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FDS information hub

This page centralises guidance, resources and messages for members of the Faculty of Dental Surgeons. For information specific to non-dental surgeons along with more general updates and contacts, please visit

Last updated:  12:47 14 April 2021


Recommendations for the recovery phase of the COVID-19 pandemic

The following guidance documents and linked resources aim to encourage a consistent approach to the provision of dental care during the recovery phase of the pandemic.

The guides are intended to assist oral healthcare professionals in triaging and managing patients and should be used in conjunction with national guidance relating to good practice and infection prevention and control. National guidance is available online for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Recommendations for urgent and emergency care during the COVID-19 pandemic

The following guidance documents and linked resources relate to the management of patients presenting with common oral conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

They aim to encourage a consistent approach to the provision of urgent and emergency dental care within all dental settings while recognising the challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic presents.

The guides are intended to assist oral health care professionals in triaging and managing patients and should be used in conjunction with national guidance relating to good practice and infection prevention and control. National guidance is available online for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Latest Updates

Thursday 1 April: The development and production of this guidance was led by Claire Stevens, Consultant in Paediatric Dentistry, on behalf of Simon Kenny (National Clinical Director - Children and Young People) and Sara Hurley (Chief Dental Officer of England). The guide is to assist Paediatric Dental teams in prioritising the Children and Young people on their waiting lists during the current phase of the pandemic. It represents a consensus view of the Consultants in Paediatric Dentistry. The abbreviated guidance can be found on the FSSA website.

Monday 29 March: Today, NHS England has informed dental practices of the contractual arrangements over the next six months. You can find the letter online here.NHS England have also issued a bulletin focusing on next steps for the dental contract. As NHS England takes a lead on this process, they are sharing 6 aims which will apply to contract changes. They have also issued a joint statement with the BDA on how they will work together to improve NHS dentistry.

Thursday 25 February: Sara Hurley has issue an update to the profession. In particular, please note the option that eligible healthcare workers now have to book their vaccination appointments in a vaccination centre or community pharmacy through the NHS Covid-19 Vaccination Booking Service, which they can do online. This is open until this Sunday.

Thursday 4 February: Deputy CDO issues update to the profession

Thursday 28 January:  CDO’s office issues an update to the profession, along with a farewell from Eric Rooney.

Tuesday 26 January: SDCEP has issued an update to Mitigation of Aerosol Generating Procedures in Dentistry – A Rapid Review.  The update is provided within a new appendix and as a standalone document. The conclusions of the rapid review remain unchanged and searching for new evidence will continue. The Working Group stresses the importance of reviewing procedures and of staff and patients continuing to adhere to the various precautions specified in current national guidance.  

Friday 15 January: Wellbeing support for the whole Dental Team has been produced collaboratively by BDA, PHE, BDA Benevolent Fund & the Dentists Support Health Trust.

Thursday 7 January: The Chief Dental Officer has announced that alongside other health and care staff, dental professionals and their teams are now being prioritised for a COVID-19 vaccine.

  • This includes IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR THOSE WORKING IN PRIVATE DENTISTRY.  As you will see from the update, you are asked to  ensure that your practice details - especially the email address - are up to date with the CQC. This is needed to enable the NHS to invite you for vaccination.

Monday 4 January:  Chief Dental Officer Sara Hurley has issued this short update to the profession this evening after the Prime Minister’s announcement

Wednesday 30 December:

  • Sir Simon Stevens, Dr Emily Lawson and Professor Stephen Powis have written to NHS system leaders, Primary Care Networks and GP practices on the next steps for COVID-19 vaccination.
  • This information is also included in an update sent out to the profession by Eric Rooney, Deputy Chief Dental Officer.

Tuesday 15 December:  PHE briefing note reassures that the novel variant is unlikely to have led to false negative test results.

Thursday 10 December: NHS dentistry and oral health update from the CDO.

Friday 4 December: Because many dental practitioners and dental healthcare staff want to support the COVID-19 Vaccination Programme. NHSE/I have prepared an FAQ document to help clarify how indemnity arrangements will work with regards participation in the COVID-19 vaccination programme, Further guidance on recruitment into the COVID-19 vaccination programme is available at Join the Vaccine Team.

Friday 27 November: The CDO sends out an update to the profession in the context of the NHS move to incident Level 4 and the tiers in England from 2 December.

Wednesday 25 November: The CQC and GDC publish a joint statement  regarding ILS/BLS.

Wednesday 11 November: The four UK CDOs issue a letter supporting dental professionals in COVID 19 winter 2020.

Tuesday 10 November: The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges has released a statement in response to the news about COVID vaccination and enquiries about prioritisation.

Wednesday 4 November: Update letter from Professor Keith Willett NHS National Director for Emergency Planning and Incident Response confirms that, in response to increasing coronavirus infections, the health service in England will return to its highest level of emergency preparedness, Incident Level 4, from 00.01 tomorrow, 5 November.  The SOPs published 27 Oct 2020 remain correct.

