Coronavirus (COVID-19) update: Appointments with Oral Health Services Tasmania

Due to the easing of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions, Oral Health Services Tasmania (OHST) are slowly expanding the range of services provided but will continue to operate at a reduced capacity.

All emergency and urgent dental services will be available for Tasmanian children under 18 years and adults with a current pensioner concession or health care card.

Last Updated: Wednesday 27 May 2020

Recent Service Changes

Oral Health Services Tasmania (OHST) have reviewed the recent Federal Government Announcement, advising dental providers to move to Level 1 restrictions and have developed a Recovery Plan, which outlines our response to easing restrictions on services provided.

Due to the easing of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions, Oral Health Services Tasmania (OHST) are slowly expanding the range of services provided but will operate at a reduced capacity.

What Services Are Available?

Initially, OHST will focus on rebooking cancelled appointments in order of clinical priority. This may take some time, and is dependent on staffing capacity, resources and other unknown factors. All emergency and urgent dental services will still be available for Tasmanian children under 18 years and eligible adults.

Please note that although restrictions are easing, it does not mean that OHST will return to normal services immediately. There will be a number of services that we will be unable to provide.

We need to be sure that all required measures, including health screening, personal protective equipment (PPE) and social/physical distancing measures are in place prior to any changes made.

Our priority is keeping patients and staff safe.

I had an appointment cancelled, what should I do?

If you have had your appointment cancelled or postponed, there is no need to call us as an OHST staff member will contact you to rebook an appointment when we are able to do so.

What do I do if I think I need urgent care?

Please call us on 1300 011 013 to discuss.

What happens for all other treatments?

While we are operating at a reduced capacity and prioritising cancelled appointments, some less urgent treatment needs will continue to be postponed.

We are keeping a record of everyone who has called and who has had their appointment postponed and will endeavour to contact you when we have the capacity to see more patients.

If your dental condition changes, please call us on 1300 011 013.

Who does this apply to?

  • All Tasmanian children under 18 years of age; and
  • All eligible adult Health Care Card or Pensioner Concession Card holders

Where?

All major dental centres, as well as most regional clinics, will be providing limited appointments. Walk-in appointments are not available.

Ineligible Patients

If you are ineligible to access our services, we encourage you to contact a private dentist for treatment.For a list of private dental practices currently operating within your area, please visit www.ada.org.au/Find-a-Dentist for more information.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION: For all visitors and patients

For the safety of all, please call us on 1300 011 013 before your appointment to let us know if you have:

  • Developed any symptoms, such as fever, cough, sore throat or shortness of breath
  • Been interstate or overseas in the past 14 days
  • Have been told to self-isolate or quarantine
  • Concerns that you may have the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Please contact your GP or the Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738 to be tested for COVID-19 if you have symptoms of fever, runny nose, cough, sore or itchy throat, or shortness of breath.

I am attending an appointment: What should I be aware of?

  • If you experience cold or flu-like symptoms, such as fever, cough, sore throat or shortness of breath, please call us on 1300 011 013.
  • If you have been told to self-isolate or quarantine, please go home and call us on 1300 011 013.
  • In order to exercise safe social/physical distancing and to minimise numbers in the waiting room, only have someone accompany you to your appointment unless it is absolutely necessary.
  • Please come as close to your appointment time as possible.
  • Before your appointment, an OHST staff member will check your temperature and ask you some questions about your health status. This is to ensure the safety of staff and others.

What about the Fissure Sealant and Fluoride Varnish program?

The Fissure Sealant and Fluoride Varnish Program (FSFVP) that visits schools is not currently operating.

Rescheduling the FSFVP will depend on how long the COVID-19 crisis takes to resolve and the effect it will have on our resources, staffing and equipment availability.

You will be provided with an update as soon as we know more. If a return visit is not possible this year, OHST will plan to visit your school next year.

What you can do?

Personal hygiene is an important protection against COVID-19 and all respiratory illnesses. You can help slow the spread of illness by:

  • Washing your hands often with soap and warm, running water (or alcohol-base hand rub), especially after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose.
  • Using a tissue (or flexed elbow if a tissue is not readily available) to cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze, then putting the tissue in the rubbish.
  • Keeping two large steps from others if you can, when you are out in public.
  • Contacting your GP or the Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738 to be tested for COVID-19 if you have symptoms of fever, runny nose, cough, sore or itchy throat, or shortness of breath.
  • Wearing a facemask if you are unwell with COVID-19 symptoms and need to be around other people (for example, to access arranged medical care).

Further Questions?

Please email us at OHST.Feedback@ths.tas.gov.au or call 1300 011 013 to speak to an OHST staff member.

Helpful Information

Please visit the www.coronavirus.tas.gov.au for more information.

The Department of Health is preparing for further cases of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Tasmania, and healthcare workers are on high alert for potential cases.

If you think you might have COVID-19 because of recent travel or contact with a confirmed case, phone your GP or the Tasmanian Public Health Hotline: 1800 671 738.