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Aussie Dentists Issue Desperate Warning Over Face Mask Shortage Amid Coronavirus

Dental surgeries in Australia and the UK face a desperate shortage of face masks amid the coronavirus outbreak, meaning treatment could be delayed.

Now, the Australian Dental Association has reportedly asked its UK counterpart what can be done to combat the concern.

According to reports, the British Dental Association (BDA) said it will not be able to treat patients safely under current guidelines if some of its larger clinics run out of masks by the middle of next week.

And there are fears Australia may find itself in a similar predicament.

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A spokesman for the BDA said more than 50 per cent of face masks used by dentists and other health professionals in the UK are made in China but export of masks from Chinese manufacturers have "essentially ceased".

Suppliers in the UK are now out of stock while others are inflating their prices.

Some dentists and health professionals have also been anticipating a shortage are "panic-buying " facemasks.

But the BDA issued an urgent warning, saying UK suppliers have implemented restrictions limiting dental practices to ordering no more than two boxes of masks per day -- 100 masks in total.

"In recent weeks dentists have been hit by panic-buying, clumsy rationing and naked profiteering," BDA chairman Mick Armstrong said.

Dentists in Australia and Britain face a serious shortage of face masks. Image: Getty

"Unless we see a rapid increase in supply, dentists without face masks will have little choice but to down drills."

The BDA said similar issues are being seen in Australia, New Zealand and Canada.

"Here in Australia, we are potentially going to be facing a situation of mask shortages as our suppliers all rely heavily on Chinese manufacturers," a statement from the Australian Dental Association to the BDA said.

The statement also asks for advice on what steps it can take to ensure continued supply.

With AAP.