Fallow time can be cut to just 10 minutes if the necessary measures are taken, according to new guidance.
Incorporating the latest recommendations from the SDCEP, the updated guidance for General Dental Services (GDS) highlights how fallow time can be reduced.
New advice – which is aimed at ‘medium risk’ patients – includes:
- A baseline fallow time of 30 minutes where there are one to five air changes per hour (ACH) or the number is unknown.
- Where there are six to nine ACH, it recommends a baseline fallow time of 20 minutes
- Where there are 10 or more ACH, it recommends a baseline fallow time of 15 minutes.
No silver bullet
If teams carry out the correct mitigation and air changes, a 10-minute fallow period following an AGP may now be appropriate.
However, guidance points out that an AGP procedure should not be undertaken if there is no natural or mechanical ventilation.
Additionally, the British Dental Association warned that it should not be seen as a ‘silver bullet’.
‘Revised operational guidance has been published following the SDCEP’s recent rapid review,’ it said.
‘We welcome the possibility of reduced fallow times. However, this is not a silver bullet.
‘A return to pre-pandemic levels of activity should not be expected. This is due to fallow times remaining, social distancing measures and the physical demands of working under level 2 PPE.’