Oral health leaflets sent to every household after two years of restricted services
Dental Director Antony Visocchi.
Everyone in Shetland should receive an oral health booklet in response to restricted access to dental services during the pandemic.
NHS Shetland said its Oral Health Care at Home publication was one of many initiatives it has developed to “remove barriers to preventative care”.
After dental services were severely restricted during the pandemic, the council acknowledged that its ability to deliver “important prevention messages” was also limited.
Even now that services are starting to resume, patients have been warned that access to routine checkups could be reduced, so some people may have to wait up to two years between appointments.
Faced with these challenges, oral health education nurse Angela Hopwood came up with the idea of sending the booklet to households in Shetland to engage with patients.
It contains messages for all age groups on how to prevent dental problems and improve oral health as well as the services available. It will arrive at the gates of the islands from next week.
Director of Dentistry Antony Visocchi said he was ‘so proud’ of Ms Hopwood for coming up with the idea and seeing it through.
“She was supported throughout the project by the rest of the enthusiastic team,” she said.
“There is no doubt that it has been a huge task.
“The genuine concern about limited access to dental services during the pandemic has been enormous.
“This initiative is typical of the whole dental service approach of putting our patients first and trying to maintain the excellent work that has been done in Shetland for years.
“Almost all dental diseases are preventable. The lifestyle that we all employ at home regarding eating habits, especially sugar frequency, brushing and interdental brushing are the most important factors in avoiding disease and maintaining oral health.
“Having the information in this booklet close at hand will allow easy and repeated access to key prevention messages.
Other attempts to break down barriers to care include the team’s Facebook and Twitter pages, which the council says have been a “huge success”.