Tuesday 3 November: Chief Dental Officer, England releases bulletin covering recent announcements and links to current guidance and relevant publications.

Tuesday 27 October: The Office of the Chief Dental Officers have updated their urgent dental care guidance and standard operating procedure. Key points to note are (1) the duration of the post Aerosol Generating Procedure (AGP) downtime; (2) recommendation of FFP3 masks for AGP procedures; (3) advice to practices/providers to have a plan in place to demonstrate the steps they are taking to complete the transition to FFP3 masks for AGPs in a timely and safe manner.


Wednesday 21 October:  New Dental IPC guidance has been released. Please see in particular page 18 figure 1 (for the down time from an AGP algorithm) and page 12 table 2 (for the PPE needed).

Friday 2 October:  The Faculty has launched its A resumption of Dental Services? survey report. So far, the report has received coverage in The Telegraph; Dentistry Online; Dental Review News; WalesOnline; Kent Live; and the Huddersfield Examiner. There is also a News in Brief about the survey in today’s physical copy of the Times.

Friday 25 September: The Faculty welcomes SDCEP's rapid review of the evidence on the mitigation of aerosol generating procedures in dentistry.

Monday 21 September: The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges are putting out a statement in response to this morning's public statement on COVID from Chris Whitty and Patrick Vallance.

Thursday 17 September:  Dental Schools Council and Association of Dental Hospitals has jointly written and published guidance on re-opening open plan clinics.

Tuesday 1 September:  The Faculty collaborates with other stakeholders on a joint statement re dental education and training while measures are in place to control the spread of COVID-19

Tuesday 1 September: The Office of the Chief Dental Officers have updated their urgent dental care guidance and standard operating procedure

Friday 21 August: Public Health England publish COVID-19 Guidance for the Remobilisation of services within health and care settings: infection prevention and control (IPC) recommendations which updates previous infection prevention and control guidance issued in June 2020.

Thursday 13 August: New guidance from Public Health England - Covid 19 supervised toothbrushing programmes.

Monday 27 July: NHSE updates guidelines around use of facemasks in primary care and community settings.

Tuesday 14 July: CQC invites dentists in practice to complete this survey. Further details can be found here. 

Monday 13 July: Dental Preparedness letter from CDO added to NHS website

Monday 6 July: The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges has published a joint statement with the BMA, NHS  Confederation, NHS Providers, RCS and UNISON on supporting the workforce.

Friday 3 July:

We’re pleased to announce that we’re now able to deliver MJDF Part 1 and and MFDS Part 1 remotely. All eligible candidates will be able to sit the examination from their own homes. The format and date of the examinations remains otherwise the same. 

Friday 26 June: SDCEP have posted a news item on a new AGP Working Group.

Thursday 25 June: a letter was sent this afternoon from Prenana Issar, Nikki Kanani and Amanda Pritchard from NHSE/I to all NHS organisations in secondary and primary care on the need for completing risk assessments for at-risk members of staff.

Tuesday 23 June: PHE add a publication about the impact of COVID-19 on BAME group.

Tuesday 23 June: The BDA create virtual packages of articles related to COVID-19 and dentistry.

Monday 22 June: BSP/FGDP with OCDO (England) release joint statement relating to provision of dental prophylaxis under Level 4/3 COVID19 alert status. 

Monday 15 June:  FDS endorses national testing strategy

Thursday 11 June:  Public facing resources now available on the PHE website.

Wednesday 10 June: Amanda Pritchard, Ruth May and Professor Stephen Powis issue a letter with advice for clinicians on minimising nosocomial infections in the NHS.

Monday 8 June: As practices begin to open today, FDS releases a press statement highlighting the guidance it published over the weekend.

Friday 5 June: The Faculty has published guidance for the recovery phase of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Thursday 4 June: NHS England and the office of the CDO have published the updated Standard Operating Procedures document and the FDS Dean has commented on its release.

Wednesday 3 June: Capturing Clinical Innovations: we encourage our members to complete this survey by 30 June. Further details can be read in a letter from Steve Powis and Hugh McCaughey.

Friday 29 May: The Faculty of Dental Surgeons and Faculty of General Dental Practice comment on the CDO announcement that dental services in England will resume on 8 June.

Thursday 28 May: Sara Hurley and Matt Neligan issue a letter about the resumption of dental services in England

Thursday 28 May: SDCEP has launched a Reopening Dental Practice Guide

Thursday 28 May: Release today from the office of the CDO England: Prompt to Prepare document together with statement.

Wednesday 20 May: Today marks the second meeting of the FDS working group (in collaboration with specialist organisations and with invited representation from FGDP) in support of the national approach to a safe and effective return to practice.

Tuesday 19 May:
The FDS Dean Elect took part in the fourth Deans’ Webinar COVID-19: Aerosols and Patient Safety – Where are we now?

Tuesday 19 May:
From the Frontline blog series; supporting oral healthcare through the pandemic – read the new blog from our Dean, Professor Michael Escudier

Monday 18 May: NHS England & NHS Improvement Standard operating procedure updated to include anosmia.

