Pharmacy teams given dental advice to treat patients in the community

Pharmacists can help some patients with dental conditions and reduce the numbers attending accident and emergency departments.

Dental and pharmacy teams have produced factsheets for pharmacies across Health Education England’s London and south east England area (HEE LaSe) as part of attempts to reduce out of hours and weekend calls to NHS 111 and accident and emergency department use.

Dental conditions are one of the most common symptom groups for callers to NHS 111, particularly at weekends, but it is thought community pharmacies could be managing many of the patients calling the service or visiting A&E with these symptoms.

The factsheets are intended to support and refresh knowledge and can be used by all patient-facing staff in pharmacy when dealing with common dental presentations. When dental and oral symptoms are urgent they also help signpost to other services where indicated.

The 12 factsheets feature conditions including bleeding and swollen gums, bleeding after tooth extraction, chipped or fractured teeth, oral ulcers, teething and toothache.

HEE LaSe is also seeking to hear from pharmacies about how they have used the factsheets and if they have found them helpful.

The factsheets can be found here.