidance at the bottom of Section 22.214.171.124 of its Code of Practice regarding Infection Prevention and Control with effect from 8 April 2020.
It is important to note that a decision on the appropriate PPE to use in the clinical setting must be guided by a risk assessment. The revised Section states:
‘The use of PPE must be guided by risk assessment. It must be used to protect DHCWs from exposure to or contact with infections or potentially infectious microorganisms. Items of PPE include gloves, gowns, face masks, goggles and face shields. These must not be worn outside the area in which they are used. Hand hygiene must be carried out after removal and appropriate disposal of PPE. Most PPE items are regarded as single use (but refer to the manufacturer’s instructions).
Aerosol-generating procedures should only be undertaken with an appropriate level of PPE, which includes a respirator mask to a minimum standard of FFP2.’
The Council believes that this approach, which errs on the side of caution, protects the health of patients, dental healthcare professionals and the community at large until the scientific evidence on the appropriate precautions becomes clearer. This measure is in addition to the environmental and organisational precautions necessary to protect against cross-infection within the dental practice.
Dental Council Statement on Emergency Care
In future, as the evidence base expands, it will be judged how and when a return to routine practice is advised by the appropriate authorities, but for now dentists have a responsibility to “first do no harm”.
Dentists should follow their professional judgement and assess risks when deciding how to care for patients. Your professional judgement remains key and you should only treat if it is safe to do so for both patients and the dental team. Safe care is a priority for all. Dentists who cannot provide these emergency services in their own practice should make reasonable efforts to attempt to arrange referral to a setting where the emergency can be safely managed.
The Dental Council does not wish to be prescriptive in exactly defining what is a dental emergency. However, in the context of the present pandemic the following resources will be useful in assisting the profession in providing emergency care:
08 April 2020 @ 13.40
Ethical Framework for Decision-Making in a Pandemic
31 March 2020 @ 14.00
Emergency Covid-19 Section 69 Registration
Following the passing of emergency Covid-19 legislation. The Dental Council have set up a Covid-19 Register.
Please follow the link for more inforamtion on how to apply.
[Link to Section 69 Registration]
31 March 2020 @ 12.25
Emergency dental practice activities only
Following the Taoiseach’s announcement of further restrictions to help stop the spread of COVID-19, the Government published a list of essential services. Under this, the practice of dentistry is limited to emergency dental practice activities only.
30 March 2020 @ 09.10
Department of Health updated statement on providing routine dentistry during the COVID-19 pandemic
Please visit The Department of Health’s website for updated guidance and advice, using the link below.
27 March 2020 @ 11.55
Register to assist with the National Pandemic Effort
The Department of Health are preparing emergency legislation to fast-track certain former registrants on the registers of all health care professions. We’ve attached some information on this matter with further details to follow.
26 March 2020 @ 12.00
Please see Dental Council statement, as posted on social media on 20th March 2020;
26 March 2020 @ 10.30
Department of Health
26 March 2020 @ 10.30
HPSC Guidance on COVID-19
Use of PPE to support Infection Prevention and Control Practice when performing aerosol generating procedures on CONFIRMED or CLINICALLY SUSPECTED COVID-19 CASES in a PANDEMIC SITUATION
26 March 2020 @ 10.30
HPSC Management of COVID-19 cases in community care (interim)
Interim IPC guidance non acute healthcare settings;
25 March 2020 @ 11.30
We’ve put some helpful links to relevant websites in the “quick links” section on the top left of this page
25 March 2020 @ 11.30