Wednesday 13 May: Update to the COVID-19 Dental Services Evidence Review (CoDER) Working Group rapid review for reopening dental surgeries.

Monday 11 May: SDCEP have updated their advice on remote prescribing.

Tuesday 5 May: The FDS Dean took part in the third Deans’ Webinar COVID-19: Preparing for the Challenges Ahead.

Thursday 30 April: Join the five Dental Deans of the UK/Irish Royal Colleges, for an interactive webinar on COVID-19 - Preparing for the challenges ahead. The webinar will take place on Tuesday 5th May, 2020 at 6pm

Thursday 30 April: The deans of the Dental Faculties have released an updated joint statement on the Dental Specialty Examinations.

Wednesday 29 April: Public Health England, the Faculty of Dental Surgery of The Royal College of Surgeons of England, the Faculty of General Dental Practice and the British Dental Association have published a joint letter on prescribing antibiotics for urgent dental care during sustained transmission of COVID-19.

Thursday 23 April: Chief Dental Officer, Sara Hurley and Director of Primary and System Transformation, Matt Neligan invite oral health professionals to a webinar on COVID-19 which will take place on Friday 24 April, 4 - 4.45pm.  Please connect shortly before it starts.

Tuesday 21 April: The FDS Dean took part in the second Deans’ Webinar - Managing the emergency dental patient during COVID-19.

Monday 20 April: The findings of a new member survey on COVID-19 by the Royal College of Surgeons of England show that shortages of PPE equipment and a lack of access to testing are the two main concerns amongst dental surgeons.

Monday 20 April: Join the deans of the Dental Faculties for a live interactive webinar on COVID-19 at 6pm on Tuesday 21 April.

Thursday 16 April: 

NHS England have published a letter and updated guidance on the standard operating procedure for urgent and emergency dental care.

FDS RCS England have issued a press release in support of NHS England's new guidance recommending remote dental consultations wherever they are possible.

Wednesday 15 April: The deans of the Dental Faculties have released a joint statement on the Dental Specialty Eaxminations.

Friday 10 April: PHE has produced a series of materials on the use of PPE.

Thursday 9 April: The Office of Chief Dental Officer and NHS England and NHS Improvement have developed framework for the redeployment of the dental workforce to areas of need within the wider NHS. Any dental team member wishing to support the NHS can register their interest via survey link on the NHS England & NHS Improvement website.

Thursday 9 April: Professor Michael Escudier, Dean of the Faculty of Dental Surgery at The Royal College of Surgeons of England, was joined by the deans of the Dental Faculties for an interactive webinar on Tuesday 7 April. The session consisted of a Q&A on how dental practice and dental surgery is coping with the current pandemic.

Wednesday 8 April: New helpline and text service launched for NHS staff offering wellbeing support. The service is designed to help all NHS staff take steps to maintain their physical and mental health and overall wellbeing.

Tuesday 7 April: The FDS Dean hosted the first of the Deans’ Webinars: COVID-19 Q&A with the Deans of the Dental Faculties. The Faculty is delighted that its sister faculties have come on board with this new initiative. Further webinars will be held fortnightly, each event hosted by one of the Deans.

Tuesday 7 April: Join the deans of the Dental Faculties for an interactive webinar on COVID-19 followed by a Q&A session at 6pm on Tuesday 7 April.

Thursday 2 April: Public Health England has now published updated COVID-19 infection prevention and control guidance. This includes updated guidance on PPE.

Thursday 2 April: Chief Dental Officer, Sara Hurley and Director of Primary and System Transformation, Matt Neligan invite oral health professionals to their first webinar on COVID-19 which will take place on Friday 3 April, 5-6pm.  Please connect shortly before it starts.

Wednesday 1 April: The specialist societies represented on FDS Clinical Standards Committee have provided useful links to their own COVID19 advice.

Thursday 26 MarchUpdated guidance on adjustments to surgical practice has been published by the joint surgical Royal Colleges alongside ASGBIACPGBI and AUGIS. This should be read alongside the summary guidance published on Friday 20 March.

Wednesday 25 March: The FDS and other dental education bodies have released a joint statement following the introduction of control measures to manage the spread of COVID-19. It sets out arrangements for dental and dental care professional students and recent graduates, to address concerns they have about completing their studies and training. 

Tuesday 24 March: The Dental Deans of the Surgical Royal Colleges have issued a joint statement on their response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We are listing dental resources below. 

Friday 20 March: The Royal Surgical Colleges of the UK and Ireland have issued guidance to surgeons on planning for the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Monday 16 March: In response to the challenge of COVID-19, conferences, educational and training courses, assessment panels, accreditation visits and examinations that require travel will be postponed. Where possible, activities will continue if these can be delivered by video call or webinar. These arrangements will remain in place until at least the end of the summer in the first instance. 


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We are receiving large numbers of enquiries and are responding as quickly as we can. We urge you to read our COVID-19 FAQs on exams and COVID-19 FAQs on courses thoroughly before contacting us directly.

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