Collaboration Launches Online Fallow Time Calculator

Dentistry Today


Dental practices that need to figure out how long they should wait between treating patients can use the online Fallow Time Calculator. The tool complements the guidance published by the Faculty of General Dental Practice UK (FGDP(UK)) and the College of General Dentistry (CGDent).

The FGDP(UK) and CGDent guidance incorporates the Scottish Dental Clinical Effectiveness Programme (SDCEP) recommendations on fallow time. The digital platform was built by Flynotes, supported by Practice Plan and Wesleyan, and endorsed by the Chief Dental Officer for England.

Public Health England currently recommends a 60-minute fallow period in a treatment room with less than 10 air changes per hour from the point that an aerosol-generating procedure is completed. The FGDP(UK)/CGDent guidance recommends that practitioners justify any decision to stray from this recommendation, record factors that allow reduced time, and include details in the clinical record for each patient.

The Fallow Time Calculator is designed to facilitate this process and is based on SDCEP’s multifactorial approach to determining fallow time. It sets a benchmark time of 15 to 30 minutes that will vary based on the type and length of procedure, the use of procedural mitigations such as high-volume suction and rubber dams, and the availability of environmental mitigations such as air ventilation.

Also, the Fallow Time Calculator offers a full audit trail, updated regularly in accordance with the guidelines, that practices can use to aid diary planning, allowing efficient patient treatment flows while ensuring necessary fallow periods are implemented. Practices can register for the tool online.

“I’m proud and delighted to launch the new Fallow Time Calculator, which is the result of a fantastic collaborative effort. I particularly want to thank two fellow members of our guidance task group for their work in developing it, Flynotes CEO Govin Murugachandran and Faculty member and Deputy CDO for England Jason Wong, as well as Wesleyan and Practice Plan for their generous support, which has enabled both the development of the calculator and its free publication for the benefit of the whole profession,” said Ian Mills, dean of FGDP(UK) and trustee at CGDent.

“The tool is based on the recent SDCEP recommendations, which provide a sensible, pragmatic, and safe approach to managing fallow time and the potential risk from bioaerosol. I am confident that the Fallow Time Calculator will be seen as a significant aid to the dental team and will support dental practices to continue their transition back towards delivering routine care,” said Mills.

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