The manpower crisis created by coronavirus means that dentists are now helping mothers to deliver their babies via caesarean section.
Professor Shakeel Shahdad, Consultant in Restorative Dentistry, based at Barts Health NHS Trust and QMUL Institute of Dentistry, said his department has been redeployed following lockdown.
Reports suggest that dental staff are now helping in maternity, the critical care unit (CCU), the emergency department, Urgent Treatment Centre and with staff testing for COVID-19.
It means that, as a result, some dental professionals have been assisting midwives as new mothers go into labour and are even helping with c-section procedures.
Professor Shahdad told www.dentistry.co.uk that there is very limited cover for dental emergencies provided by oral surgery and paediatric services.
The dental space is instead being reallocated to meet COVID-19 demands.
Professor Shahdad said: “As part of the large NHS Trust, we knew early on the redeployment was on the cards.
“Currently, our dental hospital space is being used for chemotherapy. This has allowed for space being made available in the main hospital for COVID patients.”
Professor Shahdad also called for a continued effort to supply healthcare professionals with adequate personal protection equipment.