NHSreality has commented on the Dental situation, and observed that some forms of heart disease after dental caries present very late. Other issues around dental health and hygeine, prevention and treatment are mostly forgotten by the people who are lucky enough to have good dental health. Since there is no NHS dentistry for many, who have to buy private care, they will not be surprised by the dental charges for PPE. We live in a real world,a nd there are “hard truths” that the public need to realise. Dentists are self-employed, and have to purchase their PPE…
PPE FOR DENTISTS
Sir, Criticism is levelled at some private dentists for levying a charge to cover the increased costs of PPE (“Hard to swallow: the £40 PPE bill”, July 11). The reality is these costs have been imposed by the government, with a poor evidence base. Combined with the price of some PPE having risen by more than 1,000 per cent, there is no alternative but to pass on these costs to patients. NHS dentists are unable to recoup any PPE costs since the government contracts their fees at a fixed rate. The British Dental Association is lobbying for additional fees to cover PPE for NHS dentists; there is no such initiative for private dentists. Most practices are “mixed”, providing both NHS and private treatments: private income often subsidising NHS. If these conditions continue, many high street practices will close within the year.
Jason Smithson; Bertie Napier; Tif Qureshi; Luke Thorley; Simon Thackeray; Rahul Doshi; Dominic O’Hooley; Wayne Williams; Nav Khaira; Matt Perkins; Victoria Holden; Stephen Jacobs; Zaki Kanaan; Debbie McGovern, British Association of Private Dentistry
Times letters: Facemasks and restrictions on our liberty
Sir, Even though Britain has the third highest Covid-19 death toll, some so-called libertarians are outraged at the prospect of mandatory facemasks (“Wear mask in shops from July 24 or face a £100 fine”, July 14). Their arguments recall those parodied in a Times leader in 1854, when the public health pioneer Edwin Chadwick was forced to retire from the Board of Health: “We prefer to take our chance of cholera and the rest than be bullied into health . . . There is nothing a man so much hates as being cleaned against his will or having his floors swept, his walls whitewashed, his pet dungheaps cleared away or his thatch forced to give way to slate . . . It is a positive fact that many have died of a good washing.”
Sir, The psychological effect of facemasks has barely been discussed but is key. I cannot believe I am alone in feeling anxious at the prospect of wearing a mask in shops and being confronted by crowds of people doing the same. Masks change the nature of non-verbal communication. Lip-reading or seeing a smile are integral in daily interaction. The government wants people to flock back to the high street, but I fear that by taking away the freedom of choice over masks, the opposite will be achieved. A compromise would be to mandate their use only at busy times or in busier stores. One thing is for certain: mask-wearing should not become a permanent part of our lives.
Sir, Not all facemasks are equal. Front-vented masks might protect the wearer but they project a plume of unfiltered exhalation. Many of these masks appear in video interviews without comment and are advertised widely as being more comfortable for the bespectacled user.
Sir, Now that facemasks are mandatory in shops and on public transport, they must be sold for a fair price. The two main chemists on my high street are charging in excess of £30 for 50 disposable face masks. It is not acceptable for companies to make huge profits out of the pandemic.
Sir, While the debate goes on about the wearing of facemasks, what about compulsory application of hand sanitiser whenever one enters a shop. After a brief retail expedition last week the smell of various sanitisers mingling on my hands was so pungent that I could not bear to put them near my nose and had to scrub my hands on arrival at home. As a strategy to keep me from touching my face, it is remarkably effective.
Sir, Sir Jeremy Blackham states (letter, July 13) that it is not possible to eat while wearing a mask. I would point out, as a regular traveller to the Middle East, that women who wear the niqab are well used to eating and drinking in public.
Sir, I agree that it would be difficult to enjoy a drink or a meal while wearing a facemask. However, this could have the benefit of reducing my calorie intake. Perhaps the “facemask diet” could be the next slimming craze.